Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Screen Australia announces James J. Robinson's debut feature First Light

29/04/2024

29 04 2024 - Media release Screen Australia announces James J. Robinson's debut feature First Light

First Light

Principal Photography is underway on First Light, an upcoming Australian-Filipino Co-production directed by James J. Robinson, with principal production funding from Screen Australia.

Ruby Ruiz is set to star in her first role following her celebrated performance in Amazon's Expats, with Diamond Star of the Philippines and veteran actress Maricel Soriano (Mother Nanny), Rez Cortez (Bukal), Soliman Cruz (Blue Room), and the father of international cinema, Kidlat Tahimik, rounding out the cast.

Set in the remote mountains of the Philippines, the death of a young construction worker forces an elderly nun to confront the muddied ethics of an institution she dedicated her life to. The script is a deeply personal story exploring the intersection of duty, faith, and institutional power.

First Light is supported by Screen Australia in association with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, Clou Media Productions, the MIFF Premiere Fund, and VicScreen. It is produced by Gabrielle Pearson through Majella Productions alongside Christelle Dychangco from Clou Media Productions and Jane Pe Aguirre (A Prayer Before Dawn) - one of the Philippines most respected and longest working producers. GoodThing Productions' Nick Batzias and Virginia Whitwell (Nitram, The Australian Dream) serve as Executive Producers.

Independent Entertainment will handle global sales, with Bonsai Films handling theatrical distribution in AU/NZ.

Robinson is a celebrated Filipino-Australian artist with an expansive career in photography and filmmaking. His work has regularly appeared in publications such as The New York Times and Vogue Australia, where he has photographed some of the world's biggest names including Kylie Jenner, Sydney Sweeney, Rose Byrne, and Harris Dickinson. His Filipino short documentary Inang Maynila was acquired by Nowness and screened at the Brooklyn Film Festival in 2022, while his previous short No Reception was part of the 2018 TIFF x Instagram Shorts program in 2018.

Screen Australia COO Grainne Brunsdon said, Debut feature from producer Gabrielle Pearson and director James J. Robinson, First Light is a captivating blend of Filipino and Australian creativity, delving into themes of mortality, faith and self-discovery. With universal resonance, this film promises an engaging journey for audiences.

Director and writer James J. Robinson said, Developing First Light over the past two years has been an incredibly profound journey into the heart of pre-colonial Filipino philosophy. To be able to tell a story by bringing together artists from Australia and Philippines, and witness this cultural exchange in real time, will be one of the most enlightening experiences of my life; and reflects a deeper journey within myself to define my identity and ancestry as a mixed-race artist."

Producer Gabrielle Pearson said, For our first official feature production under the Majella umbrella, learning about the intersection between Filipino and Australian methods of working has been one of the myriad gems of doing an international co-production. In a future of globalist filmmaking, realising the ways that disparate cultures across the globe can uncover the universality in their experiences further treads the pathway toward inclusive filmmaking, while offering complex insight into the deeper human condition.

First Light is a Majella Productions production. Principal production funding from Screen Australia in association with the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) Premiere Fund. Financed with support from the Film Development Council of the Philippines and VicScreen. Local distribution by Bonsai Films. International sales by Independent Entertainment. Developed with assistance of Screen Australia.

INDEPENDENT ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA ENQUIRIES Elisa Christophe | Head of Marketing and Communications

44 7526909693 | [email protected]

Media enquiries Maddie Walsh | Publicist

61 2 8113 5915 | [email protected]

All other general/non-media enquiries

Sydney 61 2 8113 5800 | Melbourne 61 3 8682 1900 | [email protected]
LINK: https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/sa/media-centre/news/2024/04-29-deb...
See more stories from screenaustralia

Asia, Australia & Oceanic Stories

11/06/2024

Little J & Big Cuz returns for season four this July

Little J & Big Cuz returns for season four this July 11 June, 2024 Media releases *First look here* Award-winning animated children's series Little J ...

06/06/2024

Alone Australia confirms its place as one of 2024's biggest TV hits

Alone Australia confirms its place as one of 2024's biggest TV hits 6 June, 2024 Media releases More than 4.3 million Australians tuned into Alone Aust...

05/06/2024

The pure drama of the world's biggest annual sporting event is set to be unleashed

The pure drama of the world's biggest annual sporting event is set to be unl...

30/05/2024

After 64 days, the winner of Alone Australia has been revealed

After 64 days, the winner of Alone Australia has been revealed 29 May, 2024 Media releases *Contains Spoilers* After 64 days alone in the extreme and wild...

30/05/2024

Alone Australia finale delivers strongly as SBS confirms it will join VOZ streaming

Alone Australia finale delivers strongly as SBS confirms it will join VOZ stream...

30/05/2024

Alone Australia finale delivers strongly for national broadcaster SBS with 4.2m tuning in across the season

Alone Australia finale delivers strongly for national broadcaster SBS with 4.2m ...

30/05/2024

Screen Australia, Australians in Film and VicScreen announce FUTURE VISION

30 05 2024 - Media release Screen Australia, Australians in Film and VicScreen announce FUTURE VISION Lee Sung Jin and Joanna Calo Australians in Film, Scree...

24/05/2024

Alone Australia continues to build as it moves towards finale

Alone Australia continues to build as it moves towards finale 23 May, 2024 Media releases The program continues to deliver for SBS with significant uplifts...

23/05/2024

Alone Australia continues to build as it movies towards finale

Alone Australia continues to build as it movies towards finale 23 May, 2024 Media releases The program continues to deliver for SBS with significant uplift...

20/05/2024

Hamish Blake to host Alone Australia Season 2: The Reunion on 29 May

Hamish Blake to host Alone Australia Season 2: The Reunion on 29 May 20 May, 2024 Media releases As the season nears its end, SBS's hit series cements ...

16/05/2024

ABC and SBS bring digital radio (DAB+) services to the Gold Coast

ABC and SBS bring digital radio (DAB ) services to the Gold Coast 15 May, 2024 Media releases ABC and SBS today announced that audiences on the Gold Coast ...

15/05/2024

SBS Audio marketing campaign tells the stories of new Australians, with multilingual content offerings to assist migrants

SBS Audio marketing campaign tells the stories of new Australians, with multilin...

13/05/2024

Eurovision delivers strong Total TV audiences for SBS, with more than 2.2 million Australians tuning in

Eurovision delivers strong Total TV audiences for SBS, with more than 2.2 millio...

10/05/2024

SBS announces Voyager lead singer Danny Estrin as Australia's spokesperson for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest jury

SBS announces Voyager lead singer Danny Estrin as Australia's spokesperson f...

09/05/2024

Join Costa Georgiadis, Melissa Leong & Samuel Johnson For New Ground-breaking Series: The Hospital: In The Deep End

Join Costa Georgiadis, Melissa Leong & Samuel Johnson For New Ground-breaking Se...

09/05/2024

Alone Australia audience continues to grow

Alone Australia audience continues to grow 9 May, 2024 Media releases The program continues to deliver for SBS with significant uplifts in digital BVOD vie...

08/05/2024

The results are in from Malm Arena as Semi Final 1 participants move through to the Grand Final of this year's Eurovision Song Contest

The results are in from Malm Arena as Semi Final 1 participants move through to...

08/05/2024

Powerful NITV documentary Kindred to premiere during Reconciliation Week

Powerful NITV documentary Kindred to premiere during Reconciliation Week 8 May, 2024 Media releases A journey of family, friendship and home *Watch the tr...

08/05/2024

Olivia Colman and John Lithgow Star in Sophie Hyde's New Project JIMPA

08 05 2024 - Media release Olivia Colman and John Lithgow Star in Sophie Hyde's New Project JIMPA Olivia Colman and John Lithgow in JIMPA. Photo credit: M...

07/05/2024

NITV appoints Michael Rennie as Presenter and Senior Producer for NITV News

NITV appoints Michael Rennie as Presenter and Senior Producer for NITV News 7 May, 2024 Media releases NITV has announced the appointment of Michael Rennie...

06/05/2024

Get Ready to join Dan Hong as he hits the streets in his ultimate culinary journey

Get Ready to join Dan Hong as he hits the streets in his ultimate culinary journ...

02/05/2024

Gear up for the 2024 Cycling Grand Tours on Australia's Home of Cycling, SBS

Gear up for the 2024 Cycling Grand Tours on Australia's Home of Cycling, SBS 11 April, 2024 Media releases All of the rivalry begins with the Giro d...

02/05/2024

New SBS documentary dives into one of Australia's greatest underdog stories of all time!

New SBS documentary dives into one of Australia's greatest underdog stories ...

02/05/2024

Alone Australia cements its place as one of Australia's biggest hits of 2024

Alone Australia cements its place as one of Australia's biggest hits of 2024 2 May, 2024 Media releases Alone Australia has cemented its place as one o...

30/04/2024

Launch of SBS South Asian channel and SBS Spice, a new English language offering for younger South Asian Australians

Launch of SBS South Asian channel and SBS Spice, a new English language offering...

29/04/2024

Screen Australia announces James J. Robinson's debut feature First Light

29 04 2024 - Media release Screen Australia announces James J. Robinson's debut feature First Light First Light Principal Photography is underway on Firs...

24/04/2024

SBS marks Earth Day as The Cook Up with Adam Liaw becomes first Australian show to have its carbon footprint validated through SSA

SBS marks Earth Day as The Cook Up with Adam Liaw becomes first Australian show ...

24/04/2024

Save money every day with SBS's Ricardo Gonalves and Peggy Giakoumelos on new Cost of Living Secrets podcast

Save money every day with SBS's Ricardo Gon alves and Peggy Giakoumelos on n...

24/04/2024

Screen Australia celebrates Australian projects bound for Cannes Film Festival 2024

24 04 2024 - Media release Screen Australia celebrates Australian projects bound...

23/04/2024

Social entrepreneur Hedayat Osyan wins Les Murray Award for Refugee Recognition

Social entrepreneur Hedayat Osyan wins Les Murray Award for Refugee Recognition 23 April, 2024 Media releases The prestigious award is now in its third yea...

22/04/2024

SBS marks Earth Day with Australian TV milestone as The Cook Up with Adam Liaw becomes first show to measure its carbon footprint

SBS marks Earth Day with Australian TV milestone as The Cook Up with Adam Liaw b...

18/04/2024

Alone Australia goes from strength to strength

Alone Australia goes from strength to strength 16 May, 2024 Media releases The program continues to deliver for SBS with significant uplifts in digital BVO...

18/04/2024

Screen Australia and Dynamic Television announce new Scripted Initiative

18 04 2024 - Media release Screen Australia and Dynamic Television announce new Scripted Initiative Savage River Screen Australia and Los Angeles-based telev...

16/04/2024

ABS Agility Beyond Space announces Appointment of Mark Rigolle as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

ABS Agility Beyond Space announces Appointment of Mark Rigolle as its Chief Ex...

11/04/2024

Alone Australia Ep 2 reaches over 1m Australians

Alone Australia Ep 2 reaches over 1m Australians 11 April, 2024 Media releases The program continues to consistently grow week-on-week in linear audience w...

11/04/2024

Screen Australia and Meta launch fourth year of First Nations Creators Program for Instagram

11 04 2024 - Media release Screen Australia and Meta launch fourth year of First...

10/04/2024

Screen Australia announces over $2.3 million for nine documentaries

10 04 2024 - Media release Screen Australia announces over $2.3 million for nine documentaries Guardians of the River Screen Australia has announced nine doc...

09/04/2024

Groundbreaking NITV documentary series Our Law expands across Australia from Thursday 9 May

Groundbreaking NITV documentary series Our Law expands across Australia from Thu...

09/04/2024

Psst; inflo transcribes with Whisper

Techtel, the creators of inflo, today announced that a new speech to text transcription engine from openai called Whisper, is available to inflo customers who a...

04/04/2024

Manu Feildel, Miranda Otto and Pat Rafter join life-changing new season of Who Do You Think You Are?

Manu Feildel, Miranda Otto and Pat Rafter join life-changing new season of Who D...

04/04/2024

Alone Australia season 2 continues to redefine Australian TV viewing through on-demand digital consumption

Alone Australia season 2 continues to redefine Australian TV viewing through on-...

27/03/2024

Living Black, the longest-running Indigenous current affairs television program in Australia, returns for its 21st year with new guests

Living Black, the longest-running Indigenous current affairs television program ...

26/03/2024

Crime is relative in SBS's new Canneseries nominated crime-family dramawith a difference

Crime is relative in SBS's new Canneseries nominated crime-family drama with...

25/03/2024

SBS gears up for Season 2 of Alone Australia with the creation of Alone Cologne'

SBS gears up for Season 2 of Alone Australia with the creation of Alone Cologne...

22/03/2024

SBS Learn partners with the Islamic Museum of Australia to support classrooms in understanding Ramadan and Eid with new teacher resource

SBS Learn partners with the Islamic Museum of Australia to support classrooms in...

21/03/2024

Screen Australia announces over $1.6 million in support of the games industry

21 03 2024 - Media release Screen Australia announces over $1.6 million in support of the games industry Which Way Up: Galaxy Games Screen Australia has anno...

18/03/2024

Screen Australia and VicScreen launch new Screen Careers initiative

18 03 2024 - Media release Screen Australia and VicScreen launch new Screen Careers initiative LTR Denise Eriksen, Esther Coleman Hawkins, Caroline Pitcher, K...