By Cam Lucadou-Wells
With a larrikin style, Keysborough filmmaker Matt Bolin is making waves overseas with his adult-funny take on The Three Little Pigs fairy tale.
His short animation The Adventures of Wolfdogg and the Three Pigs is achieving amazing success at film festivals in the US.
It won silver at the International Independent Film Awards and merit awards at the Global Shorts, Best Shorts and Hollywood Verge film festivals.
Most recently, the film was accepted at the Accolade Global film competition and Maryland Film Festival.
Wolfdogg is an edgy, surreal infusion of South Park and “unique Australian humour”, says Mr Bolin – who takes a cameo part as an armchair narrator.
Some of that cheeky Aussie flavour includes a wonderfully “bogan” pig character and a hip-hop wolf.
Encouragingly, Wolfdogg has been most warmly received in Hollywood – but hasn’t blown the house down in Australia.
“It’s interesting. I’ve entered in a couple of Australian film festivals – one rejected it.
“Maybe it’s because it’s still a relatively new genre in the Australian film industry and they haven’t wanted to take a chance.
“Yet through word of mouth, people in Australia have really loved it. Basically what people really like is its cheeky humour.”
Born and bred in Keysborough, Mr Bolin lapped up surreal childrens TV such as Round the Twist and the works of authors Paul Jennings and Roald Dahl.
There was also an early “fascination” with the film industry, mimicking shows with his friends at the former Maralinga Primary School.
“The thing that did inspire me was the television in my house. That gave me access to all the different TV and movies from all over the world.”
He likes using comedy as an “escape from reality – especially in these difficult times”.
“It’s a good feeling that you can entertain people and make people laugh.”
Starting in 2017, Wolfdogg was a labour of love for the best part of two years.
But Mr Bolin enjoys the complexity of film-making and creatively collaborating with actors and his production team.
“You can’t make it by yourself. If you find passionate people, they will bring suggestions that will take the film to levels you wouldn’t have imagined.”
He first learnt his craft at Holmesglen TAFE and JMC Academy a decade ago. He then added marketing subjects at Swinburne University because he didn’t want to fail in his film business.
“As glamourous as it is, there’s a rough side – you will struggle to get consistent work.
“Sometimes the best way to survive in it is to make your own projects.
“Don’t stop making films – just continue doing.”
The Adventures of Wolfdogg and the Three Little Pigs can be found on Matt Bolin’s YouTube channel. Warning: language and adult themes.