There may be no better place to set a film about truth, trust, and authenticity than a drama school. Adapted from the novel by Booker Prize–winning author Eleanor Catton.
When young Stanley (James Rolleston) auditions for drama school, he has only a faint idea of what he's in for. He quickly makes friends with many in his class, especially his roommate, the clownish William. Stanley is not quite prepared for the emotional rigour and pressure of some of his classes, particularly those taught by the institute head, Hannah. She is a force of nature, played to the hilt by Kerry Fox: commanding and charismatic, but with questionable ethics around how far to push her students. And she's pushing some of them close to breaking point.
In the meantime, Stanley has met a girl. He likes her a lot and his affection is undiminished by the television news broadcast that reveals her family to be going through a steamy scandal. When his classmates suggest that their final-year group project be a dramatization of that same scandal — and that Stanley's relationship with her could provide access to prime dramatic material — he feels the moral pinch.
Following the 6.20pm screening on Wednesday 18th January, join us for She Speaks First, a special screening and Q&A event.
Director Alison Maclean will join us with a video-introduction from LA. After the screening we'll be joined by Kim Krejus, artistic director of 16th Street Actors Studio.
She Speaks First is a female-focused film series presented by Grey Gardens Projects. The series screens films made by women followed by conversations focusing on the space women occupy in cinema; her gaze, her voice, and her story.