For Film’s Sake announces thirteen global projects for first edition of Attagirl
The lab includes three workshops over ten months focusing on the crafting of innovative story, audience and marketplace strategies aiming to overcome the challenges within an increasingly digitally-focused single market. Teams of producers, directors and writers are paired with experienced Project Mentors who, over the course of the three intensives, work alongside Script, Audience and Financial consultants to craft innovative strategies for financing and release of the selected films. The three workshops are championed by A list festivals including TIFF (through the Share Her Journey campaign) and Sydney Film Festival which will host an in-person financing forum dedicated to financiers investing in diverse storytellers.
“The arrival of streamers has radically changed audience behaviour, however the pathways to production and release are yet to catch up. The quantity, quality and diversity of applications we received is a testament to the work of global agencies and organisations in driving new voices and perspectives to screen production. It is also a clear signal to the industry that new pipelines are vitally needed to support talent in finding pathways to production and release, ensuring that cinema continues to evolve to reflect audiences as and where they are,” said IFP Executive Director, Sophie Mathisen.
The selected titles are:
Melted (UK) – An island community tries to turn back time to quell natural catastrophes that plague them. When an Elf appears, promising the Matriarch leader quick-fix solutions, a secret agreement is made. But like all Faustian pacts, it backfires and soon everything starts to unravel. Writer/director: Renowned video artist Rachel Maclean, Producer: Ohna Falby.
The Wolf Will Tear Your Immaculate Hands (SWE) – Europe 1791. Isabel, having just lost her sister, is forced into an arranged marriage. Desolate and angry she begins to unearth a wilderness that roars within her, slowly realizing that she has more in common to the wolves in the forest than to the rest of her new household. Writer/director: Natalie Alvarez Mesen Producer: Nima Yousefi
Bruja (UK/MEX/CAN) – After being kidnapped into a human trafficking ring and taken far from home, Casilda must use a dark family power to free herself and the other trafficked victims from their impending fates. Writer/directors: Nora Unkel and Michele Cervera Garzia and producers Colin Day & Coco Marie Schneider
White River (CAN) Set against the hopeless town of White River, Larleen and the town’s community come together to make some f***ing money – the men by betting and the women by fighting. Writer/Director: Sam Coyle and producers: Julie Strifler & Natalie Urqhuart.
In My Father’s House (US/NIG) When a young American woman arrives in Lagos, Nigeria to confront her estranged father, she unexpectedly finds herself on a tumultuous journey of self-discovery that will redefine her past and future with a man she may never come to know. Writer/Director: Abbesi Akhamie, Producer: Melissa Adeyemo
Tenderwood (NZ) In a world almost out of water, an elderly mother stands watch over an ancient forest, but when her daughter designs a water supply that requires the trees be felled, she realises her duty to protect the trees is bigger even than family: to save them all, she must become a tree. Writer: Michele Powles, Director: Alyx Duncan, Producers: Lani-Rain Feltham & Emma Slade
Left of Marx (CAN) London 1958: As violent race riots ravage the country, Claudia Jones, a Trinidad-born communist, and deportee from the US, comes up with an ingenious plan to unite Black and white: a fancy dress party that will become the largest street festival in the world. Writer/director: Frances-Anne Soloman, Producers: Frances-Anne Soloman, Adjoa Andoh, Co-producers: Nadine Marsh-Edwards, Lisa Wickham, Shant Joshi
The Circus (VIC) In rural 1950s Australia a beautiful, feisty circus performer meets a lonely and determined female farmer, forcing them to decide whether to confirm or follow their hearts. Writer/director: Emma Freeman, Producer: Leanne Tonkes
Seeing Scout (QLD) In a western Queensland town, a young woman with physical disability and the local footy hero commence a sexual relationship which not only confronts and divides their small-town community but challenges the couple’s expectations of themselves. Co-writers: Tanya Modini & Stephanie Dower, Director: Tanya Modini, Producer: Stephanie Dower.
The White Girl (VIC) Odette Brown is raising her granddaughter Sissy on her own and has managed to stay under the radar of the welfare authorities who are removing Aboriginal children from their communities. Odette must make an impossible choice to protect her family at all costs. Based on the Miles Franklin nominated novel by Tony Birch. Co-writers: Tracey Rigney & Tony Briggs, Director: Tracey Rigney, Producer: Damienne Pradier
Common Ground (NSW/SA) When Omid arrives at a coastal hideaway on the run from Immigration, Kayla, a young surfer who would rather fish and trap rabbits than deal with Centrelink, wants him gone. Then the stubborn Kayla and idealistic Omid fall in love. But just as they begin to imagine a future together, Omid betrays Kayla’s trust and she reports him, extinguishing Omid’s last hope. Writer/directors: Eve Spence & Amin Palangi, Producer: Carolyn Johnson
My Sister Ellie (NSW/UK) An Australian woman abandons her life for a British winter, determined to bring home her pregnant sister, the surrogate of her unborn child. Clutching at clues trailing from London to the Kent coast, her search sends her spiralling into memories of their past. Writer: Samantha Collins, Director: Laura Scrivano, Producers: Jessie Mangum & Samantha Collins
Fads & Miracles (WA) [pictured] Denise is at breaking point. Her teenage daughter, Greyson, refuses to speak. When a charismatic teacher moves to town, he offers an enigmatic treatment that he promises will help, but when Greyson finally opens her mouth it’s not what Denise wants to hear. Writer/director: Zoe Pepper, Producer: Cody Greenwood.
Funding bodies in Australia have welcomed the selection of a diverse range of projects spanning five states with Caroline Pitcher commenting, “I am delighted to congratulate Victorians Damienne, Tracey, Leanne and Emma on their feature films being selected as part of this highly-competitive initiative. Film Victoria’s previous and continued investment in these talented storytellers is part of our commitment to addressing the gender imbalance in decision-making roles in the screen industry. The opportunity to develop innovative approaches to storytelling, financing and distribution with other female-led creative teams will help our Victorian creators reach new audiences and set them on an exciting new path as filmmakers.”
South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) CEO Kate Croser said: “We are delighted to support South Australian producer Carolyn Johnson through the Attagirl initiative, which provides valuable new pathways for female creatives to connect with the international marketplace and explore international financing opportunities.”
Support also comes from Screen West’s Interim Talent Development Manager, Chantal Chateauneuf who said, “We have some incredibly talented female filmmakers in WA, and Screenwest is pleased to support Cody and Zoe in taking their project to the next level as part of the Attagirl lab.”
The selected teams will be mentored by experienced global producers Diana Elbaum (BE), Mike S. Ryan (US), Lorna Tee (NL), Samm Haillay (UK), Roshanak Behest Nedjad (GER) and Michele Tunure Salleo (US) working in conjunction with script, audience and finance consultants.
Attagirl is designed and run by For Film’s Sake with major financial support from Screen Australia’s Enterprise Business & Ideas funding program. Supporting partners also include British Film Institute, Telefilm Canada, Swedish Film Institute, Screen NSW, Screen Queensland, Film Victoria, South Australian Film Corporation, Screenwest and Lotterywest. Head to www.attagirl.online for more details.