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Slip Road



Horror (Australia) 2018

Writer / Director: Raphael Dubois

East Coast Premiere


SYNOPSIS: Wendell is haunted by his failures and leaves his small town in search of glory. He drives down the rural slip road to strike a deal with a creature, who has delivered others their dreams for a price. His torment builds as he is confronted by his past and future. He must then relinquish what is most precious to him and commit to a new world, that he learns is not what it appears to be.


DIRECTOR BIO: This is Raphael’s debut as a filmmaker, having worked as an actor since 2015, coming from a musical background in various metal bands and unusual life paths. He is currently developing his debut feature.

DIRECTOR STATEMENT: Slip Road came to me almost like a dream, while i was living in a 2 bedroom unit with 8 people (one of which I was thrilled to have play the Creature). Sitting on the balcony one evening, overlooking Haymarket, i proceeded to write the script in about 40 minutes, then pitched it to a friend’s band as a music video. They hated it. I loved it, and decided to shoot it as a short instead, emptying my rather small savings account into the budget. After discussions with a few filmmakers, with mixed interest, i couldn’t assemble the team I wanted. The script was placed in the cupboard, as i needed to travel to Croatia to visit family. Shortly after my return to Sydney, I received a call from cinematographer, Thomas Black, and so it began.

What followed was a SOLID month of pre production, a good portion of which consisted of phone calls to parents I'd never met, asking to bring their 5-8 year old daughter to a rural night shoot in Appin, with a director they’d never heard of. None of them had seen the script, but by some miracle, 30+ parents liked the sound of it. There was nothing quite like setting up the first shot with Tom and turning around to realize that 60+ people had arrived and were eagerly awaiting my direction. In that moment all I thought was “fuck - This isn’t an idea in my mind anymore. I need to do this.” I’ve always watched films and felt like they were “concrete,” someone had made a “movie” with a “production company” and it was a real thing. But in that night I realized that films are made on dreams, clear vision and hard work. There are no safety nets.

Amazingly the 2 night shoot past without an real hiccups, but there were always interesting obstacles: Generators not starting until the 15th try, random storms, Izaak nearly slipping face first into a giant bonfire, the director flying out of a car during a take, the director doing a front spiral after discovering a wombat hole while running to check a light, the car completely dying on the 2nd night, and countless Rain Moths flying into the raging fire.

We never set out to make a film like “x” or “y”, we kept dreaming and kept looking. The film was always an exploration of innocence, desire, sacrifice and finding yourself at the point of failure. What do we do in that desperate moment, and what does it cost us?

SLIP ROAD was not “designed” to provoke extensive thought. I never believed that film should be intellectualized, but rather felt. Like a dream, vaguely remembered, not immediately understood, but residual and affecting, causing us to take a moment to see a little differently.

It was only due to the incredible faith and generosity of every single person involved, that this film is in front of you right now. I couldn’t be happier or prouder to be sharing this part of me, with you, at JTIFF 2019.

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