Mitzi Ruhlmann, a former Newtown High School student is hitting the big screen in a fantastically dark psychological thriller, ‘Boy in the Trees’ directed by Australian up-and-comer Nicholas Verso.
Mitzi is just 17 years of age but is already achieving her dream, influenced very much by her schooling in the Inner West.
“Newtown was so much fun and everybody there was super creative even if they didn’t necessarily want to end up in the performing arts,” Mitzi recalls.
“Everyone was so supportive and it influenced me in pursuing my career goals, which were not much other than doing something that meant I could be around creative people.”
A few years ago Mitzi and her family moved to LA for her father’s career (he is a cinematographer) but Mitzi has just returned to Sydney with plans to hang out with old friends and get involved in Sydney’s theatre scene. “I missed how accepting everyone is and how free people are to be whatever they want to be in Newtown and in the Inner West generally,” she said.
This October, Mitzi’s first feature film project will be coming to local cinemas. She plays Romany in Boys in the Trees, a coming of age story blended with thriller and fantasy elements.
“The film is about two boys who are estranged friends, it’s their high school graduation and the night also happens to be Halloween in 1997,” explains Mitzi.
“They walk each other home and play a game they used to as children. The film has themes of bullying and romance, which are encapsulated in the characters of Jango and Romany.”
Boys in the Trees has already received international acclaim. It was screened as part of the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and closed with a standing ovation. Toronto-based film critic Katherine Murray applauded the film for its deft exploration of teenage masculinity, saying it was the, “best film you might not see this year.” Well, Aussies have no excuse.
The Boys in the Trees will hit Australian cinemas on October 20th, just in time for Halloween. Check out Ciao’s film buff, Russell Edward’s review of Boys in the Trees here.