Three Summers

Last updated

Three Summers
Three Summers poster.jpg
Directed by Ben Elton
Produced byMichael Wrenn
Sue Taylor
Written byBen Elton
Starring Robert Sheehan
Rebecca Breeds
CinematographyKatie Milwright
Edited byPeter Pritchard [1]
Invisible Republic
Taylor Media
Distributed byTransmission Films
Arclight Films
Release date
  • 12 August 2017 (2017-08-12)(MIFF)
  • 2 November 2017 (2017-11-02)(Australia)
Running time
95 minutes

Three Summers is an Australian romantic comedy film, written and directed by Ben Elton. [2]


It was filmed and is set in Western Australia, at a fictional summer music festival called 'Westival' (based on the real-life Fairbridge Festival). [3] Over three consecutive years, two musicians (played by Rebecca Breeds and Robert Sheehan) meet and fall in love at the festival amidst a microcosm of Australian society. In addition to Breeds and Sheehan, the film has a large ensemble cast including Magda Szubanski, Michael Caton, Deborah Mailman, Jacqueline McKenzie and John Waters. [4]

The film had its world premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival on 12 August 2017, [5] and was released nationally in Australia on 2 November. [6]


The film's main plotline revolves around a blossoming romance between its two leads, pretentious theremin player Roland (Robert Sheehan) and down-to-earth pub band fiddler Keevy (Rebecca Breeds)

The film also has a subplot about a racist bigot (played by Michael Caton) meeting a refugee boy and a group of indigenous folk dancers and learns the error of his ways.

The film contains several running gags, revolving around feminist singer Diamond and her renditions of classic Australian songs and poems and a stern security guard who upholds the rules.



Three Summers was filmed in the Peel region of Perth, Western Australia in 2016. [7]


Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 54% of critics reviewed the film positively, with an average score of 4.6/10, based on 13 reviews. [8]

David Stratton of The Australian wrote, "The film is worth seeing for Waters, giving a spirited portrayal of a loving father set in his ways and unable to see that times are changing, and Breeds as his lively, talented, worldly wise daughter." [9]

Conversely, Sandra Hall of the Sydney Morning Herald argued, "It's a relentlessly well-meaning film and when it's not proselytising, it's working very hard to manufacture enough laughs to make the whole mix palatable. However, the effort shows." [10]

Related Research Articles

Ben Elton British comedian, author, playwright, actor and director

Benjamin Charles Elton is a British comedian, author, playwright, musical librettist, actor and director. He was a part of London's alternative comedy movement of the 1980s and became a writer on the sitcoms The Young Ones and Blackadder, as well as continuing as a stand-up comedian on stage and television. His style in the 1980s was left-wing political satire. Since then he has published 16 novels and written the musicals The Beautiful Game (2000), We Will Rock You (2002), Tonight's the Night (2003) and Love Never Dies (2010), the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. His novels cover the dystopian, comedy, and crime genres.

<i>Kath & Kim</i> Australian comedy television series

Kath & Kim is an Australian situation comedy created by Jane Turner and Gina Riley, who portray the title characters of Kath Day-Knight, a cheery, middle-aged suburban mother, and Kim Craig, her self-indulgent daughter. The cast also includes Glenn Robbins, Peter Rowsthorn and Magda Szubanski as, respectively, Kath's metrosexual boyfriend Kel Knight, Kim's henpecked husband Brett Craig, and her lonely "second-best friend" Sharon Strzelecki. The series is set in Fountain Lakes, a fictional suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. It was primarily filmed in Patterson Lakes.

Magda Szubanski Australian actress and comedian

Magdalene Mary Szubanski is an Australian television and film actress, comedian and writer.

Jacqueline McKenzie Australian actress

Jacqueline Susan McKenzie is an Australian actress of stage and screen.

The D-Generation was a popular and influential Australian TV sketch comedy show, produced and broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) for two series, between 1986 and 1987. A further four specials were broadcast on the Seven Network between 1988 and 1989.

Deborra-Lee Furness Australian actress

Deborra-Lee Furness is an Australian actress and producer. She is married to actor Hugh Jackman.

<i>Under the Lighthouse Dancing</i> 1997 film

Under the Lighthouse Dancing is a 1997 Australian romantic drama film directed by Graeme Rattigan and starring Jack Thompson, Jacqueline McKenzie, and Naomi Watts. It is based on a true story.

Sharpies, or Sharps, were members of suburban youth gangs in Australia, most significantly from the 1960s and 1970s. They were particularly prominent in Melbourne, but were also found in Sydney and Perth to lesser extents. Sharpies were known for being violent, although a strict moral code was also evident. The name comes from their focus on looking and dressing "sharp".

<i>Stark</i> (TV series)

Stark is a 1993 British-Australian television serial, based on the bestselling 1989 novel Stark by comedian Ben Elton. The three-episode series, directed by Nadia Tass, was an international coproduction between the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It starred Ben Elton and Jacqueline McKenzie.

Rebecca Breeds Australian actress

Rebecca Elizabeth Breeds is an Australian actress, known for her roles as Cassie Cometti in the third series of Blue Water High, as series regular Ruby Buckton in the soap opera Home and Away, Aurora de Martel in The Originals and as recurring character Nicole in seasons 6 and 7 of Pretty Little Liars. She stars as Clarice Starling in the 2021 CBS series Clarice.

<i>Bran Nue Dae</i>

Bran Nue Dae is a 1990 musical set in Broome, Western Australia, that tells stories and of issues relating to Indigenous Australians. It was written by Jimmy Chi, his band Kuckles and friends and was the first Aboriginal musical. The name is a phonetic representation of 'Brand New Day'.

<i>Dying Breed</i> (film)

Dying Breed is a 2008 Australian horror film that was directed by Jody Dwyer and stars Leigh Whannell and Nathan Phillips.

<i>Bran Nue Dae</i> (film)

Bran Nue Dae is a 2009 Australian musical comedy-drama film directed by Rachel Perkins and written by Perkins and Reg Cribb. A feature film adaptation of the 1990 stage musical Bran Nue Dae by Jimmy Chi, the film tells the story of the coming of age of an Aboriginal Australian teenager on a road trip in the late 1960s.

<i>Goddess</i> (2013 film)

Goddess is a 2013 Australian romantic comedy musical film, directed by Mark Lamprell. The film stars singer Ronan Keating, Laura Michelle Kelly and Magda Szubanski.

<i>Harmony</i> (2018 film) 2018 film by Corey Pearson

Harmony is an Australian fantasy thriller film, released on 4 October 2018, and the sole film appearance of Jessica Falkholt, who was killed in a car accident while the film was in post-production.

Elise McCann

Elise McCann is an Australian actress and musical theatre performer most well known for originating the role of Miss Honey in the Australian production of Matilda the Musical and as Lucille Ball in Everybody Loves Lucy.

<i>Ladies in Black</i> (film)

Ladies in Black is a 2018 Australian comedy-drama film directed by Bruce Beresford. Starring Angourie Rice, Rachael Taylor, Julia Ormond, Ryan Corr and Shane Jacobson, the film is based on the 1993 novel The Women in Black by Madeleine St John, and tells the story of a group of department store employees in 1959 Sydney. The film was released on 20 September 2018.

<i>Slam</i> (2018 film)

Slam is a 2018 Australian drama film written and directed by Partho Sen-Gupta. It is an official Australian-French co-production with funding from Screen Australia, Screenwest, Screen NSW, the French National Center of Cinematography and the moving image and private funders. The main roles are played by Adam Bakri and Rachael Blake. It was an official selected project at the 2016 International Film Festival Rotterdam's CineMart and the 2016 Berlinale Co-production Market.

<i>Rams</i> (2020 film) 2020 film directed by Jeremy Sims

Rams is a 2020 Australian comedy-drama film directed by Jeremy Sims, written by Jules Duncan, and starring Sam Neill, Michael Caton, and Miranda Richardson. It is based on the Icelandic drama film Rams (2015) by Grímur Hákonarson.


  1. "Three Summers 2017". Screen Australia. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  2. "Ben Elton reveals Aussie movie". 8 September 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  3. "Three Summers, Ben Elton's ode to Fairbridge, to hit Melbourne International Film Festival". Mandurah Mail. 7 July 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  4. "Ben Elton "stirring the pot" of Aussie culture as his movie Three Summers shoots in WA with Rebecca Breeds and Deb Mailman". 1 October 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  5. "'Three Summers' to form MIFF centrepiece". IF Magazine. 7 July 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  6. "Aussie stars set to attend world premiere of Ben Elton's new film". 10 August 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  7. "Three Summers". Screenwest . Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  8. "Three Summers". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  9. Stratton, David (3 November 2017). "David Stratton Reviews Three Summers". The Australian . Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  10. Hall, Sandra (30 October 2017). "Three Summers review: Ben Elton's folk festival comedy labours for laughs". Sydney Morning Herald . Retrieved 27 February 2020.