CRYING SKY is a proposal for a feature length animation. It is a ‘magic realist’ story based on an eventful excursion I made with a group of young international students.
I have always wanted to make an animated feature that is truly about contemporary Australia. CRYING SKY deals with Australia both past and present. Having been a teacher of international students, mostly from countries like China, Korea and Thailand, I am fascinated by the positive dynamic and new perspective their presence brings to our culture. Crying Sky is informed by this perspective.
Linda, an art teacher at an international design college, takes her students from various parts of Asia on an excursion to a remote coastal fishing town. Their assignment is to make sketches for a hypothetical film of the Tim Winton storyBlueback. The skies are dark and threatening and the fishing town and its boats deserted. The young students make the best of things. As the cold bites some become concerned about their failing studies and their families, others have a poetic instinct awakened by the wildness of the place, a boy and a girl are becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. Linda herself is preoccupied with concern for their safety and for her husband, who is in hospital. Stuck in a kind of limbo each character is affected by the strangeness and feeling of history the place exudes. When one of the students goes missing the fantastic and the real weave together like the final act in a magical symphony.