LEXUS GETS BEHIND LOCAL FILM PRODUCTION

A new Australian feature film that Lexus has helped develop will make its world premiere at tonight's Sydney Film Festival, of which Lexus is also opening night partner and official luxury vehicle partner.

The film, Ruben Guthrie, was written and directed by award-winning playwright, screenwriter and actor Brendan Cowell and shot on location in Sydney.

It stars prominent Australian actors including Patrick Brammall, Alex Dimitriades, Abbey Lee, Harriet Dyer, Jeremy Sims, Robyn Nevin and Jack Thompson.

The story centres on the life of Ruben Guthrie, played by Patrick Brammall, who is a hard partying Sydney advertising executive looking to start a new chapter in his life.

Lexus' involvement in Ruben Guthrie is as brand partner, and the luxury marque features in the film as Guthrie's major account at his advertising firm.

Lexus and the brand's properties appear throughout the film, from multiple mentions in dialogue to Lexus vehicles, including the IS sedan and RC F V8 coupe.

Lexus Australia chief executive Sean Hanley said Lexus' partnership with Ruben Guthrie marked the latest development in the marque's new brand direction.

"We are proud to partner with Brendan Cowell and the producers in this highly entertaining film that showcases the best in Australian writing, directing and acting talent," Mr Hanley said.

"Our involvement also indicates Lexus' commitment to positioning the brand in exciting new areas as we broaden our appeal and bring Lexus to new audiences."

Lexus' support of Ruben Guthrie and the Sydney Film Festival aligns with the brand's sponsorship of the global Lexus Short Films initiative, which is in its third year in 2015.

The program unearths up-and-coming film directors whose work is then produced by acclaimed US film studio The Weinstein Company.

Five films from selected directors around the world were produced in 2013, followed by two in 2014.

2015 marks an innovative new step for Lexus Short Films in allowing submissions directly from the public.

Mr Hanley said the new format had the potential to uncover more local talent.

"Lexus Short Films will now allow all aspiring directors, including those from Australia for the first time, the opportunity to show their creative skills on the world stage," he said.

The program will select directors over a four-month submission period from July until October this year. Their work will then be brought to life and premiere at major worldwide film festivals in 2016.

More information about Lexus Short Films can be found at www.lexusshortfilms.com.

Submissions will open for Lexus Short Films on the same day as Ruben Guthrie's national theatrical release - July 16, 2015.