When actor Christopher Kirby was asked to audition for a movie about Nazis on the Moon he thought it was a joke.
The Australian-Finnish-German science fiction comedy ‘Iron Sky’ recently premiered in the Panorama Special section of the Berlin International Film Festival, the only Australian feature film to be selected. “I was completely and utterly shocked. On one hand, it’s an honour and on the other hand it was like ‘wow man’. I was a nervous wreck but the audience loved it and that’s the reason we make films,” Kirby says. “It was just huge over there. People kept walking up to us in the streets of Berlin.”
The film is set in 2018 where Nazis, who fled to the dark side of the Moon in 1945, are planning their return to claim Earth. As a publicity stunt, the President of the United States (Stephanie Paul) sends two astronauts to the Moon, one a model named James Washington (Christopher Kirby). Washington puts his Lunar Lander too close to the secret Nazi base and is captured. “Then all the fun ensues after that,” Kirby says. “It’s a comedy but there are little things in there that make people think,” he says. “You’re really just putting a mirror up to society. And I think that’s why people are laughing, because they recognize things in themselves.”
Based on the original story by Johanna Sinisalo, ‘Iron Sky’ was created by director Timo Vuorensola, and Michael Kalesniko, who thought of the script sitting in a sauna in Finland. “I ended up reading it eight times. After the first time I was like ‘wow did I really just read that?’ The more I read it the more I started to see the layers. By the time I was done reading I was like ‘ok I have to meet these guys because this could be interesting’,” Kirby says.
“After meeting the director and the producer, we just sat down and they put me on tape and I had an audition. I sort of walked away not thinking anything of it. I’d completely forgotten about it and then all of a sudden they were like ‘you’ve got the part!’”
‘Iron Sky’ gained notoriety as a pioneer in Crowd Sourcing and Crowd Funding. Fans and followers were able to take part in the film by offering ideas, funding and publicity, investing over half a million Euros.
“They went out and asked for donations from fans,” Kirby says. “A lot of fans came on board with a lot of money so we could get this film up and running, which in itself can be a bit daunting.”
Kirby says he sees a lot of potential in Australian film. “We have a gold mine that could really go through the roof,” he says.
“I think sometimes people are hesitant about what to put out there and what to not put out there. But to me it’s like soup, you’ve got to put it in, mix it up, and see what comes out, because you don’t know until you do.”
‘Iron Sky’ is the opening night film at the 2012 Gold Coast Film Festival, Thursday April 19. The festival runs from April 19-29 and to view the full program and to buy tickets, head to gcfilmfestival.com.