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Rolf de Heer



Screening room

Status: Completed

Director(s): Rolf de Heer

Main cast: Gary Sweet, Helen Buday, Bogdan Koca

Long synopsis : Steve (Gary Sweet) is a middle-management office worker. He's an ordinary bloke, happily going through the motions of family life as husband to wife Alexandra (Helen Buday) and father to their two children, Emma and Sam. It's Steve's birthday, an especially happy day as Steve receives a much sought after promotion. With good news to share at home, Steve leaves work and heads home, in anticipation of a surprise party he suspects Alexandra has organised. But when he returns home, all is quiet in their suburban townhouse. In fact, deathly quiet... After searching the darkened house for party guests Steve finds nothing, except a video tape labelled ‘Play Me’. It is a recording made by Alexandra and their children wishing him a happy birthday. Once the children leave the television screen, Alexandra begins to give Steve the most surprising present of all... an alluring striptease. Steve thinks all his birthdays have come at once... until, on the video, he sees a gun pointed at Alexandra’s head. In a panic, he races for the phone but discovers there’s no connection. He tries to leave the townhouse only to find that his keys no longer fit the locks and the security shutters on the windows are locked tight. Remembering his mobile phone, Steve finds that the battery has been replaced by a bullet. Alone, frightened and imprisoned in his own house, Steve has no choice but to watch the rest of the video tape...


  • Gary Sweet, Helen Buday, Bogdan Koca, Samantha Knigge, Jack Christie, Eileen Darley


  • Producer(s): Rolf de Heer, Domenico Procacci, Julie Ryan
  • Director(s): Rolf de Heer
  • Screenplay: Rolf de Heer
  • DP: Ian Jones
  • Editing: Tania Nehme
  • Original Music: Graham Tardif
  • Set Design: Ian Jobson, Phil MacPherson
  • Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Thriller

  • Production company: VERTIGO PRODUCTION
  • Production date: 2003
  • Language: English
  • Duration: 102 min
  • Berlinale 2003 - Competition
  • Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival 2003
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival 2003
  • Telluride Film Festival 2003
  • Toronto International Film Festival 2003
  • Festival do Rio 2003
  • Chicago International Film Festival 2003
  • Seminci - Semana Internacional de Cine de Valladolid 2003
    Award(s) : Best Actress
  • Stockholm Film Festival 2003
  • Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2003
  • Palm Springs International Film Festival 2004
  • Istanbul Film Festival 2004
  • Sitges Film Festival 2003