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The Age. On Paper Champions and indie films.

The feature, kicked off by Saliba and his fellow producer and wife, Erin, would pick up a producer with financing expertise in Alexi Ouzas, director Jo-Anne Brechin, and co-writer James Pratt, a New Zealander who introduced the concept of “mana”, a Polynesian term describing a sense of spirit and drive.Paper Championsis about Rey’s haphazard bid – complete with Gary Sweet as a wrestling great – to get his mana back.

Paper Champions made it through a 28-day shoot – with its team having to figure out how to make a wrestling match crowd out of 15 extras and some crew members – and for Saliba the next phase is taking the film to audiences, who he hopes will believe in it as he does.

“Have faith in your idea and have faith if you take that first step, the ball will begin to gather momentum and people will come,” Saliba says. “We didn’t know how at first, but we knew we’d make it and not settle for anything less than as good as we can. It’s difficult, but we’re grateful that we have a film that’s made and we have a launching pad like MIFF.”

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