Passion project The Lunatics' Ball follows an unorthodox psychologist who arrives at a psychiatric hospital and tries to use art, joy and respect to motivate his patients. First-timer Michael Thorp wrote the script partly out of worries that drug-based treatment programmes could prove more of a trap than a solution. After casting American-born oboist Russel Walder in the main role, and shooting on a shoestring, Thorp completed editing thanks to $400,000 in Film Commission funding, and help from some major industry names. The result won a jury prize at the Shanghai Film Festival.
I really wanted the part because the heart of the story is about someone who puts it all on the line, who is willing to do anything, and I found that a very impressive quality.– Lead actor Russel Walder
Michael Thorp Films
Music composed and conducted by Peter Scholes, and played by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Soundtrack includes 'Core', Chrysalis' and 'Code',all composed and performed by Russel Walder, and 'Adagio in G Minor' composed by Remo Giazotto