Strasburg Film Festival presents Sugar Cube, an Aussie Drama-Comedy about coffee, cocktails and rejection. As James, the local barista, is sure his feelings will be rejected by his best friend Sarah, he struggles to see his gender prejudices and the damage they cause.
Director Biography – Luke Jacobson
Luke fell into studying film in 2012 after six months of hitchhiking around Australia. After stopping through Sydney to visit some friends, one of the housemates he was staying with was the acclaimed director Sam Kristofski (Curious Film). Sam suggested that Luke’s love of stories would be great to develop at film school. After checking out the same school that Sam had attended, Luke signed up to a two year long full time intensive course.
The next three years were focused on script writing. Having made the short film “Cockroach” that featured his friends, Luke realized a love for natural performance and thus began writing scripts based on simple human drama. After completing one feature script, Luke began pre-production on it only to realize soon after that the story wasn’t close enough to his heart to continue the process. Thus he began writing again.
In 2015 Luke completed the script what was then called Barista Boy (re-titled now to Sugar Cube). He enlisted the help of his then girlfriend Harriet Wallace-Mead to co-produce and began filming soon after.
With a passion for working with no-actors and actors alike. Luke’s stories work using the quote “There should always be one person that you’re embarrassed to show your film to as it hits too close to something they know about you.” – Unknown.
Growing up in the nineties in country Tasmania means that the concept of feminism has been a relatively new outlook for me. Being a lover of all types of film, I realized that traditional romantic comedies suffer from an unseen support of the patriarchy at their core. I wanted to try to write a script that takes the generic traits of the rom-com genre, and exposes the situation to real world characters, including a lead female character who has her own journey and opinions that don’t fit in with the main male lead.
Being a deep lover of coffee and a barista for many years (I believe that any arts study should have a barista course as parts of the curriculum, as no doubt most will eventually have to turn to hospitality to make ends meet), I also wanted to make a film that introduced the viewer to the amount of care that goes into each coffee experience. From the drive and warmth of the wait staff to the careful measuring and adjusting done by the barista, I wanted people to have the experience of fine coffee through the medium of film.
I tackled a feature film in 2009, engaging with crowd-funding to get a project off the ground, but after careful consideration realized that the story and characters didn’t really resonate with me, and I was just doing a feature for the sake of doing a feature. I decided the best course of action was to cancel the production (all funds were returned). I searched for the next two years, trying to find a story that would help define something about who I am, and one that I thought audiences would connect to.
After dating a feminist, I began to learn of gender issues. Most feminist film that I had seen seemed to be geared towards a female audience with a female protagonist. I saw that the story of a man beginning to understand gender issues isn’t really out there yet, and is a story that some might want to hear and that I would like to tell. I didn’t want to do any kind of crowd funding for this project in pre-production as I still felt embarrassment at halting production on the last film, so I self funded the entire production with some extremely generous support from friends and local businesses. I am proud to offer people this story.
I love making film. I love creating a character and then giving the character to the right person who can embody that character, and then create experiences by engaging these characters with one another. I love the silence of a moment that two people can have as they avoid absolute truth, and I love the agony that occurs as they face honesty. I admire and adore fearless actors that take the risk of embarrassing themselves in trusting each person on the production team to not let them looks stupid. Although film is a journey, the part I love most is when the story allows us to understand and be with a character in a single moment in their life. Sugar Cube is the beginning of James’ journey to understanding gender issues.