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SLAM a film by Partho Sen-Gupta

Ricky Mansour is a young Australian whose peaceful suburban life turns to hell when his sister Ameena disappears without a trace. In a climate of distrust and xenophobia, Ricky is forced to denounce her as an extremist.

Adam Bakri


SLAM a film by Partho Sen-Gupta

Synopsis Ameena, (24) a young hijab wearing Australian of Palestinian origin, disappears one night after featuring in a slam poetry gathering in the suburbs of Sydney. An Australian air force fighter is shot down over Syria and the pilot captured by the IS. The two unconnected events wreak hell in the quiet assimilated suburban life of Ricky (29) (Tariq, Ameena’s estranged brother) who runs a small neighbourhood hipster café with his pregnant wife Sally. The case is handed to Police inspector, Joanne Hendricks (46), only weeks back at her job following a long convalescence after a nervous breakdown brought on by her son, Ryan’s death due to an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan a few years earlier. Despite all Joanne’s efforts, Ameena cannot be found. In a climate of mistrust and xenophobia, it is suggested in the media that she is not a missing person but a ‘home grown radical’ who has gone to Syria to join the IS. Ameena’s passport has not been found. Social media brands her a radical Islamist; clips of her poetry go viral. CCTV footage of someone resembling her flying to Istanbul is leaked. The political and media pressure mounts. Ricky’s partners ask him to stay away from the café. Neighbours shun the family. His wife, Sally and his daughter, Alia (5), bear the brunt and on the behest of her parents, she moves to their house until things calm down. The captured pilot is cruelly assassinated and the video circulated. The state and the media put into force a performance of discipline and punishment. Politicians want results. Ameena’s mother Reem’s house is raided. Federal agents pick Ricky up for questioning. Joanne is under pressure to close the investigation. At Ricky’s, stress levels get out of hand. The media follows him everywhere. He beats up a journalist and is arrested. His father-in-law suggests that Ricky publicly condemn his sister. Under pressure, Ricky agrees to go on television to denounce Ameena and become ‘the good Muslim’. Soon things go back to normal. Ricky’s family celebrate the birth of his second child. For Joanne, the only way to rid herself of her ghosts is to discover the truth behind Ameena’s disappearance but for Ricky, he is condemned to live with his.


SLAM a film by Partho Sen-Gupta

Director’s Note Slam is the story of a missing person, or at least that’s the impression we get at the film’s outset. But as the story develops, other characters directly or indirectly affected by the disappearance, are introduced. Slowly the seemingly banal trope of the missing person transforms into an allegory of the greatest power struggle of our post-colonial age. As the elites move their pieces around the checkerboard of power, the missing person is forgotten and the consequences of the disappearance for the film’s protagonists become the main focus of the narrative. Those who profit from our collective fear use it to their advantage, the phantasm they have created being so strong that it becomes the accepted reality. People stop looking for the truth. And despite their doubts, the minority must choose their side quickly or stand accused of complicity with ‘the enemy’. And so, everything returns to normality. But the missing person protests from her defenceless position. She becomes a spectre in the subconscious of those who must defend her. She wants her truth to be told. Slam is a pensive and slow paced film noir shot in an expressionistic style. The lighting is inspired by chiaroscuro and creates an angst-filled psychological atmosphere. The camera glides slowly towards or with the characters. Shot on wide-angle lens, the characters look small and abandoned in the large open spaces. There are tight long lens shots of their eyes and faces surrounded by out of focus bokeh. The protagonists prefer to speak with their eyes and body language than with dialogue. They are melancholic and forsaken, surrounded by large TV screens, flickering neon signs and streaming traffic. But the streets are empty of people, as are the houses. There is an eerie silence around them as if they are lost in their thoughts and the sounds around them are muffled and filtered out of their aural realm. And sometimes they violently return to the noise-filled ‘real’ world, creating an existential dissonance. Ghosts from their pasts as images and sounds visit them imploring them to remember them. Spoken word poetry and hip-hop music written and performed by young poets and artists of Western Sydney, give rhythm and soul to the narration, like Stasima in a Greek tragedy.


SLAM a film by Partho Sen-Gupta

Director’s Bio Partho Sen-Gupta was born in Mumbai, India in 1965. He worked as Art Director and Production Designer on feature films, TV series and commercials in India. He then studied Film direction at the FEMIS in Paris. His first feature film, ‘Let the wind Blow’ premiered at the Berlinale. His second feature film ‘Sunrise’ premiered at the Busan IFF and since screened at 2015 Tribeca, Munich, BFI London, Sitges, Sydney etc. and won awards. It was nominated at the Asia-Pacific Screen Academy Awards. After living in France for over a decade, he now lives and works in Sydney where he is currently developing his third feature ‘Slam’. MORE…

Filmography SUNRISE (Arunoday) 85’ Fiction - 2014 - IMDB WAY OF BEAUTY 60’ Doc - 2006 IMDB LET THE WIND BLOW (Hava Aney Dey) 90’ Fiction – 2004 IMDB


SLAM a film by Partho Sen-Gupta

Producer’s Bio Michael Wrenn has been in the film industry for 20+ years working in exhibition, distribution, production, sales and acquisitions in both the UK, France and Australasia. Since 2000 he has settled in Australia and New Zealand having run development for the New Zealand Film Commission, managed Australasian acquisitions for Celluloid Dreams and Maximum Films, created distribution outfit Curious Distribution and worked with Arclight Films on all aspects of development and production. Previously he was Head of Distribution for Momentum Films in the UK (now eOne) as well as holding senior roles with Alliance Atlantis, Kinowelt and Electric Pictures. Now he works as a producer across a range of projects, budgets and genres. In addition to SLAM, Michael is currently in post production on Ben Elton's THREE SUMMERS. Invisible Republic, 5 Essex Street, Marrickville, 2204 Sydney, Australia +61 424 658 686 michael@invisiblerepublic.tv

Co-producer’s Bio Marc Irmer is a french fiction and documentary film producer who has been working for 15 years developing both French and international co-productions. His company Dolce Vita Films and previously 1001 Productions has produced over 15 feature films which include Berlinale premiere HOTEL HARABATI by Brice Cauvin, DARWIN’S NIGHTMARE by Hubert Sauper, Toronto and Sundance participant UNWANTED WITNESS by Juan Lozano, Venice awarded LAS NINAS QUISPE by Sebastian Sepulveda and Karlovy Vary grand prize winner LE GRAND CAHIER by Janos Szasz. His last co-production is Busan and Tribeca selection SUNRISE by Partho Sen-Gupta. Dolce Vita Films 13, Bd de Rochechouart, 75009 Paris, France +33 (0)1 48 78 70 21 info@dolcevita-films.com / dolcevita-films.com   Charles Billeh is a graduate from the Australian Film Television Radio School (AFTRS) majoring in Screen Producing. He has worked on several film, television, and documentary projects including, “Cast From The Storm” which recently aired on ABC. He is now working with Michael Wrenn on SLAM. +61 421 155 819 charlesbilleh@gmail.com


SLAM a film by Partho Sen-Gupta Project Information Writer: Partho Sen-Gupta Director: Partho Sen-Gupta Producer: Michael Wrenn Co-Producers: Marc Irmer, Charles Billeh Production Company: Invisible Republic, Sydney Co-Production Company: Dolce Vita Films, Paris Format: 4K to DCP Running Time: 100 min Genre: Neo-Noir Drama Target audience: Art House and world cinema Shooting start: Aug 2017 Shooting Location: Sydney, Australia Shooting language: English, Arabic (minority)

Main cast

Adam Bakri (confirmed) IMDB Rachael Blake (confirmed) IMDB

Rachael Blake


SLAM a film by Partho Sen-Gupta

The script was developed with the assistance of Screen Australia

Official selected project at the 2016

5 Essex Street, Marrickville, 2204 Sydney, Australia Mobile: +61 424 658 686 Email: Email: michael@invisiblerepublic.tv


Slam - Film Brochure 2016