Take My Hand: new Radha Mitchell film features collaboration with MS Australia

Take My Hand is based on the romance between writer/director John Raftopoulos and his wife Claire Jensz, who lives with MS.
Adam Demos and Radha Mitchell in Take My Hand.

Australian production company Bronte Pictures has announced a collaboration between MS Australia and the upcoming feature film, Take My Hand.

The film follows Laura, an accomplished Australian woman living in London, who is diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) at the peak of her career. After the sudden death of her husband and losing her job, she returns to Australia with her three sons. A chance reunion with a childhood sweetheart changes her life.

Starring Radha Mitchell, Adam Demos, and Bart Edwards, Take My Hand is a romantic drama inspired by the true story of writer/director John Raftopoulos and his wife Claire Jensz, who lives with multiple sclerosis (MS) and serves as the film’s executive producer.

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The film will be distributed in Australia by Rialto Distribution, with its national theatrical release date set for 29 August 2024.

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To mark World MS Day on 30 May and the global ‘Diagnosis’ theme, the film’s trailer will be launched on a dedicated microsite hosted by MS Australia. The site will feature exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, cast and crew interviews, and a message from executive producer Claire Jensz. The site will also offer pre-sale tickets for Q&A screenings scheduled for August 2024 across Australia.

Take My Hand – raising awareness as well as a love story

Creative representatives of Take My Hand said that the film ‘aims to raise awareness and understanding of the disease. MS is the most common chronic neurological condition affecting young adults, often diagnosed between ages 20 to 40, and is three times more prevalent in women than men. The disease occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks myelin, the fatty material around nerves, leading to varied symptoms as no two people experience MS the same way.’

‘MS Australia is excited to partner with Claire Jensz, John Raftopoulos, and the creative team behind Take My Hand,’ said Rohan Greenland, CEO of MS Australia. ‘MS Australia recognises the film’s profound portrayal of MS and its potential to spark meaningful awareness within the community.’

‘We set out to create a beautiful love story that everyone can relate to, but also what’s important to me is that audiences see it as an inspirational awareness piece that provides more of an understanding of MS,’ Claire Jensz added.

Both Radha Mitchell and Adam Demos reportedly collaborated with the real-life couple to bring authenticity to their story. Mitchell added, ‘I was lucky to have Claire as a reference point and collaborator. And with John directing, he had a clear sense of how to tell the story, which helped me bring authenticity to the character. I’m honoured to be a part of it because it is so personal, and they are so open about it being their story.’

Read: TOUCH: Australia’s first motion picture without pictures

The film also features Xavier Molyneux, making his feature film debut, and Meg Fraser. Former Neighbours star and singer Natalie Bassingthwaighte is also featured.

Key production credits include Blake Northfield as producer, Wade Muller HKSC ACS as Director of Photography, Esther Rosenberg as Production Designer, Tracey Rose Sparke as Costume Designer, and Billie Weston as Hair and Make-Up Designer.

Take My Hand is out in Australian cinemas from 29 August 2024.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports