Joy Hopwood: The Gift That Gives at Blussh Romance Fesitval

February 15, 2024

Joy Hopwood is an actor and award-winning independent filmmaker. She wrote, directed and produced “Rhapsody of Love”, the first Australian-Asian romantic comedy. And “Get a Life, Alright”, winning at Hong Kong’s International Indie Film Festival.  And we are so excited to see her and her film at Blussh Romance Festival on Saturday, 24th February 2024.

Recently, her new movie and fourth feature film, “The Gift that Gives”, a delightfully joyous Australian romantic comedy, premiering at Blussh Brisbane Romance Festival in February 2024. Hopwood explained that her films are a reflection of her life, what she has personally experienced or witnessed. “They’re like a photo album of my life, reflecting on certain periods of my life caught on film.” She gives her films an uplifting nuance as she encourages her audience to leave the cinemas feeling inspired. 

The Gift That Gives follows the story of Callum Mori (Takaya Honda), the author of a book entitled, The Gift That Gives. He makes his first television appearance as a guest of The Arts Corner television show, presented by Kate Sedgeman (Lily Brown-Griffiths), who falls for him. Callum, however, falls for her best friend, Linda (HaiHa Le). She owns the bookshop where Callum launches his book but luckily for Kate, fate brings her and Callum’s brother, Austin (Damien Sato), together as they discover hidden love letters, signed by aliases. Jointly, they all try to find out who penned them.

Joy Hopwood has come a long way since her early days being a presenter on Play School. She began her filmmaking journey ten years ago, whilst also working as an actor. She recalls her duality as an important element both in front and behind the camera. Hopwood believes diversity is not as prominent in the film and television industry as it is today. She features primarily Asian-Australian talent to mirror her life on film, and to improve and encourage diversity. She became a filmmaker to make change, Hopwood firmly believes and echoes the Ghandi quote of  ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’. 

Recently, it was announced that “The Gift That Gives” is an award winner at the New York International Women’s Festival. In a Q & A setting, Takaya Honda noted that when he took on the role it was not only that the film centered on diversity but because it focused on character. 

The Melbourne premiere was a hit, with attendees from all over the state. From all ages and genders, including a darling mother and her two daughters who brought along their scrap books filled with pasted-in magazine cut-out collages for the actors to sign after the movie. 

“The Gift That Gives” had a sold out premiere at Sydney’s Parramatta Riverside 14-27 January 2024, where a Q&A took place as noted by CityHub. “It is remarkable what my team has achieved in 8 days, driven by passion and the love for filmmaking and great teamwork”.

Blussh, a romance festival for lovers of film and books. The Gift That Gives is showing at the Angelika Film Centre on both Saturday 24 February at 4pm and Sunday 25 February 2.15pm. Also featured in the Saturday session, an entertaining Q&A with Joy Hopwood, joining her is screenwriter, director, and playwright Katrina Irawati Graham. She works primarily in feminist horror, co-directing Bali 2002 a drama series on STAN. All included in the full price of $18 or Concession ticket at $15. 

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