Alone Out Here
Producer｜Luke Cornish, Philip Busfield, Mick Elliott
Production Company｜Biscuit Tin Productions
In the moment of catastrophic climate change Jon Wright, a gay farmer, is faced with a dilemma. His 22-year commitment to transform the genetics of his bull herd are pitted against the attitudes of the beef industry. Through his journey of loss and survival, we learn what it takes to be true to yourself, at any cost.
Multi award winning documentary maker Luke Cornish takes a deeply emotional path to film making. After the success of his first short Alone Out Here, selected by the New Yorker, he has gone on to write, produce, direct, and edit on a 6-part documentary series for Amazon Prime and has recently completed his first feature documentary Keep Stepping.
I consider myself a queer documentary maker and I am drawn to subjects whose experiences reflect my own. My instinctive approach as a storyteller is to emotionally led narratives that are honest, complex and often surprising.
Alone Out Here is a story full of hope, set against a barren Australian landscape in the midst of a climate crisis. It is a story about a single, gay farmer’s mission to shift perceptions around both his industry and his sexuality, and the challenges of being yourself.
During the course of directing ALONE OUT HERE, I’ve spent many hours on the phone with Jon Wright and following his daily routine with my camera. As I’ve gotten to know him, I’ve recognised the many ways in which our lives are similar. The yearning we both have for connection is a powerful thing. For Jon it has driven him to find distraction in his work, pushing him to the cusp of a significant breakthrough in our fight against climate change. It has also left him lonely and caused him to be something of a pariah in his industry.
I discovered early during the filmmaking process that Jon felt alone even when he was growing up on the farm, surrounded by his family. I felt the same growing up in an unforgivingly homophobic environment and I know the damage it does.
What drew me to Jon’s story however isn’t simply that we’ve both been lonely. It’s the power I recognised in his longing not to be. I saw how at risk Jon was and how a few wrong turns could have resulted in him hitting the self-destruct button, destroying everything he’s built, or worse.
I chose to tell this story because despite our different landscapes, Jon and I haven’t landed far from each other. And, finally because I believe that Jon’s voice has the potential to illuminate the life of Australia’s gay farmers in a way that’s never been done before, with intrigue, gravity and grace.