BROTHERS IN ARMS: Clayton and Shane Jacobson on the set of their new film Brothers Nest.
AUSTRALIAN actors, filmmakers and brothers Shane and Clayton Jacobson have spent two days in Mildura this week as part of a nationwide release tour for their new film ‘Brothers Nest’.
Shane, who has been a mainstay on Australian television screens for the past decade through various hosting roles, and brother Clayton are best known as the team behind the successful Australian film ‘Kenny’, which was released 12 years ago.
Their latest film follows two brothers, Terry and Jeff (played by Shane and Clayton), who arrive at their country Victoria family home one morning with “treacherous intent.”
Terry and Jeff’s motive is to make sure their dying mother’s plan to change her will in favour of her husband – their stepfather – is upturned. The pair have everything planned, but there is one crucial thing they don’t take into account – having to spend an entire day together.
Old grudges, different world views and a general troubled history pit the two brothers against each other.
Screened at Wallis Cinemas Mildura this past Monday night, Shane said the pair had been thrilled by the large turnout locally to see the first screening of Brothers Nest.
“The cinema was filled, which is a dream come true for any filmmaker,” he said.
The pair are travelling the country by bus, largely due a recent, and quite serious, injury to Shane’s Achilles tendon.
“I snapped the tendon and I’m not allowed to fly,” he said. “So we thought it was right to hit the road instead and travel around the country showing off the film.”
Brothers Nest enjoyed its world premiere at SXSW in Austin, Texas, last month, with The Hollywood Reporter describing it as “an Aussie spin on the kind of bloody farce we expect from Ben Wheatley or the Coens… a comedy that’s blacker than pitch.”
In fact, reviews for the film across the globe have been nothing short of phenomenal.
“Rolling Stone called it a sleeping hit, that’s mind-blowing,” Shane said. “Clayton and I have also been compared to the Coen Bros and Hitchcock, and that brings with it no other emotion than pride and amazement.”
Both Shane and Clayton said their latest venture together was “very different” to their first movie, Kenny.
“It’s more thriller than a comedy,” Shane said. “What we’re finding is that while audiences think it’s very different, they really love it.
“People regionally and rurally are gems of the Earth, and so we really appreciate the support we’re receiving.”
Brothers Nest has been released by Label Distribution, and is also directed by Clayton, who said that he too couldn’t be happier with the response to the film locally, not to mention the rave reviews.
“We actually got a call saying they had to move the movie into a larger theatre here in Mildura!” he said. “The pleasing thing is that the film is staying with people.
“It’s funny, you actually never know how a film will be received and all I, or any filmmaker can do, is please themselves.”
Clayton described brother Shane’s performance in the movie as “a tour de force,” while also touching on the unique way in which the film was financed, which essentially saw cinemas, like Wallis Cinemas Mildura, pay a hire fee in advance.
“We came up with a model to get the film made which was born out of frustration surrounding how hard it is to make a film in Australia,” he said. “When this script lobbed at our feet – which was written for Shane and I – we knew it was a great follow up to Kenny while being very different.
“We remembered with Kenny how small, regional cinemas really supported us, and we saw this model as a way to set up a relationship with audiences.
“All the cinemas who supported the model have been credited at the end of the film.”
Clayton described Brothers Nest as a powerful thriller drama that touches on a lot of themes.
“I’m really interested in human behaviour, and in this film we find these brothers in a weak part of their existence, who have gone down a road that they shouldn’t have gone down,” he said.
“It’s a roller coaster ride.”