Sundance Interview: ‘Blueback’ Director Robert Connolly And Star Radha Mitchell Bring Environmentalism To The Family-Adventure Movie

Robert Connolly has been trying to get Tim Winton’s 1997 novella, Blueback made into a movie for years. The oceanic children’s story follows the life of a young marine biologist as he returns home to care for his dying activist mother. The tale flashes between the past and present, focusing on their time together fighting against developers over their land and the time the boy spent diving with a groper named Blueback.

When I sat down with Connolly and actress Radha Mitchell in a busy Sundance bar, he explained to me why he switched the boy character to a girl he named Abby and why now was the time for this story. Like many of us, he is in awe of the younger generations’ passion for preventing climate change, something that also resonated with Mitchell, who explained her own efforts as a young girl in Australia.

Listen to my interview with both Robert Connolly and Radha Mitchell of Blueback.

Cortland Jacoby
A D.C area native, Cortland has been interested in media since birth. Taking film classes in high school and watching the classics with family instilled a love of film in Cortland’s formative years. Before graduating with a degree in English and minoring in Film Study from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, Cortland ran the college’s radio station, where she frequently reviewed films on air. She then wrote for another D.C area publication before landing at Punch Drunk Critics. Aside from writing and interviewing, she enjoys podcasts, knitting, and talking about representation in media.