The Infernal Optimist

Stephen Abbott, Warren Coleman

Feature film
Comedy • Drama

A charismatically incorrigible small-time crim finds himself in big-time trouble when he is unexpectedly caught up in Australia’s immigration detention system.

Synopsis

Well, what can you do? thinks Zeki Togan, Turkish-Australian small-time break-and-enter specialist, when cops pick him up on a trivial charge and he unexpectedly finds himself in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre. Though he’s lived in Australia since he was a baby, Zeki has never become a citizen – who bothers …

About Stephen Abbott

Steve Abbott is a successful Australian comedian, author, poet and screenwriter with a career spanning thirty years. Steve appeared regularly from 1993 to 2000 on Australian national youth radio with his cult comic creation The Sandman, as a breakfast host and performer. He wrote several plays including The Headbutt, which he co- directed with Neil Armfield (for Belvoir St), seven books, four comedy CDs, several radio comedy series as well as hosting two of his own comedy variety television series for SBS TV. In 2004 SBS screened Sandman In Siberia, a documentary Steve co-produced, wrote and appeared in.

Steve originally met cowriter and long-time collaborator Warren Coleman in Newcastle as part of the Castanet Club. The duo would tour as part of the Castanet Club all around Australia and then to the Edinburgh Festival, appearing in the feature film The Castanet Club: A Movie You Can Dance To (directed by Neil Armfiedl). In 2007 Warren and Steve regrouped to write a feature screenplay based on Linda Jaivin’s comic character novel The Infernal Optimist, with Screen Australia support. Screen NSW also supported their feature screenplay Birdbrain, loosely based on Steve’s ABC radio podcast, with producer Amanda Higgs.

Soon they had a television series in development for one of Australia’s most successful TV producers, John Edwards, and the Nine Network – as well as story development work for Google. They worked on the screenplay of the animated feature The Legend Of The Underzoo for Arc Productions in Toronto, Canada, which Warren is attached to direct.

Current work includes the feature screenplay The Day We Lost The H-Bomb based on Barbara Moran’s book, as well as consulting work for a new Ambience Entertainment children’s television series. In there somewhere is their children’s live-action feature Stripey and their animated feature Super Space Rabbits. Not to mention their collaboration with songwriter Dave Faulkner of the Hoodoo Gurus on the book of a They’re A Weird Mob musical.

About Warren Coleman

Warren Coleman is an Australian writer, director and actor.  Warren co-wrote and co-directed the play Buzz at Belvoir St, one of Sydney’s most celebrated theatre companies. He tour-directed the Australian productions of Jill Soloway (Transparent)’s The Real Live Brady Bunch and, for the show’s Broadway creator Michael Grief, Rent in Sydney and Melbourne. He was dramaturg on Gale Edwards’ State Opera of South Australia production of Nixon In China, and directed The Venetian Twins and The Mystery Of Irma Vep for the State Theatre of South Australia. Then began a long association with Kennedy Miller Mitchell, for whom he co-wrote and co-directed the Academy Award-winning animated feature Happy Feet and co-wrote Happy Feet Two for director George Miller.

Warren originally met cowriter and long-time collaborator Stephen Coleman in Newcastle as part of the Castanet Club. The duo would tour as part of the Castanet Club all around Australia and then to the Edinburgh Festival, appearing in the feature film The Castanet Club: A Movie You Can Dance To (directed by Neil Armfiedl). In 2007 Warren and Steve regrouped to write a feature screenplay based on Linda Jaivin’s comic character novel The Infernal Optimist, with Screen Australia support. Screen NSW also supported their feature screenplay Birdbrain, loosely based on Steve’s ABC radio podcast, with producer Amanda Higgs.

Soon they had a television series in development for one of Australia’s most successful TV producers, John Edwards, and the Nine Network – as well as story development work for Google. They worked on the screenplay of the animated feature The Legend Of The Underzoo for Arc Productions in Toronto, Canada, which Warren is attached to direct.

Current work includes the feature screenplay The Day We Lost The H-Bomb based on Barbara Moran’s book, as well as consulting work for a new Ambience Entertainment children’s television series. In there somewhere is their children’s live-action feature Stripey and their animated feature Super Space Rabbits. Not to mention their collaboration with songwriter Dave Faulkner of the Hoodoo Gurus on the book of a They’re A Weird Mob musical.

Stephen Abbott Screenwriter
SCREENWRITER
Stephen Abbott
Warren Coleman Screenwriter
SCREENWRITER
Warren Coleman