Exploring themes of sexuality, identity and community in rural Australia, Cherry Season presents a unique perspective on LGBTQIA+ issues in small communities as it follows a young woman faced with conflicting notions of isolation, conformity and responsibility.
Summer has arrived in Shantelle’s hometown of Young, NSW. Between stacking the shelves with cherries and scrolling through women on Snapchat, there doesn’t appear to be much going on in her life to keep her there. But when she discovers her wayward teenage sister, Tamara, posting nude pics online, Shantelle must hunt her down and, with the help of a callow workmate, stop Tamara crossing a dangerous line.
Faced with prejudice in her small country town as she attempts to balance the duality of her responsibility and her sexuality, Shantelle must choose who to protect – her sister, herself or a young gay man at risk.
An ambitious project representing sexual, gender, cultural and socio-economic diversity, Cherry Season is directed by award-winning gay-identifying filmmaker Joshua Longhurst, who was born and raised in Young, NSW in which the film is set and where it will be shot on location. This project marks the first time he will examine his roots in a cinematic story.
Joshua is a promising and bold emerging director with a powerful voice and strong visual style. He has a fascination with loneliness, yearning and emotional honesty, as well as a passion for the exploration of LGBTQIA+ issues, gender politics, sexuality and identity on screen.
Joshua’s 2016 film, Oasis screened at Flickerfest, St Kilda Film Festival, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Mardis Gras Film Festival and major queer film festivals globally. Cherry Season will also be submitted for consideration in film festivals domestically and internationally.
Cherry Season is a unique and timely exploration of the difficulty LGBTQIA+ people often experience in regional NSW, told with refreshing honesty.
Cherry Season is written by Green Room Award-winning writer Tim Spencer and produced by Rosie Braye. Supported by Create NSW and SBS TV, Cherry Season will be broadcast on national television and on SBS On Demand in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras.
You can make a tax deductible donation to Cherry Season through the Australian Cultural Fund. Donating to this project will support the communication of this poignant LGBTQIA+ story across the world.
Shooting on location will create financial and logistical challenges yet is vital for the authenticity of the story and the portrayal of the unique cultural identity and landscape of regional NSW. Funds will be used towards production and post-production costs, ensuring the director’s vibrant vision can be realised.