PÖFF: West of Sunshine

Separated from his family and caught in a cycle of gambling and debt, Jim has less than a day to repay a violent loan shark. His day is turned upside down when he must look after his young son who is on school holidays. Jim’s relationship with his son is tested as his plans to pay back the loan fail. When his last desperate effort to repay the debt puts his son’s life at risk, he must make a choice between his past and a second chance at life.

„West of Sunshine“ is a story of love, free will and intergenerational trauma. It explores love not just as an idea or a feeling but as actions we must take. On this day-long journey Jim learns to let go of his own trauma of abandonment and take a second chance at life: to be a father to his son. He chooses to love and be loved. Cinematically I took inspiration from Italian Neorealist cinema, documenting the unfolding events, but also playing with that style to heighten the subtext in key moments of the film. In a disconnected society my aim for this film was to celebrate the simple but fundamental values of humanity and family.“

Jason Raftopoulos, Film Director