From Belvoir's stage to silver screen—Ruben Guthrie makes the leap

​A play that was born in the Downstairs theatre at Belvoir and reshaped for Upstairs, is now a film, set to open the Sydney Film Festival on 3 June. Brendan Cowell’s quintessential Ruben Guthrie is on the move.

From Belvoir's stage to silver screen—Ruben Guthrie makes the leap

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It was nominated for Best New Australian Play in 2008 at the Sydney Theatre Awards, and for an AWGIE Stage Award and a NSW Premier’s Literary Award in 2009.

At the time it was a piece of theatre, the reviews glowed: ‘It's great entertainment, cutting social criticism, and quality literature’, saidSydney TimeOut.

‘Handsomely scaled-up after its successful debut last year, Brendan Cowell'sRuben Guthrie earns a spot on the top shelf of contemporary Australian comedies’, saidTheSydney Morning Herald.

Ruben Guthrie is Brendan Cowell’s brutally honest comedy about work, family and excess. It’s a play which taps a deep vein of Australian life and asks, is it unAustralian to refuse a drink?

The play was famously based on Cowell's own attempt to have a break from alcohol for a year after over-doing it.

In the film, directed by Cowell, Patrick Brammall plays Ruben Guthrie, a moneyed advertising whiz-kid and party boy with a model girlfriend.

Others in the cast include Alex Dimitriades, Abbey Lee, Robyn Nevin and Jack Thompson.

Filmed over five weeks last year, the $2.5 million production highlights the ‘ugly struggles of the beautiful people’, Brendan Cowell says.

It was shot on location all over Sydney, and is produced by Kath Shelper (Samson and Delilah).

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