Meet the winners of Queer Screen Pitch Off 2020!

Meet the winners of Queer Screen Pitch Off 2020!

We chat to Kate Lefoe and Hayley Adams who won this year’s very different Queer Screen Pitch Off with their project Wicked Women

Despite having to be conducted remotely, this year’s Pitch Off, as part of Queer Screen Film Fest, was just as thrilling – and as hard to decide – as any other year, perhaps even more!

On the day, our panel of judges – Bryan Glick, Madeleine Lim, and Joe Bilancio – called in from various locations around the world, and participants gave their all online, presenting six incredible projects. Ultimately, however, it was director Kate Lefoe, producer Hayley Adams and writer Gina Lambropolous’s project Wicked Women which took the $10,000 prize money!

We got in touch with the team after they came down from the high of winning, to get to know a bit more about them and their project!

Congrats on your pitch! Tell us how you felt doing the Pitch Off, and what it was like having to do it remotely…
We were very grateful that Queer Screen went online this year. Living in Melbourne, we would have missed out on this opportunity otherwise! We did miss meeting the other filmmakers. We were glad to go first so had less time to be nervous! We really enjoyed hearing the other pitches!

Give us a very quick description of Wicked Women, and what you see the finished product will be…
Wicked Women follows 19-year-old Lisa who moves to Sydney with a burning desire to express herself creatively and sexually. She falls hard for her flatmate Francine, and their shared interest in BDSM leads to publishing Australia’s first Lesbian erotica magazine. However, giving female sexuality an expression comes at a price, as these two pioneers struggle not to lose their personal truth amidst the fantasy.

This 8 x 10-minute dramatic web series Wicked Women is based on the true story of Lisa Salmon, a queer woman and her partner, Francine who transitions to Jasper Laybutt. It is set in Sydney in the late 1980s.

This will be a bold and authentic, emotionally driven drama with a sense of humour and a little bit of cheek!

Our pilot will focus on when Lisa and Jasper (Francine) Laybutt fall in love in a rundown Redfern share house, and together start the first edition of the magazine at their kitchen table, banging away on an old typewriter with a broken W!

This will be a bold and authentic, emotionally driven drama with a sense of humour and a little bit of cheek!

Why this project? What got you involved in Wicked Women, and working together?
As a closeted teenager growing up in Wollongong, Kate secretly borrowed every lesbian video she could get herhands on from every video store all over the Illawarra, to watch while her parents were asleep. She knows that seeing queer stories on screen contributes to our sense of identity. Finding the art journals and Wicked Women magazines in the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and reading about these Sydney revolutionaries was the sort of story Kate wished she watched back then.

We met at the Victorian College of Arts, School of Film and Television back in 2014, and have worked together on several shorts and Hayley’s web series. We have a great relationship of trust and respect. It’s really exciting for us to be embarking on the next stages of our career together as we move towards long form narrative production together.

“We’d love for Wicked Women to have multiple series, or a TV show. It’s such an amazing story that really celebrates lesbian and trans history and we want to share it with an audience!”

What do you hope Wicked Women achieves when complete?
Lisa and Jasper really were cultural pioneers, so we hope their story is inspiring both for our LGBTIQ+ community, and the wider community.

We hope it encourages an intergenerational approach to our Australian lesbian and trans history.

We are raising further funds in November through our Australian Cultural fund Match Lab program to allow us to make the first two episodes of Wicked Women. This will really allow us to produce a solid proof of concept to show the style and tone of the series to funding bodies, sponsors and distributors, to raise the finance to complete production on the series.

And we’d love for Wicked Women to have multiple series, or a TV show. It’s such an amazing story that really celebrates lesbian and trans history and we want to share it with an audience!

Tell us what it means to get funding from Queer Screen for Wicked Women?
We are absolutely delighted to have Queer Screen as a partner, and to premiere there in 2021! It’s fantastic to be able to go into production next year, and feels very special that we will get to share this Sydney story with our Sydney audience first!

What will the money go to?
Funding will primarily go to production design, locations and gear – putting the money right on screen!

And, lastly, who are your favourite wicked women?
Frida Kahlo immediately springs to mind! Frida’s dedication to her painting through her personal, physical and romantic pain. Frida’s painting and her self portraits really are a feminist celebration of women’s experiences. 

To read more about this year’s finalists, click here

 

[Note – All names used at the preference of the subjects.]