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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Long Story Short: a tale of living life in the moment

Actress Zahra Newman believes Australians have a tendency for “looking outside of ourselves for inspiration” but hopes the nation’s film and television industry continues to thrive.

“We have an amazing landscape to film on, so I think we shouldn’t forget that we have the talent and actual land,” she says.

“In the last few months, Australia has been an attractive place to film and I hope that continues.”

Newman stars in her feature film debut – new romantic comedy Long Story Short – alongside Rafe Spall (Life of Pi, The Big Short, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), as well as Ronny Chieng, Dena Kaplan, and Noni Hazlewood.

Directed and written by Josh Lawson, it follows serial procrastinator Teddy (Spall), an English expat in Sydney who thinks he has all the time in the world.

However, after an odd encounter with a stranger (Hazlewood), Teddy wakes up the morning after his wedding to discover he’s jumped forward a year in his life to his first anniversary.

His wife Leanne (Newman) is now heavily pregnant, with a full year of marriage behind them that he doesn’t remember living.

With the help of his best friend (Chieng), Teddy tries to piece together where it all went wrong and, as his life flashes before his eyes, he must learn how to live life in the precious moments to win back the woman he loves, even if it’s just for a second.

Newman says she jumped at the chance to be part of a small but talented cast.

“When I read the script, the scenes were actually quite long and, in a film and TV script, they are normally [fairly] short,” she says.

“I’ve got a theatre background, so getting a roll on in a scene was really attractive to me.

“Teddy and Leanne have really good banter and it was quite playful.

“We didn’t have a massive cast so we really got along and having Rafe – you can’t buy that.

“It was a massive joy for me to work with someone like him with all his experience.”

Long Story Short was released in cinemas across Australia this week.

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