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Interview – The cast and crew of ‘One Perfect Match’ hit the pink carpet at the BLUSSH Romance Festival

Prepare to be swept off your feet as Brisbane welcomes the BLUSSH Romance Festival, the city’s newest festival celebrating films and literature through a romance lens. The festival, the first of its kind in Australia, is set to take place from February 22nd to 25th, 2024, promising an enchanting experience for lovers, dreamers, storytellers, and romance enthusiasts alike. The festival boasts a diverse program that includes premieres, previews, retrospectives, iconic classics, and adaptations from book to film. Romance literature and its subgenres will be explored across three panels during the festival, featuring notable authors and industry experts.

The pink carpet was rolled out at the Angelika Film Centre, the home of BLUSSH in Woolloongabba, for the Opening Night Gala with the Australian Premiere of One Perfect Match, a film shot entirely on location in Brisbane and produced by the renowned Jaggi Entertainment. The romantic drama follows matchmaker Lucy Marks as she navigates the complexities of love and professional life.

Kicking off the festival, Nick L’Barrow spoke with One Perfect Match star Lynn Gilmartin, director Jo-Anne Brechin, and producer Steve Jaggi on the Pink Carpet for the film’s Australian premiere!

Nick: The BLUSSH Romance Festival is all about celebrating romance in fiction. How do you feel One Perfect Match celebrates romance?

Jo-Anne Brechin: I mean, it’s the quintessential love story, right? She’s [Lucy Marks] a matchmaker that falls in love with her client. It’s like forbidden love, you know? It’s Romeo and Juliet. It’s a classic love story!

Lynn Gilmartin: I think it’s about facing what’s right in front of you. Sometimes we’re too afraid to do that! I mean, without giving too much away!

What was it about Brisbane that made it the perfect place to make One Perfect Match?

Steve Jaggi: Great question! I think that we’ve [Jaggi Entertainment] been so incredibly fortunate to have found collaborators in terms of filmmakers, directors, and writers who are so gifted in the genre. Brisbane is one of the best places in the world to make these sorts of movies. The weather, the actors available to us! The love that people who live in South East Queensland have for this genre!

It’s no coincidence that, to the best of my knowledge, that Queensland has the highest proportion of romance novelists per capita in Australia! I think it’s also no coincidence that we also have so many great filmmakers that do this genre so well, and so many actors that do drama really well! So, I can’t take any credit for it. All I’m doing it taking these pieces and weaving them together!

Jo-Anne Brechin: I moved here about a year and a half ago from Sydney, and I was so impressed, you know. Just the diversity of locations within like an arm’s reach of the CBD! Everything in Sydney, you got to travel two to three hours to get anywhere interesting. I think Brisbane also produces a sort of friendly and inviting—everybody’s so warm and welcoming when you’re shooting a film!

Is there a rom-com that you feel is the pinnacle of the genre?

Lynn Gilmartin: Oh my god! There’s just so many! They’re all amazing. I mean, it’s not a rom-com, but there’s romance. Dirty Dancing. I grew up on that. That’s my favourite romance movie of all time.

Steve Jaggie: It’s not going to be what you think, because I have very different tastes to the brand and the company! I’m gonna go with The Spanish Apartment. And Before Midnight.

Jo-Anne Brechin: Look, I mean I’m a bit of a 90s rom-com lady! Anything with Sandra Bullock! I love One Fine Day with Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney. It’s so beautiful. I love that film!

Nick: Jo-Anne, with One Fine Day being a 90s romance, how do you feel romance has evolved in fiction over the last 30-odd years?

Jo-Anne Brechin: I’d like to say it’s gotten better. I love the rom-coms of the 80s and 90s, but I think recently there’s been a rom-com renaissance. I like to think they’re getting better and better.

Nick: Lynn, you’ve done so much work with World Poker Series, so I’m curious to find out what the biggest gamble you’ve ever taken on your career was that ended up paying off?

Lynn Gilmartin: Oh, I love that question! When I quit my corporate career to chase a dream. There was so much unknown and so much risk involved, but it was just something that lit me up and made me feel so excited! And it wasn’t the safe path. It was the exciting one that really just felt like it will mean a lot to me, and it’ll just make me come alive!

So, I quit my corporate career to go make videos for the internet back in 2009. When it wasn’t that cool to basically make videos for YouTube. I hopped on a flight to Vegas, and I really knew nothing about poker at all. I bluffed my way through it! And I’m still reaping the rewards from that huge risk I took. I’m always a big advocate for not taking the safe path. Take the one that lights you up!

Nick: Steve, it’s interesting seeing the success of Anyone But You at the box office, and audiences feel like rom-com has made some sort of resurgence. But I would assume that with the success of your films, it hasn’t feel like the romance genre has gone away at all.

Steve Jaggi: I think there’s a confluence of factors happening at the same time. In terms of audience demand for this sort of movie, it’s been there forever. In the US, there’s Hallmark Channel. But what happened, it’s a soap opera audience. Now that’s a big audience, but it’s not teenagers, effectively. These sorts of movies are fuelling streaming. The audience is there, and they’re hungry for content.

This film is really great. It’s more kinetic and comedic. This film is a bit more modern in terms of cameras flying around. You know, Jo-Anne [Brechin] is really great at brining the kinetic energy, which historically, you haven’t seen much in this genre. The powers that be thought all these movies were daytime TV movies, so we should shoot them like daytime TV movies. You’ll see that this is not a TV movie. The cameras are flying around, and it’s funny, and it’s different.

Thank you to Jo-Anne, Lynn and Steve for their time, and to M4M Agency and BLUSSH Romance Festival for organising the pink carpet! The BLUSSH Romance Festival is running at Angelika Film Centre in South City Square from February 22-25. Find out more here.

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Nick L'Barrow
Nick L'Barrow
Nick is a Brisbane-based film/TV reviewer. He gained his following starting with his 60 second video reviews of all the latest releases on Instagram (@nicksflicksfix), before launching a monthly podcast with Peter Gray called Monthly Movie Marathon. Nick contributes to Novastream with interviews and reviews for the latest blockbusters.

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