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A fresh and entrancing take on the timeless subject of young adulthood, Friends and Strangers introduces a clique of Australian twentysomethings who are looking for their direction, but keep getting distracted along the way. Ray and Alice are on an impromptu camping trip in the Australian countryside, ensconced in their tent but not really connecting with each other. Back home in Sydney, these rudderless millennials are on no more solid ground, particularly as wedding videographer James’s meeting with a wealthy client takes a series of increasingly surreal turns. Writer/director James Vaughan’s debut feature is brilliantly composed all around, from its crisp, lovely cinematography and precisely calibrated atmosphere to the striking paintings and vintage Jon Gibson music that serve as a counterpoint to its characters’ careful hesitancy. “What a saga!” one character exclaims towards the end of this beguiling series of casual detours and drifts, a quip that well sums up the film’s self-aware humor. “The funniest, best movie from Oz in several years. Movie audiences (whether they know it or not) seek fresh voices, attitudes. This is it, the real deal. Ten years from now, this’ll still be fresh” (Robert Koehler). “Masterful. There is great depth in these characters, and ultimately the paradoxical nature of their existence pays off superbly” (Flickering Myth). 2021 Rotterdam Film Festival. (MK)


  • Year
    2021
  • Runtime
    84 minutes
  • Country
    Australia
  • Director
    James Vaughan
  • Screenwriter
    James Vaughan
  • Producer
    Lucy Rennick, Rebecca Lamond
  • Cast
    Emma Diaz, Fergus Wilson, Victoria Maxwell, Greg Zimbulis, David Gannon, Jayden Muir, Poppy Jones
  • Cinematographer
    Dimitri Zaunders
  • Editor
    James Vaughan
  • Production Design
    Olivia Simpson
  • Sound Design
    Liam Egar