Six years on and Judy Pascoe’s
novel is now a film. Nothing unusual about that. Turning books into
films is something that happens all the time.
But this one was different.
While I was busy developing the project from my hometown of Perth, Western Australia, Julie Bertuccelli, a French writer/director, was reading the book from her home in Paris.
Left to right: Julie Bertuccelli (director) and Sue Taylor (producer).
She too thought it would make a good film, and was disappointed to discover I had secured the rights. In fact, I was already well down the development path and had just commissioned Sydney based writer, Elizabeth Mars, to write the first draft of the screenplay.
But Julie was determined not to give up. So, along with her producer Yaël Fogiel, tracked me down to the other side of the world.
Having a French director tell an Australian story was not something I’d given much thought to, but from our first conversation, it was clear we wanted to make the same film. We might speak a different language but the emotional connection was identical. So we agreed to work together.
What none of us realised at the time was that Julie’s husband, Christophe, was soon to become gravely ill. Sadly, he died in 2006, leaving her with two young children, Emma and Darius.
This is now their story, no matter where or how it started.
The result is a tribute to Julie’s remarkable persistence, courage and vision. It’s a beautiful screenplay. And a rare example of truly cross-cultural filmmaking.