I Wish I Had a River

Darby, A dissatisfied office worker with a vivid imagination, runs away from home after the death of their grandfather and the emotional distance of their father.

  • Ella Crowley
  • Ella Rose Crowley
  • Edmund Gotts
  • Thalia Dudek
    Key Cast
  • Serkan Tokgöz
    Key Cast
  • Kerry Peter
    Director of Photography
  • Zachary Abdilla
  • Nat Tarnanas
    Production Designer
  • Nikolas Montagnese
    1st Assistant Director
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Family, Experimental
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Swinburne University of Technology
  • Cinaesthesia 2021-2022
    February 9, 2022
    Student Screening
    Best Director, Best Producer & Best Editor
  • Setting Sun Film Festival 2022
    May 9, 2022
    Australian Premiere
    Offical Selection
Director Biography - Ella Crowley

Ella Crowley (she/her) is a 21-year-old director, writer, theatre-maker and film-loving person. She is currently studying film at Swinburne University and has written & directed four short films, with two being featured as a part of the Setting Sun Film Festival in 2018 and 2022. Ella is also a producer, production designer and loves the joy of storytelling and filmmaking.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

This idea is inspired by The Red Tree, a book by Shaun Tan, a book I used to read when I was little. I was heavily influenced by the lonely visuals of the book. This story is important to me because I think while it takes place in usual situations and settings - I believe the themes of grief and escapism are universal and the scenes between Darby and their father are grounded in an honesty that audiences would gravitate towards. In terms of visual style I want the film to feel like an alternate universe, where everything is slightly heightened. For example in the office scenes everyone is dressed the same.
I wrote this story about my Pa who was a sailor and a carpenter. He would always build things for me - I was a very bossy child who would draw him plans for my dollhouse and he would take them and make them for me. He was so full of life and used his skills to create a vivid fantasy life for me and my younger brother. He would build fairy doors for us to put on trees and crutches for my stuffed toys when he decided they were looking injured. When he died it left a big hole in my family. We all grieved in different ways and at different times and that’s where the idea for the film came from.