On the Couch with Megan Riakos

Megan Riakos Arts Review On the CouchWho is Megan Riakos?
I am an Australian feature film writer and director of the mystery thriller Crushed, first generation Aussie born to a Lebanese dad and American mum and the fourth child out of five (the perfect position in the family to be left to your own devices when it comes to deciding on a career path).

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I am doing exactly what I want to be doing, directing features 🙂 However if I had to choose a career that wasn’t in the film industry, it would be in psychiatry. My films often explore what makes people tick and why they behave they way they do, the good, the bad and the ugly. So psychiatry for me is the natural alternative.

Who inspires you and why?
Kathryn Bigelow – the one and only female director Oscar winner! She has been chipping away making amazing movies for years in a world completely dominated by men. Here’s hoping it’s not an eternity before another woman can join her on the honour roll.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Films can be a great medium to create empathy for the other (without people even realizing it!) and empathy is something western society can sometimes be lacking. So creating films that make people think and feel differently about a person, a subject or a situation is a small way to contribute to change in the world.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
The Mornington Peninsula in Victoria – I had a writers’ conference there a few years ago and I can’t wait to go back – beautiful beaches, hikes, wineries, golf courses, strawberry fields and of course the amazing hot springs! With Crushed being a wine-themed film, we are hoping to bring it back to the region as a good excuse to visit again.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
Bondi to Coogee Walk – How many places in the world has five amazing beaches linked by such a beautiful path and with some great drinking holes at either end to quench your hard earned thirst!

What are you currently reading?
There has been very little time for reading with our theatrical release and screening tour at the moment but I am very much looking forward to Mike Jones’ gothic horror novel The Scrimshaw Marionette, when the tour is over.

What are you currently listening to?
Serial podcast season 2! Long road trips for the Crushed screening tour mean I alternate between podcasts and the Flight of the Concords soundtrack to break the monotony 🙂

Happiness is?

What does the future hold for you?
More directing of long form narrative. More writing. More collaboration and hopefully more time spent on the Bondi to Coogee walkway!

Megan’s latest film, Crushed is currently screening in selected cinemas nationally. For more information, visit: www.crushedfilm.com for details.

Image: Megan Riakos