The Coin

A look at the outstanding work of the cinematographers behind a selection of short films from the 2018 Sydney Film Festival by Vanessa Abbott

Cinematographer: Charlie Sarroff

The Coin is the story of a supermarket trolley collector named Suli and his quest to find a rare lost coin. Legend has it the centuries old coin passed through the hands of kings, beggars, oil tycoons and occult leaders. 

Suli and his family are from South Sudan. Having escaped the ravages of a war-torn country he wants a better life for himself and his family. Obsessed in his pursuit of the coin he realises that there are more important things in life than the coin. 

The Coin is a neo urban western adventure with a South Sudanese protagonist at its epicentre. He is a larger than life urban, shopping trolley rustling, pseudo cowboy. A modern hero in his younger brother’s eyes. Suli is shown throughout the film via low camera angles to highlight his larger than life character. When it comes to visualising The Coin, Sarroff drew inspiration from the films of Sergio Leone such as A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), creating a wonderful sense of tension and escape.

Sarroff is a multiple ACS awarded Cinematographer based between Los Angeles and Melbourne. He has shot narrative and commercial productions all around the world, including the 2013 Tropfest winner We’ve All Been There.

Vanessa Abbott is a writer based in Melbourne. 

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