Flying High, Longlist - Personal


Riley Blakeway

INVINCIBL3 began as a study of Identity, Inspired by my own upbringing and continual observations made throughout small towns of Australia. I wrote and shot this film at my dads’s house in the town of Taree, NSW after moving home for a stint during the initial COVID 19 outbreak. After spending most of my 20’s overseas and returning home to a small suburb, I was fascinated by the eclectic mix of international cultural influences and the way they had been combined and appropriated into this rural landscape. I’ve always been interested in the way Modern Australia struggles with a lack of natural identity. Australian is so far removed from the rest of the world geographically, but influenced so heavily by foreign popular culture. When we try to assimilate these cultural influences into our own, the authenticity is often altered or lost in translation. Regardless, these appropriations seem to infiltrate, take on new life and become widely accepted as being part of the norm. As I researched and developed the concept, I found adolescent men to be the most distinct examples of this concept and so I centred the film around a suburban teenage boy that loves rugby, Japanese drift cars, British drum and bass music and Australian outlaw Ned Kelly. From there, the film evolved and enriched into a more concentrated study of identity, but also a study of status, fragile masculinity, small town mentality and the questionable heroes Australia often celebrates. The film then materialised into a tone poem of sorts, depicting a modern Australian Spirit Quest. I chose the experimental format leaning heavily on music and sound design to move away from the obvious and create an emotional connection with the audience. The DOP Campbell Brown and I set out to create a euphoric, floating and rhythmic language as a means to access and explore the protagonists feeling state without passing bias or judgment. The nuances of culture I find interesting about Australia are inherently subjective, so whilst there was quite a considered study involved in the film’s conception, I wanted to keep it visually captivating and entertaining, regardless of the individual interpretation. Thanks, Riley

Riley Blakeway is an Australian-born award-winning filmmaker and photographer. His films have screened at festivals around the world, including the UKMVA’s the Vimeo awards, SXSW, Raindance, Ciclope, Kinsale, Semi Permanent and The New Orleans Film Festival. His work has been shared by The New York Times, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, Pitchfork, Clash, ID, NPR, Rolling Stone, NOWNESS and The Los Angeles Times.