Director Mat de Koning’s Meal Tickets exploded onto the 20th Revelation Film Festival and the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival screens this year. It’s an exciting, powerful documentary about Perth band, Screwtop Detonators, finding their feet in the world, and the orbiting friends who are swept up in that journey. For those who managed to give it a watch, you would have recognised the immense talent of artist Matt Doust who’s journey is tangental to that of the Screwtop Detonators.
Mat de Koning has turned to Documentary Australia to help raise funding to make 29 Years & Eight Days – a documentary about Matt Doust’s life, work and friends. His story is a tragic one, with Matt’s life being cut short after dying suddenly from an epileptic fit. But it’s a story that deserves to be told.
The synopsis for the film is below:
29 Years & Eight Days is an intimate portrayal of a friendship, an obsession, the quest for artistic success, loss and longing in love but most of all it is about the making of an artist in our time. Matt Doust was an internationally renowned portrait painter from Perth, Western Australia who died suddenly from an epileptic fit in 2013. He lived with an innate sense that his life was to be short. It was this sense of brevity that made him paint with extreme conviction, commitment, passion, focus, motivation, love and heart. This documentary chronicles his life through observational footage filmed by his friend – director, Mat de Koning, over 16 years. It also includes excerpts from his visual diaries, art works in progress, short films, completed pieces and poetry from his journals. His work is interspersed with interviews with key people in Matt’s life.Matt’s story starts in the hills of Perth, Western Australia. During his teenage years, Doust discovered two things that set him apart – he had ability in art and he suffered from epilepsy. He also wasn’t that bad on a skateboard. His ability in art would drive his future. Throughout the documentary we meet fellow artist, Jodee Knowles, who was Matt’s partner and colleague for many of the early years; Jo McKee (Snowman); Stormie Mills (artist and colleague), Will Ferrier (from Will Stoker & The Embers) and Matt’s mother, Lynn Doust. The documentary also chronicles the key exhibitions of Matt’s career including his Archibald piece: The White Cocoon a portrait of model Gemma Ward; Recollections & Obsessions; Unravelled and the final exhibition of works which were exhibited posthumously. Matt’s story ends in Los Angeles five years after his death when his friends and colleagues attend an exhibition in tribute to the late artist.
To support 29 Years & Eight Days, head over to the Documentary Australia website and smash that ‘Donate to This Film’ button.
If you need more persuasion, then read our review on Meal Tickets here, or listen to our interview with Mat de Koning below: