Zahn Matchett, Year 3, walked the red carpet alongside the film’s screenwriter, former rugby player Jason Stevens, as well as co-stars Dan Ewing, Isabel Lucas and Beau Ryan.
While he’s performed with the school choir and even acted in commercials before (including a memorable Optus shoot that involved eating two tubs of ice cream) this was Zahn’s first premier.
He was excited to wear his first tuxedo, and said the best part of shooting the film was the opportunity to combine sport and acting – his two biggest passions.
When I was at school I would have loved to have seen an Australian movie dealing with faith
“When I grow up, I want to be either an actor or a professional soccer player,” he said. “It’s just cool to have so many cameras taking shots at you.”
While there’s no soccer in sight, football lies at the heart of Chasing Comets, and a number of Zahn’s scenes were set at NRL and AFL matches.
Zahn plays young Chase Daylight, an NRL player on the rise in the small town of Wagga Wagga, and the film is full of comedic pokes at the age-old rivalry between Australia’s two major footy codes.
When an older Daylight’s complicated personal life begins straining his relationships and performance on-field, it’s a team chaplain who convinces him his actions have meaning to God and encourages him to change.
Jason Stevens, who wrote the film based on his time as a young NRL player, hopes the movie will encourage young people to see God as wanting the best from them as well as the best for them, even when faith feels stale.
“When I was at school I would have loved to have seen something that was this relevant,” he said, “really top profile actors in an Australian movie dealing with faith.”