AUSTRALIAN filmmaker John Chatwin is not sure if he believes LGBTI characters are underrepresented on TV and film, but he did acknowledge that the industry has come a long way since he was young.

So much so, that it was one of the reasons he felt confident enough to create his new series Curious-City, and its pilot episode will be part of a special community screening in Sydney on Wednesday night.

“I think Australian TV and TV in general has changed so much for Gay characters and themes,” Chatwin told the Star Observer.

“I remember as kid at school when Roseanne had the gay kiss on TV and the drama surrounding it, they wouldn’t screen it and eventually was screened at 10pm as it was so taboo.

“That was so silly really as the kiss was innocent and nothing to get excited or outraged over.”

Chatwin said Curious-City is a “daring, innovative, surrealist, black comedy [and] drama” that intends to push the boundaries of Australian television.

He hasn’t filmed the full series yet, but he wanted to obtain LGBTI community and social media support first by screening the pilot episode before seeking funding.

John Chatwin

John Chatwin

“The idea of the screening is to show it to an audience in a relaxed, fun, alternative, non clinical way and since it was a communal project we want to invite the gay community to come and be part of something very unique and see if we can push it through people power,” he said.

“I have not sold this show and I cannot afford to produce a series on my own, so Curious-City has an uncertain future. At this time the opportunity to experience Curious-City is limited, so don’t miss out.”

Curious-City follows Oliver, a seemingly polite, amicable man who visits the homes of people selling items online via Gumtree. However, there’s a twist: his intention is not to purchase the advertised items.

While Chatwin would not reveal much about the story, he spoke of his desire to make a show about people’s darkest secrets and desires.

“I also wanted to make and see a darkly humorous show about a psychologist. I wanted to explore the concept of people letting strangers into their homes as a result of online communication,” he said.

Chatwin — who has been making films since he was 12 and has had past works screened in LGBTI film festivals in Australia and around the world — said that while he encountered several challenges in making the 30-minute pilot episode, the rewards outweighed them.

“The most rewarding aspect to working on any production like this is the people,” he said.

“Seeing people coming together, placing their trust in me and offering such commitment and dedication for absolutely no payment, the enthusiasm and collective energy resulting from this is incredibly invigorating and satisfying.”

Curious-City is Chatwin’s first foray into TV.

Curious City will premiere at special event at Cinema DEN Café Bar, Darlinghurst on November 26. Numerous screenings from 6.30pm. Details: www.curious-city.tv.

Watch the trailer:

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