LevelK Boards SXSW-Bound Aussie Horror Movie ‘Sissy’
LevelK has boarded the buzzed-about Australian horror movie “Sissy” which have its world premiere at SXSW’s Midnighters section. The company is handling international sales on “Sissy,” while XYZ films is representing North American rights.
Penned and directed by Hannah Barlow (For Now) and Kane Senes (Echoes of War, For Now), the film stars Aisha Dee (The Bold Type) as Cecilia, aka Sissy, a twenty-something girl whose best friend is Emma. The two were inseparable until Emma’s new friend Alex got in the way. Twelve years later, Cecilia is a successful social media influencer living the dream of an independent, modern millennial woman, until she runs into Emma for the first time in over a decade. Emma invites Cecilia away on her bachelorette weekend at a remote cabin in the mountains, where Alex proceeds to make Cecilia’s weekend a living hell.
“Sissy is a satirical nightmare directed at the self-victimizing child within all of us,” said Barlow and Senes. “With over 200k followers, our protagonist Cecilia has what we all want: influence. Cecilia’s talent for burying her sad, lonely, trauma-fuelled existence by positioning herself online as a ‘mental health advocate’ makes her cringingly relatable, because aren’t we all actively highlighting the best fragments of ourselves to cancel out our worst?,” added the pair.
Dee stars in the film opposite Lucy Barrett (“Charmed”), Yerin Ha (“Halo”), Emily De Margheriti (“Ladies in Black”), Hannah Barlow (“For Now”) and Daniel Monks (“Pulse”).
Slated for a domestic premiere in the fall, the movie was produced by Lisa Shaunessy and Bec Janek for Arcadia, the team behind Kodi Smit-McPhee sci-fi film “2067” and “Killing Ground” which played at Sundance in 2017. Also producing is John De Margheriti for DEMS Entertainment (“Ladies in Black”), The Academy of Interactive Entertainment and Jason Taylor for Freedom Films.
Alexandra Burke, Vicki De Margheriti, William Day Frank, Barlow, Senes, Anna Dadic, Jacqueline Kerwick, Seth Larney, Mathieu Van De Velde and Clement Dunn are executive producers.
The movie shot in Canberra and received production funding from Screen Canberra, Screen Australia, the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, ACT Film One Investors, Freedom Films, Mind the Gap and Arcadia. Read the Variety exclusive here.