Robyn Grace

Yellow

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Sometimes staying quiet is not the way forward. After being bullied at school and ignored at home, a young girl finally finds her voice in the strangest place. It opens her eyes to the joys that have been right in front of her all along. Set in the 1970's, we follow a 7 year old girl through a journey of self-discovery.

This story should evoke feelings of heat, the joy of a childhood summer, memories of a time gone by. The smell of Coppertone suntan lotion, or watermelon eaten off the rind. How the dust settles after a summer storm. The sound of a water sprinkler, or eating corn on the cob. Visceral reactions to the images.

I wrote this story five years ago. I didn't get to make it then, it clearly needed more time to brew, to grow, to ripen. So, I put it away.

I came back to it after my Mum died unexpectedly and tragically last year. It suddenly became important to tell the story that comes directly from my childhood, and has a moment of my Mum in all her silent strength in the kitchen, keeping us all fed and moving forward. So, it was after the funeral when everything became quiet again, that I had a thought about YELLOW, and the new ending sprang out of my brain at 3am (that's when all the good stuff happens!).

It is set in the early 70's which will immediately speak to a certain audience. My previous short film A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO SHOES also spoke to a similar audience. People of a 'certain age', mainly women, but not exclusively.  This story will resonate in the same way and trigger memories from their past.

It will be full of 1970's Kiwiana. Crown Lynn plates on the table, marmite on the kitchen bench, Sparkles lollies, Tiptop Bread, gumboots on the school step, the old iron monkey bars that someone's dad welded together in the 50's.

I know my voice, I want to tell great stories, about people, to uncover the layers that mean not everyone is good or evil, black or white, but we are all just varying shades of grey. Heartbreak can be funny, pure joy can be traumatic, being in love can actually mean you hate them.

That's what I want to say, that's my voice.

When I think of this story, the day I saw the bird catcher in the paddock, it makes me smile, makes me think of skipping to school, of running and jumping, of the sun on my back, of laughing out loud. If that's what happens to anyone who watches Yellow, then I will have succeeded.

THE FUTURE

This short film is an important step toward developing my next project, my first feature film which is set in the late-60's / early-70s about a young woman struggling against NZ societal norms to raise a child on her own. 

WHAT WE WILL DO WITH THE MONEY

We aim to shoot in January 2019. This will be a four day shoot, and with the money raised we will be able to pay the crew a daily allowance, petrol to travel to rural locales around Auckland, and feed them while they are stuck in a paddock for the day. We can also pay for all the equipment. We have begged borrowed and potentially stolen as much as we can get away with, but sometimes you have to pay your way! 

CAST

We have secured a fabulous cast! 

Miriama McDowell (Waru, Mahana and Dark Horse)

Sophie Hambleton (Westside, Rage, Consent)

Matthew Saville (District 9, The Most Fun You Can Have Dying)

Toby Leach (6 Days, Resolve, 1953)

The amazingly talented Liz Mullane (Lord of the Rings, Hobbit) is currently holding casting sessions to find our delightful young cast. We are so lucky to have Liz and her years of experience, especially casting children. 

ROBYN GRACE - WRITER / DIRECTOR

Robyn studied Drama & Film, and English Literature at Victoria University in Wellington, she went straight on to start a career in the theatre, working in lighting, stage management, publicity and eventually Directing, with the critically acclaimed "Dry White and Friendly". She also directed Alan Brough in his Comedy sensation "You've been a bad, bad boy Elvis" which toured from NZ to the Montreal Comedy Festival.

After a stint overseas she returned to work in New Zealand, as a First Assistant Director in the film industry.

She has worked extensively in New Zealand on many productions including big US funded features "30 Days of Night" and "Deathgasm", and dramas, "Legend of the Seeker", "Spartacus" and "Shannara". And great New Zealand features such as "The Most Fun You Can Have Dying", "The Weight of Elephants", "One Thousand Ropes", "McLaren", and "In Dark Places". She also worked in South Africa on the hit "District 9" for Peter Jackson's company Wingnut Films, and in Munich on "Guns Akimbo" with Jason Leigh Howden. Latterly, she has been Associate Producer on several films.

Robyn's first short film "A Women's Right To Shoes" as Writer, Director is currently in the festival circuit, having premiered at Palm Springs Shortfest 17, shortlisted for awards at the Madrid International Festival 2018 (Best Talented Newcomer Robyn Grace - Best Cinematographer John Cavill) and at Austin Comedy Festival 2018 (Best International Short) and 15 other festivals worldwide including the World of Women Film Fair Middle East as part of 2018 International Woman's Day celebrations.

Robyn has also Directed three series of "Korero Mai" (series 7, 8, 9) and three episodes of "The Cul de Sac" (S2 Ep3 - S3 Ep 3&4) a popular children's series for TVNZ. Robyn also has four sons, two stepchildren and a lifestyle block full of chickens, ducks and sheep!

PRODUCER - RORY MACGILLYCUDDY

Following his production debut with A WOMAN"S RIGHT TO SHOES, Rory is bringing his project management and fundraising expertise to the project. He has assembled a group of mentors, including the talented Chloe Smith, kindly bringing their experience to the mix.

 We hope you can support our film, by donating and/or spreading the word of the campaign. Thank you!! Please share the link to the Boosted campaign.

Don't forget if you're an NZ tax resident the lovely team at Boosted will provide a receipt to claim a  33% tax credit  in your tax return.