Logline: A young convict woman desperate for freedom rashly chooses a new master, but alone on his isolated farm her hopes for a new life are undermined by the grim truths she discovers.
Current Status: Festival distribution
Length: 22.22 minutes
Writer: Heidi Lee Douglas
Director: Heidi Lee Douglas
Producer: Heidi Lee Douglas & Roger Scholes
About Heidi Douglas: Up and coming Australian writer/director Heidi Lee Douglas comes to drama film production with a wealth of hands on practical experience, combined with rich life experience gained through documentary filmmaking. LITTLE LAMB, produced under Screen Australia’s Raw Nerve Initiative, premiered at Fantastic Fest (Austin, TX) and Flickerfest. Heidi is developing the story world she created in LITTLE LAMB into a Convict Western feature film supported by Screen Tasmania and Pavilion Entertainment and Finance.
Looking for (ie buyer, distributor, sales agent, producer, media interest)
Agent, distributor, buyer, media interest
Funders or made in association with: Screen Australia’s Raw Nerve Initiative, Wide Angle Tasmania
Where can I watch it?
WOWFF SHORTS SCREAM QUEENS
Saturday 30th April, 2-4pm @ Cinema PARIS
1. Congratulations! Why did you decide to make this film?
The story was partly inspired by Jungian psychoanalyst Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ retelling of the Bluebeard fairytale which is about predatory men. It was the first story I recognise in my own life as having been 'story medicine', something I am quite interested in as a storyteller because I believe we can help shape humanity through the stories we share.
Bluebeard is about learning to trust our intuition. I combined this archetypal story with the real life stories of convict women who had been completely disempowered and abused by the colonial system. I wanted to retell their story but empower the female protagonist of my film. When I was shooting and editing the film I realised the film is also about my own journey re-empowerment.
2. Why is it called Little Lamb?
The main character Louisa is called a 'little lamb' as by her wizened convict friend Agnes, who thinks Louisa won’t survive outside the prison walls in the violent colony. When Louisa goes out into this colony with Mr Black and finds herself isolated on his farm in the wilderness she meets a real lamb that she befriends.
Her relationship with his animal is key to the story. Essentially Louisa turns out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, as she finds the inner power to overcome the threats against her.
3. Why did you choose the gothic thriller?
Little Lamb won Best Script at the Stranger With my Face Film Festival Script Challenge in 2012. This script writing competition calls for Tasmanian gothic screen writing.
4. What type of feedback have you received so far?
WOW is the 25th film festival to screen Little Lamb including a prestigious premiere at Fantastic Fest (Austin TX) and the film will also be broadcast across USA, Europe, Middle East and Africa in 2016 by Short TV.
Market interest in developing the film into a feature has led me to write the Convict Western feature Unnatural Conduct, which has been supported by Screen Tasmania and Pavilion Entertainment and Finance, with producers Marcus Gillezeau and Fiona McConaghy and Executive Producer Chris Brown.
5. Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I have been thrilled at how well the film has been received by audiences, especially female audiences who love the story and have passionately encouraged me to make a feature version. Speaking to these audiences it has really proven to me first hand how female audiences crave seeing complex female protagonists on screen.
6. Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify the message of this film?
sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists
7. What type of impact would you like this film to have?
Little Lamb highlights the untold story of convict women in Australia’s history. I’d like it to makes us think about these women, our forebears, and pay homage to what they went through in order to build this colony.
8. What’s a key question that will help spark a debate about this film?
Why haven’t there been films about convict women in Australian film and is there space for more than one? Jennifer Kent (BABADOOK) is also writing and directing a feature film about a convict woman in 1800’s Van Diemen’s Land.
9. What other projects are you currently developing or directing?
Why haven’t there been films about convict women in Australian film and is there space for more than one? Jennifer Kent (BABADOOK) is also writing and directing a feature film about a convict woman in 1800’s Van Diemen’s Land. I passionately believe there is space for more than one “female convict film”.
10. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
This was my first drama film made on a tiny budget of $400We have won the following awards:
Best Thriller Short - Motor City Nightmares Haunted Halloween Horror Film Festival 2015
Honourable Mention - Australian Shorts, Stranger With My Face Horror Film Festival 2014
Best Script - 10 by 10 Script Challenge, Stranger With My Face Film Festival 2012
And we just won Best Film and Best Production design at WOW Film Festival 2016!