WA actor and Flickerfest star Trevor Jamieson on the unique power of storytelling
Australia’s largest Short Film Festival, Flickerfest, returns to Perth this month, with a selection of films hand-picked from the festival’s record 3,200 entries, screening at Camelot Outdoor Cinema in Mosman Park (get more info and tickets here). It all kicks off on Thursday, February 23, with a night of Australian short films that shine a spotlight on the incredible talent in our industry with a host of stories honouring our unique identity and culture. One of the highlights is the world premiere of the quirky comedy The Fritz, where a confused man, played by acclaimed Noongar actor Trevor Jamieson (Storm Boy) is forced to confront his big family at an overwhelming birthday event after being hit by a meteor. BRAYDEN EDWARDS spoke to Trevor Jamieson to find out more about the film, the unique story behind his own acting career, and the powerful role film plays in sharing the stories of Australia.
The film you star in, The Fritz, is one of many great short films Australia can be proud of this Flickerfest! How did you come to be part of this film?
I was approached by Conor Mercury, from there that’s how things happened, through that connection. We met when we did the remake in 2019 of Stormboy and I was quite chuffed he asked me to be involved. And during Covid I remember Conor was doing production office stuff and he approached me and I thought “yeah that would be cool!”
Without giving too much away, who do you play in the film and what kind of character is he?
Well, I play Thomas who’s a quirky character and I thought the role works because of the uncertainty. He was right up my alley and as Conor and I spoke about it more, I thought it would be great to really get into the quirkiness. I’ve been told I’ve been comedic before, and it comes out when I least expect it.
There are some very special guests in this film too…
Some of the other actors Derick Lynch, Clarence Ryan and Natasha Wanganeen are actually related to me! Clarence and I met on Lockie Leonard where we worked as father and son, and we found out he is my nephew. It was great to be working with him again. Natasha and I first worked together on Rabbit Proof Fence. She is related to me on my mothers side of the family. And Derrick and I went on tour for a documentary called Namatjira which you can see on Stan. And of course it was exciting to meet Kamahl, a connection that I hoped people would go “how the hell did they get him?”
Growing up in remote WA seems a long way from theatres and film studios. Do you recall when you first thought you wanted to do acting? And was there any particular person that inspired you?
I started at a theatre in Esperance, a high school play called Honey Spot by writer Jack Davis. My auntie Lynn was inspirational for me. There were other things I thought I wanted to do, like become a police officer or an athlete, but she came along and showed me the possibilities of being an actor – one of the last things I thought I wanted to do. I did an audition and got a role in Bran Nue Dae in 1993 and I never looked back. I’ve had a lot of great support from my teachers at Esperance Senior High School.
As someone close to the action, how do you feel film is important in sharing the stories of regional Australia, and First Nations people in particular?
It’s always about storytelling and that’s the exciting thing about our culture. The stories Australia has to offer…there are so many gems, and the way Conor and Morgan the writer/directors of The Fritz put this team together, it had the feeling that an important story was going to be told. I get excited by something that feels new and when I can get out there and tell something new. It gives out the flavour of what Australia has to offer, and usually the smaller stuff is Australia’s biggest strength. Once it’s out there, people are always looking forward to the next story from Australia.
This is one of many great films screening at Flickerfest this year. What are some others that are also worth looking out for?
I could be biased and say Bunker, another that I was involved with, but there are so many great shorts to choose from. There are so many short filmmakers at the moment that are making really great stories, and all young filmmakers who’ve got their films into Flickerfest are talented.
And what kind of year is 2023 going to be like for you? Any more exciting projects in the pipeline?
Maybe a musical, there’s also a couple more short films. Other than that, I’m always waiting to hear from my manager for anything exciting! I’m always looking forward to extending the list of amazing people I get to work alongside with.