Filmmakers Taking on the Female Fairytale Stereotype in Sweet Tooth

March 5, 2018

Albert Einstein once said “If you want your children to be smart, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be smarter still, read them more fairy tales!”
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Filmmakers Taking on the Female Fairytale Stereotype in Sweet Tooth

Albert Einstein once said “If you want your children to be smart, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be smarter still, read them more fairy tales!”

True as that may be, many aspects of fairy tales are incredibly outdated – especially for girls.

Sweet Tooth is the daring film project by Aussie actress-turned-writer/director, Shannon Ashlyn. Born and raised in Switzerland, Ashlyn moved to Australia to train as
an actor at WAAPA and then, as a filmmaker at AFTRS. Since graduating, Ashlyn has worked across Australian and international TV screens and appeared in much loved
shows such as Packed to the Rafters, Puberty Blues and Channel Nine’s hit series Love Child. She made her feature debut in Wolf Creek 2 and the award-winning film Zelos is currently playing in cinemas and festivals worldwide.

Ashlyn has paired up with friend and actress-turned-producer Katherine Shearer. For Shearer, producing is a particularly rewarding experience similarly due to her years on the other side of the casting panel. “Sadly, actresses know only too well what it feels like to be pitted against one another. Now, as an executive, I can actively help change that” says Shearer.

Since Sweet Tooth is written, directed, produced and shot by female filmmakers, this film is about changing the status quo. For starters, the hero in Sweet Tooth is a heroin and she is brave and feisty! This is very unlike the princesses or fair, eligible maidens we usually read about in classic Grimm stories. What’s more, this is the story of a
villain, a character who rarely even gets a look in. This is a fairy tale about being strong, believing in yourself and standing up for who you are – no matter what. Ashlyn
says, “I am fascinated by witches. A witch doesn’t care what people think of her – she is a woman who simply refuses to give up her own, kooky groove. In our world, that is
scary as hell!”

Looking ahead to a future of generating vibrant content, these two powerhouse women plan to follow in the footsteps of trail blazers like Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon who are sweeping up accolades with their co-producing ventures. By doing their part in sustaining the momentous movement happening right across global screen industries, to fuel gender parity and increase numbers of women in impactful roles, Ashlyn and Sharer hope to see the day when at least half of all the films on silver screens reflect the experience of the undeniable majority of ticket-buying audiences – women.

Sweet Tooth launched a crowdfunding campaign on February 1st. In less than 24 hours, the video had over 3.5K views and over $7000 dollars had been raised. The
numbers just keep climbing so clearly, this story has huge resonance.

Click on the icons below to be taken to the Sweet Tooth page on the Australian Cultural Fund website, the Sweet Tooth facebook page or the full media kit.