What can you tell us about Rafael, the protagonist of your new film Adventures Of A Happy Homeless Man?
Rafael (Felino Dolloso) is a former corporate high-flyer who has lost his job, his marriage and his home, but he still insists that he’s happy. Despite being homeless, he never loses his sense of cheekiness and his passion for music. Calling himself ‘Bobo the Hobo’, he confidently tries to pursue a music career and an acting career. I want to tell a story about how this person hits rock bottom, still doesn’t give up on his passion, overcomes the struggles and then finally gets back up on their feet again, stronger than ever.
What made you decide to package the film’s important message inside a top layer of comedy?
I want the audience to have some fun while watching the film, but also think about how the characters – not just Rafael – deal with life difficulties, and how they solve problems in humorous ways. I want the film to inspire people not to give up on their dreams, despite all the challenges in life.
How much of Sydney’s homeless problem lies beneath the surface as something the average Sydneysider wouldn’t see on a day-to-day basis?
We often walk past them without realising that they may have interesting stories to tell.
The film is shot in documentary style. Is the intention to give the audience a story they can relate to more closely than traditional ‘fiction’?
Yes, I want the audience to get the ‘raw reality’ feeling when watching it.
What are the particular challenges of making an independent film in the Sydney market?
Scheduling is challenging. Everyone is so busy with their own lives. Because most of the cast and crew were only able to film at nights and on weekends, I wrote a script where most of the scenes are night scenes. And it worked perfectly because I had a great cinematographer, Ferry Lie, who captured the wonders of Sydney nights. Another challenge is budget constraint. Due to budget limitation, you can only write things that you can afford to film. However, the budget shouldn’t limit your creativity in delivering a story that moves people.
Adventures Of A Happy Homeless Man runs Monday July 18 – Thursday July 21 at Chauvel Cinema.