Audiences at this month’s Flickerfest will be treated to a taste of an upcoming feature from director Jasmin Tarasin and writer John Collee.
Proof-of-concept short film The Story of Lee Ping provides a snapshot of the world that will be featured in Tarasin’s upcoming feature debut, which is based on novel ‘The Burial’ by Courtney Collins.
Set in the rural backlots of 1920s Australia, the 14-minute drama follows a young Chinese woman (Jillian Nguyen) who is imprisoned as an erotic dancer.
As she plots her freedom, Lee meets Jack (Mark Coles Smith), an Aboriginal farmhand who changes her perspective.
The film was produced by Lucy Maclaren and Jo McNulty-Clark, with Stephen Vineberg, Deanne Weir and Oliver Lawrance serving as executive producers.
Tarasin said she was inspired to tell the back stories of two minor characters from what will become the feature as they explored similar themes to the main story.
“Thematically, it marries the feature which is about a woman’s quest to find freedom on her own terms in a post-WWI soldier settlement,” she said.
“The film I’m making is about a true-to-life female bushranger called Jessie, who carved her own way at a time when there were limited opportunities for women.
“I’ve always been passionate about telling stories about women who lived the way they wanted to live.”
Casting has begun for the feature film, with the leads expected to be announced next month ahead of production later in the year.
Having first optioned Collins’ novel ten years ago, Tarasin has since worked with Screen Australia and Film Victoria to develop the project, collaborating with executive producer Tim White, and writers Collee and Polly Watkins.
She said working working with Collee had been one of the highlights so far, describing him as a “true feminist”.
“He has been fantastic to work with because he loves this world as much as I do,” she said.
“We had an all-female creative team but he is a feminist, so I knew he would be great, and he was.”
Tarasin hopes to begin shooting the feature film in September.
Flickerfest will be held from January 22-31 at Bondi Beach in Sydney. Click here for more information.