Dustin Clare Goes Off Grid

January 12, 2016
The actor turned distributor/producer tells us his 5 favourite films.

Chances are you’ve seen Dustin Clare on television, even if you never knew his name. With recurring roles on shows including Strike Back, All Saints, Satisfaction, Underbelly, McLeod’s Daughters, Spartacus and Anzac Girls, Clare is a staple of the local small screen. His next career move is, however, less than typical and involves neither a directorial turn, a stint as a beleaguered celebrity on a reality diving competition or an alcoholic rehabilitation.

Instead, Dustin Clare is heading up a new distribution and production company, ‘Fighting Chance Films.’

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Back to nature: a scene from The Yukon in Life Off Grid.

Fighting Chance’s first effort was the well-received indie, Sunday, which starred Clare and his real life partner, Camille Keenan (more on that below), and now they turn distributor for a new documentary entitled Life Off Grid. Directed by Jonathan Taggart, the film chronicles a series of Canadians who live without access to the electric and natural gas infrastructure, and deals with how their collective experience draws on the skills of the past while being inspired by concerns for the future.

We caught up with Clare to ask him about the films that inspire him. He happily provided us with his top 5, plus a few honourable mentions.

1. Sunday (2015) – Writing, producing, acting in and distributing a film with Camille [Keenan] while she was 7 months pregnant with our first son, then having Darcy born during the process. It was a very intense experience. I have been with it for many years and I’m still with it and as a producer. And it’s a film I’m very proud of making.

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Camille Keenan with Dustin Clare in Sunday.

2. Braveheart (1995) I remember going to see it with my family at Ballina Fair Cinema, it was a packed house, not an empty seat in the place. It simply typified great storytelling. It inspired, and it affected its audience.

3. Vanilla Sky (2001) Seeing it as a teenager, it was a film that stayed with me for long after I had seen it. It made you think harder, it didn’t tell you what to think, and the romance of it and the effect it had on me has always stayed with me.
4. The Proposition (2005) I love Australian history. I’m very passionate about it, particularly colonial Australian history. This was a clever story that depicted the time and the harsh realities of a colonial Australia so well.

5. All or Nothing (2002) Timothy Spall gives one of the most remarkable performances of all time. It’s a truly moving piece. He and Mike Leigh together are a rare genius at work.

Honourable mentions: On the Waterfront, Giant, Donnie Darko, Gallipoli, The Man from Snowy River.

Life Off Grid has a limited theatrical release commencing 4 February in Australia and New Zealand. The digital release on iTunes Fetch TV, Google Play and Xbox (through MADMAN) is set for the same date. The film is also available for booking through TUGG.

For more information, visit the Life Off Grid Facebook Page.

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