innocence / beauty
FEATURE in development
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When a struggling female filmmaker drunkenly unleashes a bitter spoof screenplay, the industry discovers its new “authentic voice.”
The Player (Robert Altman, 1992)
Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
Struggling female filmmaker Jo Papazoglou is tired. Tired of grinding out an existence of day job, caring for her ill mother and dealing with her feckless agent. Tired of seeing her peers welcomed into an industry that only accepts them if they’re making films about innocence, beauty and, of course, suffering, as if that’s the only type of film a woman can make. So tired is she, that she ends up getting drunk and hammers out a spiteful parody script, a lurid slice of poverty-porn, full of outrageous Dickensian stereotypes. “Innocence/Beauty: a story of innocence and beauty” is born.
All hell breaks loose as Jo's script accidentally finds its way into the hands of slick Brooklyn-bred producer Ernie Muniz, who is convinced that the industry has found its new ‘authentic voice.’ Unable to turn down the opportunity, Jo becomes trapped in one of the darkly comic spirals that she loves to inflict upon her own characters, trying desperately to make something good of the offensive trash she has written. And so a battle plays out for the soul of the film between Jo, trying to save her integrity, and Ernie, who sees Jo as just another minority female face that he can use to galvanise his own reputation.
As Jo sinks further into despair, her vivid nightmares begin to become indistinguishable from reality, and her own storyline starts to overlap with that of the main protagonist of “Innocence/Beauty.”Ultimately, Jo comes to realise that all of the people she looked down upon, her peers, colleagues, underwhelming actors, even her agent, are all trying to do the best they can, just like her. And she learns that her rage should be directed towards the gatekeepers that pigeonhole writers from under-represented backgrounds to satiate their audience’s need to feel worthy. As she is left onstage to introduce her film, next to the abusive Ernie, will she finally unleash her true voice, and speak out?
Get Out (Jordan Peele, 2017)
The Farewell (Lulu Wang, 2019)
Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2013)
laura spini & laurence brook
A duo specialising in dark/weird/placid comedy. Their short You Are Whole, starring North American actor Fred Melamed, premiered at Edinburgh and Palm Springs. They just completed a new short, A Disappearance, set in the world of psychics and starring Sophie Thompson.
With a background in animation at the RCA, Zoë has designed two features, McKellen: Playing the Part and Film London's The Visitor. She was art director on Chicken, Fisherman's Friends, and Simon Amstell's Benjamin. She has exhibited work at the BFI, Courtald Institute, RSC and V&A.
Giorgio has scored feature films, TV series, documentaries and shorts which have premiered at Sundance, Berlin, and Venice film festivals, amongst others. He has been nominated for an Italian Golden Globe, and was awarded Best Score at the Kinotavr Open Russia Film Festival.
Tian is a cinematographer and London Film School graduate. He spent seven years developing and directing Barley Fields on the Other Side of the Mountain, a Tibetan-set feature film shot in the Himalayas which premiered at the Mumbai Film Festival in 2017.
In 2012, Rebecca moved from her native Scotland to London, where she produces commercials, corporate content and short films. In 2016, she won the BAFTA for Best British Short with Operator, directed by Caroline Bartleet and starring Kate Dickie and Vicky McClure.
Dot Wieckowska is a costume designer working across film and live performance. Since graduating from Wimbledon College of Art in 2014. Dot has designed over a dozen of short films and a feature movie. She has also assisted on a number of live immersive events for Secret Cinema and Immersive Cult.