Angelo Salamanca
Australian Cinema Ensemble



Sleight of Hand

a feature-length drama

Writer: John Dimase


Is it possible to live a life devoid of magic? No matter how sophisticated or primitive a society is, magic captivates us from sideshows to elaborate rituals.

Harbouring a boyhood passion, radio announcer MARK GIACOMO (45) single father of two daughters, dishes out advice to lovelorn insomniacs who tune into his late-night talk-back program. But ratings are faltering and he’s in danger of losing his job.

Mark receives little solace from an estranged ailing unionist dad with a secret, nor from his ex, SOPHIA (30s) who’s bonking a toy-boy truckie when she’s not meditating to a Californian Guru.

Best mate STEVE (30s) is no help either. This unreconstructed sexist slob is irresistible to the opposite sex and his latest conquest, KATE (30) is an alluring artist whose creativity has taken a backseat to cocaine.

To make matters worse, the woman of Mark’s dreams, ANGELA (30s), a sophisticate who runs a hip inner city night club, barely knows he exists. Angela, nursing a broken heart of her own, feels for nerdy Mark and bothers to learn enough about him to discover his love for magic acts.

When Fate conspires to provide Mark with a shot at realising his dream and presenting a magic show in Angela’s bar, Mark resorts to calling on the gifts of an aging busker – a ghost from the distant past responsible for instilling in young Mark his passion for magic. Is this the turning point Mark has craved for much of his adult life?!

However, to everyone’s consternation Mark cracks under the pressure of being up on stage and having to deliver to a live audience hungry for entertainment.

But is what ensues a breakdown or a breakthrough? This devastating event changes Mark for the better and now, back in the studio, the new material he delivers to his radio audience is both inspired and inspiring. Mark replaces the mundane with poetry, and the word spreads.

Ratings don’t exactly skyrocket but this nocturnal announcer scores enough publicity to turn him into a champion of the emotionally damaged – those who wish to emerge from the darkness but whose lust for life is dormant.

Mark’s journey is a humble hero’s journey. From the small to the large, from the individual to the collective - no one is left behind, ensuring that the lives of those he comes into contact change for the better.