18 April 2012 | brendan-265
21 minute family drama set in remote Australia
First Contact is the story of teenage girl "Jess" (Isabelle McMaster) who's tired of her isolated existence with overly-protective father "Jack" (Olaf Savage), a dirt-poor rabbit hunter still grieving the loss of his wife. Living basic in caravans on the edge of a giant salt lake, the uneasy calm between the pair is broken when Jess finds a dying black man "Chenzira" (Ian Harry) lying half naked in the nearby bushes. Jack is wary and fearful but Jess insists on helping. She's now caught between the needs of the frightened stranger and the demands of her suspicious father which comes to a dramatic head on a lonely bush track. The sombre sound track and vast empty landscape bring an eerie mood to the film, helping to capture the loneliness, fear and frustration felt by all three characters at various times and set up the film for a moving resolve. The production design is intricate, the dialogue measured and the performances outstanding. Emerging writer-director, Matt Richards, can be proud of this work.