The Dream Children

Unable to to adopt legally, young couple Steven and Alex turn to the black market in order to become parents. Soon their ideal is realized, until the return of the child's natural mother threatens their fragile existence.

  • Robert Chuter
    The Mortal Coil, In Der Nachtluft, Come Said The Boy, A Beautiful Request
  • Angus Brown
  • Christopher Pender
    Path to Success
  • Robert Chuter
    XOS: A Cry for Help, Letting Go, Killer Zombies, Tax
  • Graeme Squires
    Key Cast
    "Steven Evans"
    Home and Away, Cops LAC, Packed to the Rafters
  • Nicholas Gunn
    Key Cast
    "Alex Thomason "
    The Devils Whispers, Lemon Tree Passage, Hunter's Club
  • Christopher Pender
    Key Cast
    "Jake "
    Rush, Dovetail, Fearless, Memoriam, I Can Speak Swedish
  • Jessikah Brown
    Key Cast
    Suite for Fleur
  • Liam Mcintyre
    Key Cast
    "TV Announcer "
    Spartacus: Vengeance, Spartacus: War of the Damned, Fancy, Anniversary, Radev, The Legend of Hercules
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Gay and Lesbian, Australian, Romance
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 37 minutes 41 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 17, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    1,000,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    RED One
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Official Selection - Melbourne Queer Film Festival 2015
    March 24, 2015
    Australasian Premiere
  • Official Selection - Melbourne Queer Film Festival (Reprise Screening)
    March 29, 2015
    Reprise Screening
  • Official Selection - Made In Melbourne Film Festival 2015
  • Official Selection - Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2015
    United States
  • Official Selection - Indianapolis LGBT FilM Festival 2015
    United States
    November 7, 2015
    North American Premiere
  • Selezione Ufficiale - 30th Torino Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2015
  • Official Selection - Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2015

Distribution Information
  • ArtiFilms
    Country: Netherlands
    Rights: All Rights
    Country: Belgium
    Rights: All Rights
    Country: Luxembourg
    Rights: All Rights
  • FilmRise
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights
  • Pro Fun Media
    Country: Germany
  • AngerMan Distribution
    Country: Australia
    Rights: All Rights, Internet, Video on Demand, Pay Per View, Theatrical, Free TV, Paid TV
Director Biography - Robert Chuter

Award-winning Australian director Robert Chuter has built a reputation for testing the boundaries of theatre, film and other visual mediums. Gaining comparisons to Fassbinder and Greenaway for his dazzling and provocative imagery, Chuter has given audiences over 260+ complex, controversial and visually stunning productions in film, theatre and music videos.

With his groundbreaking spite-specific highly praised productions such as Genet’s 'La Miracle de la Rose' and 'Lady Chatterley's Lover', he earned himself a reputation as a formidable creative mind and collected multiple awards along the way.

In 1981, after attending the Victorian College of the Arts – School of Drama, he was trainee director at the Queensland Theatre Company in Brisbane. He was accepted into the prestigious Swinburne Film and Television School in 1983 along with such luminaries - directors John Hillcoat, Paul Goldman, Richard Lowenstein, Clayton Jacobson, Jonathan M. Shiff, Andrew Dominik, Aleksi Vellis, Geoffrey Wright, Gillian Armstrong and others.

He has also produced numerous films: 'Tax', 'XOS; A Cry for Help', 'Letting Go', 'In From The Sea' and the cult hit 'Killer Zombies' (starring Noah Taylor) and as an actor has appeared in the other cult hits 'Salt Saliva Sperm and Sweat' (1988 Best Australian Short at Melbourne International Film Festival and AFI nomination - Best Soundtrack), 'Shut In' (2000 Special Invitation screenings Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. 1988 Sydney Film Festival (Judges Commendation) 1988, Broadcast by Canal+ 1987 St. Kilda Film Festival rated a "Classic" in the Joe Bob Briggs Report) and the 'Fearless' (appears as himself in the doco screened worldwide and ABC-TV 1, Ovation – Foxtel).

Chuter won the AAV Australia Award for his graduation film 'The Mortal Coil', other films include In 'Der Nachtluft (In The Night Air)', 'Change' and 'Come Said the Boy'.

He is presently developing his next feature, the awe-inspiring 'The Hidden Well' – a portmanteau film composed of six standalone chapters united by a common stylistic framework . 'The Dream Children' represents his debut as a feature film director and producer.

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Director Statement

When you ask someone: “What do they want in life?” It is a difficult thing to answer. Many would answer: “fame, fortune”, others might answer: “house, money, security” and others “family, children.” Of course it depends on what your priorities are and at what point you’re at in your life, but what most people, I believe, are trying to articulate is some kind of tangible happiness. But for some, happiness is an elusive idea. How do we achieve it? How do we know if we have achieved it? Is it a state of being and if so, what is the difference between happiness and contentment? What stands in its way? Most of this cannot be answered conclusively, but to the last question I can offer a suggestion: ourselves. 'The Dream Children' is many things but the backbone of the film is the psychological journey of Steven Evans, a television celebrity whose success is ultimately choking him. He is a man that if you were to ask him what he wanted would be, like many of us, dumbfounded. Although in love with his partner, Evans hurls himself into numerous sexual liaisons in desperate attempts to awaken himself up from his numbed state of being. Once their usefulness has been satisfied they are discarded and the hunt continues. He has no other form of self-expression. Paralleling this, is the journey of Alex Thomson, Evan’s partner who can no longer hold his tongue in relation to his dreams, Nerine, a mysterious young girl who holds the key to Thomson and Evans’ happiness and Jake, a heroin addict who, although trapped in the whirlpool of addiction and poverty, is nonetheless the omega to Evans’ alpha. All are trapped; one by sex, one by the idea of security, the other by drugs. All are searching for both nothing and something.

This film seemed to have evolved of it's own accord: taking on its own life and as such, many more themes and dimensions have surfaced. This is a work almost entirely of the subconscious, powered by an inexplicable force while I was merely the helmsman. As such, any further explanation would be futile. Inspiration is often found in the most simplest and surprising forms. From a small newspaper item found randomly in 1999, playwright Julia Britton began work on her play 'Internet Baby' about a same-sex couple who adopt a baby over the internet. The play was given its first public reading in 2001 at Carlton’s La Mama Theatre before being revised and updated in 2002. Although the reading proved successful, the play remained idle for years. In 2009, Fly-On-The-Wall Theatre finally gave it its first full production under the new title 'The Dream Children' at the La Mama Courthouse as part of the Midsumma Festival. The opening night provoked heated discussion and strong reactions from both media and audience alike. This was clearly not a play that was going to lay silent after the third and final week.

With the debate over same-sex marriage appearing almost daily in the headlines and the surprising case of a couple caught selling a baby on, the time seemed ripe to produce a film of this nature. As such, the word was given and preproduction for the film commenced. The original idea was to use the same cast as the stage production, utilising basic but professional HD technology and shooting “guerrilla style”, no budget and raw. As the months progressed and with the addition of new young writer Angus Brown in charge of the adaptation, the story expanded, the characters deepened and before long the production grew beyond the constraints of the initial plan. Schedules were pushed back, roles recast, sponsors brought onboard and the size of the crew had seemingly exploded.

‘The primary theme of Charles Lamb’s essay ‘The Dream Children: A Reverie’ is regret and loss: regret for unfulfilled love, lost hope and the lost joys of life.’ - Julia Britton, playwright.

Within a few months of the initial pitch, the cameras were rolling on the six week shoot. With such an accelerated pre-production and production phase, it is perhaps natural justice that the film would mark time before commencing into post-production. Much had changed during this period: Australia finally felt the shock-waves of the global economic crisis forcing otherwise enthusiastic investors to think twice before bankrolling independent film. Many otherwise large-scale productions were either cancelled or remained chasing their tails in what director Patrick Hughes ('Red Hill') called “development hell” following a string of critical and box office failures. Many were questioning the future of the Australian film industry. With this in mind, the decision was soon made to test the relatively new “crowd funding” method on the net. Its relative success has now moved the film to its final stages.

'The Dream Children' is an ambitious film, not only in terms of its production and extremely limited budget, but also its scope. This is a film that is at once explicit, intimate and subtle, casting its gaze across a broad range of themes with sensitivity. This is a story about loneliness, obsession, family, desire, celebrity, sexuality and love.