North’s Monster Film Opp

Townsville's Nimisha Aithal is one of the mostly local crew involved in Mad Dan's 'Monsters of Many Worlds' IMAGE: Supplied

Townsville’s standing as a burgeoning hub for the film industry will get another boost when a local project premieres during the SBS Short Film Festival this September.

Monsters of Many Worlds, created by Mad Dan Productions’ Madeleine Dyer and Daniel Mulvihill, is a series of three, five-minute shorts shot in Townsville using local storytellers and mostly local crew.

Daniel said the docuseries mixes live action and animation to explore scary stories that have been added to Australia’s rich cultural fabric.

“The show follows three women who share scary stories of monsters from their cultural backgrounds; stories that they continue to share here in Australia,” explained Daniel. “Despite these monsters originating from very different worlds, they share distinct similarities and are just as scary as each other.”

The project was commissioned by SBS and Screen Queensland in an initiative that sought to showcase short films from diverse and underrepresented Australian filmmakers.

“We felt like regional, and North Queensland women in particular, were underrepresented – especially those from culturally diverse backgrounds. That seemed like a really strong and unheard voice needing to be heard,” Daniel said. “So we enabled these stories to come to life and just guided them together structurally. They are stories that belong to these women and their cultures, but the beauty is we can all share in hearing them.”

The stories are told by Townsville’s Jenny Pryor and Nimisha Aithal, and Susanna Qian from Melbourne.

“We felt [Jenny and Nimisha] both embodied the truth and strength to be engaging and real in how they brought these stories to life,” Daniel said.

“Although there was a loose script we provided for the shoot, Jenny and Nim really added a truth and authenticity to each story and we relied heavily on them to almost rewrite the script in rehearsal and during the shoot.

“Without them involved, the series wouldn’t be anywhere as potent, important and entertaining as it turned out to be.”

Only the animation team and a few tech advisors working on this project were not from North Queensland.


Monsters of Many Worlds will premiere on 13 September as part of the SBS Short Film Festival on SBS ON Demand. 

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