Australian mystery feature Touch premieres at Sydney Film Festival

South Australian writer-director Christopher Houghton will premiere his first dramatic feature Touch at the 2014 Sydney Film Festival.
Australian mystery feature Touch premieres at Sydney Film Festival

Onor Nottle stars in new Australian mystery Touch. Image courtesy of Sydney Film Festival. 

Award winning South Australian writer-director Christopher Houghton will keep audiences guessing when mystery thriller Touch debuts at this year’s Sydney Film Festival (SFF).

‘To date, no one has been able to pick what happens before it happens - so I’m a bit excited about that,’ he said.


When artsHub spoke with Houghton last October, he was weeks away from entering production on the feature film, filmed on location across the Adelaide Hills.

As he now completes postproduction, Houghton said that the shoot was as every bit as exciting as he had anticipated.

‘It was fast and furious but we got through it very well. We had five weeks of intense craziness, then we probably had about another week and a half of second unit,’ he said.

‘We’re currently finalising the score and sound mix, so we will really will be seeing it fresh with our premiere audience in Sydney.’

Produced in conjunction with the South Australian Film Corporation’s FilmLab initiative, Houghton said that Touch is a carefully constructed thriller about a woman on the run with her daughter and set against the background of the Australian landscape.

‘The visual landscape heightens the genre, yet also complements the interior world of central character Dawn, played by Leeanna Walsman,’ he said.

Rounding out the cast is a strong ensemble of some of the country’s most familiar screen actors including Matt Day, Greg Hatton, Onor Nottle and Shane Connor.

Houghton spent close to 18 months working on the script, and was supported across the entire production period with a tight-knit team on board including producer Julie Byrne, cinematographer Aaron Gully and editor David Banbury, all who are looking forward to the premiere SFF screening at Event Cinemas Sydney.

‘There is no doubt that Sydney Film Festival is an important film festival on the Australian scene,’ he said.

‘Sydney is sort of a film capital from an international perspective, so it is really a good launch pad for the film in that respect. It’s our first choice as a festival really, so it’s great that our timing has matched up.’

‘I think there will quite a lot to celebrate, not just for Australian film but film in general,’ said Houghton.

SFF festival director Nashen Moodley said that we looking forward to seeing Touch in its Australian premiere.

‘Houghton has been able to build wonderful tension, and extract powerful performances from his cast. It’s a really strong piece and we’re really looking forward to introducing his film to audiences,’ he said. 

Touch premieres at the Sydney Film Festival on Friday 6 June at Event Cinemas George Street, with an addition screening on Sunday 8 June at Dendy Opera Quays.

The 61st Sydney Film Festival runs from 4 to 15 June in venues across the city.

For more information including ticket sales and the complete event program visit the Sydney Film Festival website.

Troy Nankervis

Monday 12 May, 2014

About the author

Troy Nankervis is an ArtsHub journalist from Melbourne. Follow him on twitter @troynankervis