AROUND THE BLOCK Starring CHRISTINA RICCI and JACK THOMPSON Makes World Premiere in Toronto at TIFF

AROUND THE BLOCK, directed by Sarah Spillane and starring CHRISTINA RICCI and JACK THOMPSON, will have its world premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, Friday, September 6, 2013 at 6:30PM at the Scotiabank 14 cinema.

Starring Golden Globe® and Emmy Award® nominee Christina Ricci, AROUND THE BLOCK also features a breakout performance from newcomer Hunter Page-Lochard and an outstanding supporting cast including Jack Thompson (THE GREAT GATSBY), Damien Walshe-Howling (UNDERBELLY, MYSTERY ROAD – also a 2013 TIFF premiere), Daniel Henshall (NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN, SNOWTOWN), Matt Nable (UNDERBELLY, BIKIE WARS) and media celebrity, Ruby Rose.

Ricci recently completed work on SMURFS 2 opposite Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris and Brendan Gleeson and is set to begin work on MOTHER’S DAY with Sharon Stone and Susan Sarandon.

AROUND THE BLOCK is an edgy, heartfelt film about friendship, freedom and determination to break family and cultural cycles in order to take control of one’s own destiny. Set in a contemporary, tough, inner-city precinct, of Sydney, Australia, AROUND THE BLOCK is a story of love, revenge and triumph, as a teenage boy is torn between his unexpected passion for theatre and the disintegration of his family. With encouragement from his unconventional American drama teacher, played by Ricci, he confronts his past and eventually takes control of his future.

“I am thrilled to be a part of AROUND THE BLOCK,” said Ricci. “I can’t wait for audiences to discover this film and fall in love with the story just as I did when I first read the script.”

Dino Chalmers (CHRISTINA RICCI), a young idealistic American drama teacher must practice what she teaches if she is to succeed in helping Liam, an Indigenous boy (HUNTER LOCHARD PAGE) to follow his unexpected dream of acting. The hip, energetic and naïve teacher attempts to stage a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet with her 11th grade class at Redfern High School. By comparing the rhyming couplets of Shakespeare’s dialogue to those of famous hip-hop artists, an alternative world of parallels emerges. Both the teacher and student break free from convention, realize their dreams and launch themselves towards truth, hope and independence.

“Being given the chance to choose one’s path in life is something everyone should have as a right, but too often circumstance, heritage, and environment conspire to block that opportunity,” said producer Su Armstrong. “In AROUND THE BLOCK, our main character learns how to overcome that conspiracy, to take that right, to break from tradition and to forge his own future giving himself a positive way forward.”

Australian rights have been snapped up by Michael Wrenn of Greenlight Releasing who is planning a fall 2013 release.

“AROUND THE BLOCK is a wonderfully touching and life-affirming film told with great verve and wit, and we’re delighted to be able to be working with such a talented team,” said Wrenn. “This is a positive and powerful message that addresses some of Australia’s and the world’s most important current events as well as long-standing issues. We look forward to bringing AROUND THE BLOCK to audiences this fall.

“AROUND THE BLOCK is ultimately a universal ‘feel good movie’ infused with the true gritty reality that is contemporary urban life in Sydney and is also found in numerous communities worldwide,” said Gary Hamilton, Managing Director of Arclight Films. “Audiences from all over the globe will not only relate to the film but will be inspired by the courageous message the extremely talented cast and director have been successful in conveying.

Writer/Director is Sarah Spillane, with husband and wife team Su Armstrong (GOOD WILL HUNTING) and Brian Rosen producing. Executive producer is Jack Thompson.

Around the Block will be released in Australian cinemas in early November by Greenlight Releasing with Arclight Films handling international sales.

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