Screen storyteller’s sweet success

Catherine MasseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
Film writer and director Jub Clerc is Nyul Nyul/Yawuru woman excited to be given the opportunity to tell her story.
Camera IconFilm writer and director Jub Clerc is Nyul Nyul/Yawuru woman excited to be given the opportunity to tell her story. Credit: Martine Perret/Martine Perret

Dunsborough film writer and director Jub Clerc this month received major funding for her debut feature film, Sweet As, a story inspired by her own experiences growing up in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions.

The extensive funding was committed by Screenwest, Lotterywest — with support from the Western Australian Regional Film Fund — the Melbourne International Film Festival and Premiere Fund, and Film Victoria.

Clerc’s film has been seven years in the works and is a coming-of-age road movie inspired by what it means to have a helping hand during transition to young adulthood.

“I’ve embellished a lot of my own experiences to bring the stakes much higher and create a more profound story arc for the protagonist,” Clerc said.

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The feature is set in the Pilbara region, following a troubled 15-year-old Indigenous girl named Murra, who finds herself abandoned after an altercation with her mother.

Clerc said the film would explore unconventional friendships, first crushes and finding out who you were while on the path less travelled.

“The funding amount that we have received is going to allow me to make the film that I wanted to make,” she said.

Clerc, a Nyul Nyul/Yawuru woman and Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts graduate, has worked on many popular films such as Jasper Jones, Mad Bastards, and The Heights series two.

She co-wrote Sweet As with actor and writer Steve Rodgers.

Clerc said she was excited to be given the opportunity to tell her story and her “Liyan” — a word signifying Yawuru and other Aboriginal peoples’ sense of wellbeing — was bursting.

“I am so humbled to pay homage to the Pilbara region, where I grew up, and to the people who raised me,” she said.

Screen Australia Indigenous Department head Penny Smallacombe said Clerc was an exciting talent and the organisation was thrilled to support her in the next step in her career.

“We are also excited that this story is told from the point of view of a young Aboriginal teenager, a perspective we don’t see enough of on screen,” she said.

Filming will begin early next year in the Pilbara and will take up to eight weeks.

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