THE DAUGHTER, a film written and directed by renowned theatre director Simon Stone will be released in the US by Kino Lorber. Official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival, as well as Venice, Melbourne and Sydney film festivals, this contemporary adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s “The Wild Duck” starring Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush, Miranda Otto, and Sam Neill, will open at the AMC Empire 25 in New York on January 27, and at the Laemmle Royal in Los Angeles on February 3rd. A national release will follow.
After a fifteen-year absence, Christian (Paul Schneider) returns home to rural New South Wales for the marriage of his father, Henry (Geoffrey Rush), the wealthy owner of the local mill that’s been the economic bedrock of the community for generations. Christian gets reacquainted with his old friend Oliver (Ewen Leslie) and finds himself drawn to Oliver’s family, which includes wife Charlotte (Miranda Otto), daughter Hedvig (Odessa Young), and father-in-law Walter (Sam Neill). Unexpectedly, Christian discovers a secret that could tear Oliver’s family apart, and when Henry announces the imminent closure of the mill, it sends a quake through the community. As Christian tries to right the wrongs of the past, his actions threaten to shatter the lives of those he left behind years before.
The director Simon Stone has established himself as one of the most acclaimed (and one of the youngest) theatre directors in Australia and now works extensively in Europe and the UK, with companies including Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Münchner Kammerspiele, Burgtheater Wien, Theatre Basel, Theatre Oberhausen, London’s Young Vic and the Hamburg Schauspielhaus amongst others.
Simon was the founder of The Hayloft Project; his work for that company has been nominated for over 20 Green Room Awards (Melbourne’s premier peer-presented, performing arts industry awards). Simon was resident director at Belvoir St Theatre from 2010 to 2013. During this time he directed and adapted several works including The Wild Duck for which he won the 2011 Helpmann Award for Best Play and the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Mainstage Production and Best Direction. The Malthouse and Hayloft co-production of Thyestes, which was directed and co-written by Simon, won the 2010 Green Room Award for Best Production and Best Stage Adaptation and was staged at Theatre Nanterre Amandiers in France in 2015. THE DAUGHTER is his directorial film debut.
Director’s Statement by Simon Stone:
THE DAUGHTER is a memory-film without flashbacks. It takes place in a single fateful week, when the return of a man to his hometown triggers a series of revelations that had been dormant for years. The memories that resurface become the heartbeat of the piece, and time starts to implode for the characters as they try to make sense of what their past means. In the middle of this complex matrix of self-recrimination is a teenage girl just starting to learn what life might mean, full of all the joys and insecurities of self- discovery, she is truly vulnerable to the mess that the adults around her are making. It’s a film about people trying to be good, loving and failing, falling prey to weakness, fighting to survive. It’s about how the events of the past are inescapable and how the truth isn’t for a single person to decide, it’s for a community to share in all of its complications. And if we can’t protect the weakest among us, what’s it all been for?