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Book Week - Q&A with director Heath Davis

Chasing your dream doesn't always go to plan, but sometimes it will set you on a different course.

By Tamara Howie

Writer and director Heath Davis wrote the film Book Week - a tale of an arrogant English teacher trying to write a novel - after returning to teach in Australia from a stint trying to make a movie in America, which didn't go to plan.

“The film in the US fell over at the 11th hour, so I’d gone from having my dream come true, back to reality - it was a bit of a crash landing back to Earth,” he says.

While back in the classroom Davis connected with other teachers and started to write the black comedy using inspiration from real life.

“There’s a bit of me in almost all the characters and the things that I observed at school,” he says.

The film explores the pitfalls of being an artist and teacher, and the struggles of keeping high-school kids engaged and off their phones.

“We have a social media addiction - kids and adults. Kids have short attention spans and technology makes it even shorter," he says.

“They’re visual learners and we haven’t adapted as teachers - a lot of classrooms are prehistoric these days compared to the ways kids want to learn.”

Despite Davis admitting the film was written “by a teacher, for teachers”, he says it hits a chord with a diverse audience.

“There are a lot of themes that people identify with,” he says.

“Everyone, at some stage, has had a dream they have to give up on, or come to a cross roads with, but there’s a lot of laughs in there, too.”

Davis will be in Darwin for a Q&A at the screening on April 18.

Book Week Fri 12, Thu 18 & Tue 23 Apr, 7.30pm | Deckchair Cinema | $16 | $12 Conc | $10 Memb | $8 Child | $15 Family | deckchaircinema.com

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