Madeleine Gottlieb is co-developing a seven-part online series which will give female and non-binary perspectives on contemporary masculinity as well as writing a feature for Revlover Films’ Martha Coleman and Lauren Edwards.
Screen Australia is funding the development of MASC (working title), which she co-created with Easy Tiger’s Laura Nagy.
Her co-collaborators are Nagy, Renée Marie Petropoulos, Hyun Lee, Imogen McCluskey, Shari Sebbens and Cloudy Rhodes. Each segment will focus on a different man at his particular stage of life.
“I am really interested in exploring the sensitive, more gentle, non-hyper masc side of masculinity,” Gottlieb tells IF.
The feature is Panyee, which is set on the man-made floating island of Koh Panyee in Thailand, to be directed by Matt Devine, inspired by his short Panyee FC.
The narrative will follow a group of young Thai boys who build a rickety football pitch in their floating village, helping one to deal with his demons.
Transmission Films, Screen Australia and Screen NSW are supporting the development.
Madeleine, who works for Revlover three days a week, says: “I would not be where I am without the help and support of Martha and Lauren, who make me feel I have the tools and ability to go after what I want to go after.”
While she spent two and a half years studying law at the University of Sydney, she soon realised that wasn’t the career she wanted to pursue.
Fortuitously she arranged an internship at Goalpost Pictures, which both relieved the tedium of her law studies and enabled her to develop her long-held interest in storytelling.
That turned into a full-time role at Goalpost and serving as script coordinator and assistant to Wayne Blair on the first season of the ABC’s Cleverman in 2016.
After three years at Goalpost she departed to focus on directing, starting with the AWGIE-winning short I F***ed a Mermaid and No One Believes Me, scripted by Joel Perlgut and produced by Liam Heyen and Cyna Strachan.
She is now editing You and Me, Before and After, her fourth short as writer-director, which attracted a stellar cast in Yael Stone, Emily Barclay and Tracy Mann.
Shot with a 95 per cent female cast and crew, the short follows Jewish sisters Hannah (Stone) and Rachel (Barclay), who decide to get their first tattoos together.
Stuck side by side in the tattoo studio, they are forced to confront a shared history that is both painful and hilarious. Mann has a cameo as the owner of the tattoo studio.
“It was very surreal to see Yael and Emily on set and hear them saying the words I’d put on the page,” she says. “They were so generous and lovely and incredible to work with.”
Gottlieb describes the film as a love letter to her younger sister and hopes it will be invited to the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, where her second short Snare had its world premiere last year.
Last year she had a Screen Australia-funded director’s attachment on Leah Purcell’s revisionist Western The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson.
Watching Purcell at work as the director, star and writer of the 1893-set film produced by Oombarra Productions’ Bain Stewart and Bunya Productions’ David Jowsey, Angela Littlejohn and Greer Simpkin, was a revelation.
“Leah is incredibly inspiring; she has the utmost respect for every single person on the production,” she says. “You could tell that every person there was servicing her vision.
“Tonally the film is in line with the classic Western, it has a feminist edge with Leah’s trademark sense of humour and a real message of hope.”