Filmmakers in Focus - The Infinite Man, The Mule, Ukraine is Not a Brothel

Written by Jim Kolmar | February 26, 2014
Filmmakers Hugh Sullivan, Angus Sampson and Kitty Green

Three very different films feature in this edition of Filmmakers in Focus, so what's the common thread? Each one is the work of a talented Australian filmmaker.

Hugh Sullivan's The Infinite Man is head-spinning time-travel romantic comedy of sorts, ingeniously constructed and beautifully directed. Angus Sampson's The Mule is a scatological crime drama featuring Hugo Weaving and a most unusual plot device. Finally, Kitty Green's Ukraine is Not a Brothel is a genuinely important, intimate and beautiful look at the people behind Ukrainian feminist organization, FEMEN.

Read more about these singular filmmaker's below, and head to this page for the rest of our Filmmakers in Focus interviews.

Hugh Sullivan on [The Infinite Man]

Tell us a little about your film.

The Infinite Man is a time travel comedy romance. It’s about an unorthodox scientist whose attempts to create the ultimate romantic experience backfire when his lover is trapped in temporal loop.

Why did you start making films?

At a certain point filmmaking seemed like the best way to combine a variety of interests. I also drew a lot of comics. These were not like the Roman epics drawn by Scorsese, however; they were lower budget affairs, with thinly drawn characters and primarily grindhouse concerns.

Have you been to SXSW before? What are you most looking forward to?

I haven’t been to SXSW before, so I’m really looking forward to it. Of particular interest are the films, but also Austin itself.

Tell us a random fact (or two!) that would help our attendees get a better idea of who you are.

I was born in one of Austin's sister cities.

Angus Sampson on [The Mule]

Tell us a little about your film.

It is a story about consumption and character. of people lying to one another. Lying to themselves. about ego and pride. But mostly it's a celebration of the charismatic. Set in 1983.

Why did you start making films?

I was inspired to do so after working/helping on set with my friends..that's inspiration has never ceased. First film I made was at school entitled 'Death of The BBQ Kings'..edited in-situ on a VHS camera. Many say I may never reached those 'lofty heights' again...

Have you been to SXSW before? What are you most looking forward to?

Not physically, however the other half of THE MULE - Leigh Whannell has. He wrote, ep'd and acted (whereas I acted) in Insidious which had it's world premiere at SXSW in 2011. Leigh has always raved about how brilliant Austin and SXSW is...am looking forward to visiting with him and his Texan wife, attending Alamo theatres with Austin cinephiles...and possibly meeting the head geek!!

Tell us a random fact (or two!) that would help our attendees get a better idea of who you are.

ANGUS MURRAY LINCOLN SAMPSON - Am named after three breeds of cow and the worlds tallest ever recorded horse.

Appearing in the new Mad Max: Fury Road

Leigh and I used to be house mates.

Kitty Green [Ukraine Is Not A Brothel]

Tell us a little about your film.

Ukraine Is Not A Brothel is a documentary feature film about Ukraine's topless feminist sensation Femen. I spent a year living with these bold and beautiful women in a crumbling Soviet apartment block on the outskirts of Kiev. Ukraine is considered the sex tourism capital of Europe and Femen protest topless in order to combat this image and agitate the patriarchal forces corrupting their country. Ukraine Is Not A Brothel provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of these women and closely scrutinizes the many contradictions that pervade the world's most provocative feminist movement.

Why did you start making films?

My parents have been cleaning out their garage and they found boxes and boxes of my old Hi8 tapes. I spent my childhood attaching Barbie dolls to fishing line and filming their exploits. It is all I ever wanted to do.

Have you been to SXSW before? What are you most looking forward to?

No, I've never been to Texas before. I hear they wear big hats.

Tell us a random fact (or two!) that would help our attendees get a better idea of who you are.

I get a birthday card each year from the KGB.

Photo credit: The Mule, courtesy Narelle_Sheehan
The Infinite Man, courtesy Marden_Dean Ukraine is not a Brothel, courtesy Ozan_Kse