Raw-nerve drama about sexual assault drew from personal observation, not the zeitgeist – interview with writer/director Michael Bentham

Michael Bentham: “There’s an enormous amount of toxicity that comes out of a situation in which your child is either harmed or threatened.”

Now in release after Covid-19 wreaked havoc on its release plans, the remarkable, independent, hot-button sexual assault drama Disclosure is now on screens. Writer/director Michael Bentham kindly sat down for a deep-dive interview at the Cameo cinemas, which championed the film before it secured a spot on the program at the Nova.

Please enjoy. Includes The Schembri Challenge.

Disclosure interview index
00:00​ Poster art
01:12​ Outline of film’s themes;
02:30​ Contemporary resonance;
03:19​ Why make the film; genesis;
04:40​ Re-victimization;
05:15​ Original idea unrelated to news events;
06:00​ Desired impact;
06:35​ Issue of online parental protection;
07:25​ Research;
07:56​ Research vs drama;
09:20​ Working with cast; long takes;
10:15​ “Cooking” a performance;
12:00​ Casting;
14:04​ Touching on current events;
15:50​ Christian Porter case; statistics;
17:00​ Issue of credible allegations;
18:03​ Making a film without support;
19:35​ Cold submitting to festivals;
20:20​ Palm Springs Film Festival and programmer Jane Schoettle;
21:30​ Life of the film; COVID nixing deals;
22:47​ Getting traction in Australia; Bonsai Films;
23:28​ Cameo screenings;
24:41​ Marketing and publicity budget;
24:59​ The Schembri Challenge;
29:19​ Teaching.