Marion Pilowsky will make her feature directorial debut with The Call Back, a comedy set to shoot in and around Adelaide later this year.
The project has secured production investment funding from Fox International Productions, Screen Australia and the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC), and will be distributed by 20th Century Fox Film Australia.
Pilowsky has EP’d films such as Little Fish and Being Julia, and produced Sleuth and My Five Last Girlfriends. However, in recent years she has also turned her hand to writing and directing. Her short The Ride was nominated for a Jury Prize at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, and her most recent film What We Know was the only Australian film invited to the Edinburgh Film Festival last year.
The Call Back, which Pilowsky wrote with Lee A. Sellars, explores into the “madness inflicted upon us when visitors overstay their welcome”. It follows struggling restaurateur Ronnie whose world is turned upside down when a former flame – a British moviestar – returns to Australia with a French lover in tow.
Pilowsky will also produce the film via Corner Table Productions, along with Sue Murray (Charlie’s Country, Ten Canoes) and David Willing (My Last Five Girlfriends).
“After working in London for many years I returned to my hometown of Adelaide to focus on writing and directing. In the beginning it really struck me how alien I felt after being away for so long. As I readjusted to the vast differences in culture and mindset between Europe and Australia, it gave me an idea for a story that I felt many could relate to – the visitors from hell,” said Pilowsky.
“This is a film about finding your true home, love, sex, food and bloody good Shiraz, as well as being my own personal ode to Australia.”
President of Fox International Productions Tomas Jegeus said there was enormous potential in Pilowsky and The Call Back.
“The script made me laugh out loud and was a story with universal themes so we were super excited to jump on board a project that we believe will travel around the world,” he said.
20th Century Fox’s president of theatrical distribution Andrew Cripps agreed the project was the kind of story that will cross international boundaries.
“It speaks with a truly authentic local voice that will easily translate to an audience who look for films that reflect their own lives, especially through comedy.”
The Call Back has also secured support via Screen Australia’s Gender Matters: Better Deals, an initiative designed to incentivise distributors to consider female driven projects. It sees Screen Australia match the distributor’s minimum guarantee as a non-recoupable contribution to the P&A budget.