School’s in for Heath
Local filmmaker Heath Davis loves the Blue Mountains. So much so that he decided to use the area as a location for his latest movie, Book Week which has recently been released at cinemas around the country.
Book Week centres around high school English teacher Nicholas Cutler, played by Alan Dukes, as he is forced to re-evaluate his life when his novel is passed over. “Book Week is about a lot of things really and there’s many themes. I wanted to write something honest about the struggles and pitfalls trying to survive as an artist in the modern world. With this, the frustrations that no one cares about true art anymore in the digital social media age” Davis told the Emu and Leonay Gazette.
Davis was both the Writer and Director of Book Week, a project that was relatively fast to write, taking many years before it was brought to life. “The first draft kind of happened quickly. I was writing what I was experiencing at the time and it just oozed out in about 6 weeks. I then did some rewrites over time of probably three months. That was 8 years ago” Heath explained.
Katoomba was chosen as the principle location for the backdrop of Book Week, whilst other parts of the Blue Mountains down towards Penrith were also used. Davis enjoyed the sense of community and mateship making a film in the area he grew up in with family and friends. This helped give him the freedom to make something true in an age where truth is very rarely depicted on screens, be it in cinemas or on smart phones.
Heath hopes that audiences will come together and embrace Book Week, supporting the Australian film industry. “All a community has at the end of the day by way of identity and connection is its culture. Without the arts or screen culture, we have nothing of real value. Film is the crucial measuring tool of who we are, where we’ve come from and where we are. Humans are storytellers by nature and our stories are just as vital as any” he ended.
For more information about Book Week and their screening locations, visit www.facebook.com/bookweekfilm. Davis’ next film project Locusts is due to be released next year.
^ Book Week’s lead actor Alan Dukes (left) and Writer/Director Heath Davis (right) | Image Supplied