Around the Block

DIRECTOR: Sarah Spillane

Expected to attend: Actor Ruby Rose

Intelligently exploring themes of familial strife and cultural conflict via the story of a high school drama class’s discovery and staging of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Around the Block ushers its audience into the dynamic world of Redfern, a tense and ethnically tangled inner-city suburb of Sydney, Australia. Christina Ricci and a young cast of rising Aussie talent illuminate this tale about realizing one’s true identity despite the challenges of family, relationships, and fear.

Dino Chalmers (Ricci) is an American first-time teacher who moves to town with her pleasantly bloke-y Australian fiancé, eager to share her love of drama and literature with the disparate kids at Redfern High. Liam Wood is an Aboriginal student torn between the criminal dynasty of his family and becoming the artist he longs to be. Dino first spots Liam through the lens of her camera, insightfully capturing the street-poet soul of a troubled teenage boy dancing on the edge of inner-city Australia’s gritty, and often violent, social mix. Both characters struggle with entwined elements of sexuality, race, and cultural burden as they endeavor to embrace their authentic selves.

Writer-director Sarah Spillane drew upon her own experiences to produce this uncompromising vision of contemporary Australia, and fills the frame with vibrant street style, pulsing to a hip-hop beat.

— Leah LoSchiavo

This film is eligible for the Frameline38 Wells Fargo First Feature Award.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F104

Co-presented by:
Mostly British Film Festival

Sponsor: Hotel Zetta

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