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You are a Sydney girl living in New York. How did that
I came here on a two-week holiday and fell in love. Seven
years later I’m still in NYC, and still in love.
As a filmmaker how being in New York has impacted
In general, I work in some sort of producing capacity,
which means I develop scripts and ideas, package and
pitch projects, put together budgets, raise money, hire
crew and basically make sure the film comes together
on schedule and on budget, with as few catastrophes as
possible. Right now, I’m making my directorial debut, which
is nerve-wracking but very exciting.
NY has been amazing for my career.
When I arrived I had a few short-
films under my belt and a couple of
student pieces. Three years later I was
producing my first feature film.
What do you like about New York?
I know it’s cliché but I love the frenetic and creative energy
of the city. New Yorkers are an upbeat and positive bunch
and there’s an infectious attitude that anything’s possible.
Luckily this attitude also pervades the film world, where
everyone’s open to the possibility that you may have the
next hot project in your hands.
Have you made any forays into the lesbian scene?
The lesbian scene is pretty hot and diverse. Whether you’re
butch, lippy, sporty or diva, you’ll find your match. Much like
everything else in NY there’s something for everyone.
You are currently working on a feature-length
documentary. What’s it about?
The documentary is about gay rugby and the international
gay rugby tournament, the Bingham Cup, which is named
after 9/11 hero and gay rugby player, Mark Bingham, who
was one of the four passengers who stormed the cockpit
on Flight 93. Walk Like A Man follows the two top teams,
Sydney Convicts and San Francisco Fog, as they prepare
to face-off in the 2006 Bingham Cup. And, yes, there’s girly
action, but it all takes place on the rugby field. In the 2006
Bingham Cup, female Fog members were permitted to play
alongside and against the guys. In fact one of the female
player’s, Annah, is a featured character in the documentary.
You’ll see her happily – and fearlessly – take on the guys.
What is your role in this project?
I’m producing, directing, researching, transcribing, coffee
making… the joy of low budget filmmaking. However, I can’t
take all credit; I’m working with a talented team of people.
Some of the challenges, obstacles or triumphs so
Like any project there are peaks and valleys – too many
to mention; it’s part of the filmmaking journey. The biggest
challenge though has been raising money, especially when
we started out. At that point we had a story which hadn’t
played out yet, so it was hard to get people behind
the project: “Intriguing concept, but are the characters
interesting?” As it happens they are.
“Will the teams you are following face-
off in the finals?” As it happened they
did. Now, they’re believers.
Another obstacle, especially in the
U.S., is that the film is considered
a ‘gay’ film, even though the film
reflects on many issues, including the diversity of the
teams themselves, which consist of gay and straight
men and women. This attitude is changing, however,
and a few mainstream distributors have come forward in
acknowledgement of the film’s value and its ‘crossover’
potential. Hopefully WLAM helps to improve the crossover
potential of other gay genre movies in future.
What qualities do you need to be a successful
Determination, perseverance, resourcefulness and an
objective point of view – know when you’ve got something
good and don’t take no for an answer. Recognise when you
don’t and move on. A thick skin helps – you have to deal
with plenty of rejection. Passion and constant enthusiasm
are essential – that’s what keeps you going when you hit
When, where or how can we see Walk Like a Man?
In Australia the film will air on SBS later in the year. In the
U.S. we’re working on a theatrical release. If you’d like to
be kept informed about the film’s progress, please join our
mailing list on http://therugbyfilm.com/contact.php
What’s next after this is wrapped?
I have several projects at various stages of development.
Which one will be next? I’m not sure yet. But I do have
a documentary that will take me through the U.S. and
European art world – I quite fancy that next.
FOR AN EXPAT
– that’s what
you hit the
Patty Zagarella; and
Annah in action
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