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Mia Forrest ‘City Crush’

A lavish thug poaches an exotic young trophy-boy and smuggles him into City Crush. When our would be ivory concubine escapes during his own sale he must navigate the desolation, boredom, and deviant lust of the locals. City Crush is a visually rich film that experiments with the conventions of slow cinema - an opportunity for the audience to enjoy a slower paced film.

Director Biography

Mia Forrest is a filmmaker and photographer from Brisbane, Australia. Stylistically, she is experimental in her filmmaking, in that she is interested in limiting her filmic framework to certain devices, in order to see how far she can take them to present alternative modes of storytelling. Her films have been exhibited internationally, including at the "Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival" in Scotland, and the "Cannes Short Film Corner", as well as others, and her music videos have been broadcast on Australia's national broadcaster (ABC), and nominated for a 2016 "Queensland Music Award".

Director Statement

City Crush subverts the ordinarity that historically defines suburban culture, in an attempt to highlight the extraordinary within the ordinary and to re-evaluate the once idyllic suburban dream. In blatantly presenting the ordinary, there is a magic window to discover an absurd and gritting humour that exists under the veil of the ordinary.

After driving through the outskirts of my home city, Brisbane, I found myself time-and-time-again to be intrigued by the desolate forgotten areas; abandoned factories, empty car yards, brutalist cement structures underneath disused train bridges with layers of graffiti. In these seemingly dead spaces, there was a detail that wrote itself into the film; I saw the devious thug waiting in his car at the speedway racetrack dust bowl in Archerfield, the half inflated flailing plastic tubes in the corner of an empty sale yards that once had a job to command the attention of drivers passing through Moorooka. I heard the yelling advertising television from the white-picket-fence-brick-home with an ordinary front fence in Brendale, and I wondered how the spectator felt - all of these observations make an appearance in some way City Crush.

As a film without dialogue, City Crush relies on suggestive character behaviours and mise en scene to tell the unusual tale of suburban living. Gregory Crewdson’s photography partially inspired this approach, as I felt his conceptual photographs transmitted rich and mysterious narratives. I therefore envisioned the film to be composed exclusively in wide, static, long shots. By composing shots this way, I felt it was unobtrusive and would position the audience as an observer or voyeur, and quite literally through the device of the wide shot, offer an openness to the interpretation of the ambiguity of the story and characters.

Director’s such as Ulrich Seidl (“Paradise Liebe”), Lars Von Trier (“Gerry”), Todd Solondz (“Happiness”, “Welcome to the Dollhouse”), and Harmony Korine (“Gummo”, “Trash Humpers”) often depict marginalized societies, and bold and complex uncouth behaviours of peoples in their films, which greatly inspired my character taste and tone. In casting for the City Crush, I wanted to steer away from overt drama actors and attract regular people who are blesse’d with strangeness.

The film depicts a simple narrative; it’s meaning is open to interpretation


  • Screenings / Awards
  • Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival

Hawick, Scotland
April 16, 2016
UK Premiere

  • Speechless Film Festival

Minnesota, USA
March 16, 2016
North American Premiere

  • WorldFest-Houston International Film & Video Festival

United States
Bronze REMI Award

Mia Forrest 'City Crush'Australia 2015 13'24"

Narrative· Country of Filming: Australia · Shooting Format: Digital · Aspect Ratio: Scope · Film Color: Color