Keira, 11, is a lonely, compulsive thief. She steals from the pregnant women taking classes at the local Aquatic Centre and displays the trinkets proudly at the small apartment she shares with Beth. Beth's burgeoning relationship with Jack means Keira must compete for attention at the risk of losing the only family she has.
- Clementine Bell
- Marlo Kelly
- Ezekiel Simat
- Tasma Walton
- Melissa Anastasi
- Emma Paine
- Melissa Anastasi
- Chiara Costanza
Chlorine is an intimate film about the struggles of a young thief and her hapless young mother living on the fringes of society in a run down housing estate. This project is an exploration of blood ties, and the bond between family under extremely difficult circumstances. The film explores the tension between familial obligations over a reckless, youthful desire for freedom.
Keira frequents the local pool, where she steals not merely out of a desire for material security; she is seeking to fill the hole left in her life by the regular absence of family. The film takes place in the two distinct worlds that Keira moves between – the world of the housing estate, and the world of the aquatic centre.
The aquatic centre is a cocooned world of its own, where mothers and their children bond – it is like a womb, and the fact that we see Keira here time and again, watching and stealing from these women, is symbolic of her desire to be mothered, to have familial and maternal love in her life.
Visually the film has a fluid floating shooting style to match Keira’s careful, calculated and watchful approach to a world she must carefully navigate in order to survive. Composed shots of the pool world, capturing its order and geometry, and the pregnant female form against it, juxtapose the messiness of Keira’s life beyond its walls. By taking a more formal approach to this subject matter, I seek to elevate it beyond the confines of social-realist drama and take it into a much more poetic and subjective space, as seen through the eyes of the protagonist, who studies these women as though she can absorb something from them through osmosis.
The female characters in the film are rich and complex, and this is something that I intend to carry through in my long form work. By making Chlorine I seek to represent these women’s stories in an authentic and honest way that is emotionally resonant.
- DOLLHOUSE PICTURES
Melissa is an award-winning writer/director who works across multiple disciplines including; film, documentary, music video and commercials. Her short films have screened worldwide at major international film festivals including Uppsala, Tampere, Cannes Cinema Antipodes, St Tropez, Oldenburg, Brisbane International, Flickerfest, and New Directors New York. She was awarded an ADG award for her short film BY THIS RIVER, which also won the EU Film Award. Whilst undertaking postgraduate studies at AFTRS, Melissa was awarded a Kenneth B Myer Scholarship for Creative Excellence, and later received the AFTRS Creative Fellowship. She also received support through the Screen Australia Hot Shots Initiative for her short film SLEEPWALKING, and received the Lexus Sydney Film Festival Fellowship for her most recent short film CHLORINE. As a writer, Melissa’s feature film screenplays have been shortlisted for the Sundance Lab, and previously selected for the Binger FilmLab in Amsterdam. She is currently developing the feature screenplay BLUEBIRDS with support from Screen Australia and Screen NSW. Her film CHLORINE (2019) was selected at Sydney FF.