All he ever wanted was a life behind bars.
Chicka and his brothers grow up in the backrooms of his father’s seaside pub – to them it’s one big playground, and their father ‘JB’ is king of it all. When it all gets taken away and their mother leaves, they have to start again in a gritty inner‑city “local”.
In his teens the life is ingrained into his blood, learning tricks of the trade, pulling beers for locals before he’s legal, and getting extra money by selling weed to his poshy private schoolmates. When JB buys the pub at the edge of the city in a melting pot of racial tension and petty crime, Chicka can’t help but go along for the ride, leaving his brothers behind.
As he gets older, Chicka gets intoxicated by the lifestyle: the endless supply of cash, the sweaty lust of gambling and Aussie pub rock, the fine line between right and wrong getting as blurry as some of the customers around closing time. But most of all, he loves hanging with JB and the locals who are always there for him, no matter what. They become his extended family.
Chicka’s world comes crashing down when JB dies from cancer, leaving the pub to his three sons. When the brothers want to sell, Chicka is confronted with losing his pub family and the things that he and JB took years to build together.
Based on a true story, The Last Publican is a rough and tumble coming of age film where families are made through blood, sweat and beers.
Writer/Director: James Ward Breen
Producer: Natalie Palomo