In 2008 Alethea Jones attended the IF Awards after party and, borrowing someone else’s award, posted a photograph and caption on Facebook – “If only…”.
Three years later that ‘if only’ became a reality when she and Offspring actor Richard Davies were awarded the Best Short Film IF Award for When the Wind Changes.
It was Davies who, having acted in her graduating film work at VCA, approached Jones with the idea for the short film.
“He was really nervous giving me the script but I read it and just fell in love with it,” Jones told IF. “The idea of two people talking at the same time is great and the way that he pitched it to me was very funny. He told me a sentence to say and as I said it he repeated it at the same time as me, and he goes ‘it’s funny, isn’t it?’”
The film was something of a passion project for the pair who not only paid for the film out of their own pockets – choosing to forgo funding because they “wanted to make something really quickly” – but also called in favours from friends and contacts as well as fulfilling several roles themselves.
Davies acted as writer, producer and actor (playing Jack, one of the unfortunate cursed friends in the film) while Jones wore the mantel of director and editor because, as she says, “no one would edit this weird film except for me”.
Their hard work paid off as the pair won not only the IF Award but also the Audience Award at Flickerfest 2010, an honour which saw them returning to Bondi last November to shoot the trailer for this year’s festival, which is currently being held at the Bondi Pavillion.
This year looks to be a standout year for Jones, who has several short films in the pipeline, including another collaboration with Davies and a short film musical. She has also recently completed work on a documentary called Tissue for the ABC’s third Anatomy series.
“It’s about these amazing artists in Perth that grow victimless leather. So, imagine wearing a leather jacket where a cow wasn’t killed, where it was grown,” Jones said of the project, which was influenced by The Royal Tenenbaums director Wes Anderson.
“I feel like I’m at a glass ceiling where it’s just a war of attrition now,” the director said. “For the next few months I’m just going to pump out so much work because something’s got to happen.”