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25 10 2017 - Media release

Mia Wasikowska to star in Mirrah Foulkes’ debut feature Judy and Punch


Actress turned writer/director Mirrah Foulkes is set to make her feature directorial debut with Judy and Punch – an origin story that will re-imagine the classic puppet show with Mia Wasikowska (Tracks, Stoker, Maps to the Stars) in the starring role of Judy.

The VICE Media Australia with Blue-Tongue Films feature has attracted major production investment from VICE Media (USA) and Screen Australia, in association with Film Victoria.

Produced by Michele Bennett (Mr Inbetween, Chopper) alongside Blue-Tongue Films’ Nash Edgerton (Mr Inbetween, The Square) and VICE Media’s Danny Gabai (Bad Batch), Judy and Punch will be executive produced by Oscar-nominated Vincent Landay (Her, Being John Malkovich) and VICE Media’s Chief Creative Officer Eddy Moretti. Cornerstone Films is attached for international sales.

Judy and Punch is a live-action reinterpretation of the story of ‘Punch and Judy’, a puppet play traditionally told with marionettes. Set in the fictional town of Seaside, it follows two puppeteers – the vain but charismatic Punch and his resilient and talented wife Judy – as they attempt to resurrect their show as a means of escaping their decrepit town. Described by Ms Foulkes as “a crazy mix of fantasy, feminism and fanaticism”, the world she has created for Judy and Punch is coarse and brutal, bubbling with violence, misogyny and magic.

“Mirrah has written a brilliantly entertaining and highly original script, and has such a unique vision as a director,” said producers Michele Bennett and Nash Edgerton. “We’re very excited to be working with her and collaborating with the ground-breaking team at VICE Media, who have championed both Mirrah and Judy and Punch from the outset.”

“Mirrah Foulkes is one of the most original new voices in cinema we’ve seen — someone who is able to find the perfect balance of character and chaos, emotion and humour,” said Danny Gabai from VICE Media. “We’ve had the pleasure of watching her develop her talents as a filmmaker over the years, and we couldn’t be more excited to team up with our friends at Blue-Tongue and Screen Australia to help make her wildly inventive script into a reality.”

Judy and Punch will be writer/director Mirrah Foulkes’ first feature after a string of successful short films – Dumpy Goes to the Big Smoke (2012), Florence Has Left the Building (2014) and Trespass (2016) – which have screened at Toronto International Film Festival, London Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival, and won several awards including Best Short Fiction Film at the 2015 AACTA Awards.

Screen Australia’s Head of Production Sally Caplan says Foulkes is one to watch, an exciting and talented writer/director gifted with a unique voice and strong creative vision. “We have been tracking Mirrah Foulkes for a number of years and are impressed that for her first feature she has managed to blend dark and dirty deeds with great wit and humour, creating an atmospheric fantasy world brimming with intrigue. It is no surprise to us that such a distinctive project has attracted significant US investment from VICE Media, and a top tier producing team.”

The feature project originated with VICE Media’s Chief Commercial & Creative Officer Tom Punch and his sister Lucy Punch, and will commence filming in regional Victoria in April 2018.

Film Victoria CEO Jenni Tosi congratulated Ms Foulkes on her directorial debut saying, “We’re delighted to be supporting Mirrah to realise her bold and distinctive retake on the lives of Judy and Punch. Casting Mia Wasikowska, who brings nuance and intelligence to her roles, is an inspired choice and the cinematic locations she has selected will add yet another dimension to the world she has created in the screenplay. We wish the team every success with this exciting feature.”

Production credit: A VICE Media Australia with Blue-Tongue Films feature with principal production investment from VICE Media (USA) and Screen Australia, in association with Film Victoria.

VICE, Blue-Tongue Films, Film Victoria

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