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06 07 2023 - Media release

Zoe Pepper’s debut feature film Birthright heading into production in Western Australia this year


Birthright writer/director Zoe Pepper and producer Cody Greenwood

Screen Australia and Screenwest have announced that Western Australian feature film Birthright, is set to head into production in WA this year having now secured support from Screenwest, Screen Australia and Madman.

Birthright is a 90-minute dark comedy feature film from writer/director Zoe Pepper (Lift, The Big Spaghetti), producer Cody Greenwood (Under The Volcano, Girl Like You) and executive producer John Maynard (Romulus, My Father, The Boys).

The film was the 2022 recipient of Screenwest’s highly coveted West Coast Visions initiative, which is designed to uncover, inspire and develop talented and motivated WA filmmakers with distinctive visions to produce their debut feature film in WA. Through this initiative, Birthright secured $750,000 production funding from Screenwest and has since secured Screen Australia production funding and Madman as ANZ distributor, giving the project the green light for production.

Birthright follows Cory and Jasmine, who are a professional couple in their 30s and are eight months pregnant. But when Corey loses his job, they are forced to move back in with his retiree parents until they get back on their feet. As their stay extends, Cory fixates on his parents’ wealth and decides the only way to achieve the success he always imagined, is to do something unimaginable.

Screen Australia’s Head of Content Grainne Brunsdon said, “With the high-quality storytelling coming out of the Western Australian film industry, we are proud to support talented teams like Zoe Pepper, Cody Greenwood and John Maynard to bring their creative vision for the film to fruition.”

“I am confident that the team behind Birthright will do an excellent job at delivering the visuals and humour needed to make this production come to life — providing an engaging insight into the themes of family and personal survival,” said Brunsdon.

“Screenwest is thrilled to see Birthright heading into production in what will be Western Australia’s biggest year of screen production ever. The film is quintessentially Australian with global sensibilities, and we look forward to supporting Zoe and Cody as they bring it to life,” said Rikki Lea Bestall, Screenwest CEO.

“Zoe has let loose with Birthright. It is a dark, funny and wild ride. It's a timely story that taps into a conversation about the housing affordability crisis and a powerplay between Baby Boomers and their Millennial children. We're thrilled to now have Screenwest, Screen Australia and Madman on board and we can’t wait to kick off production in Perth later this year,” said producer Cody Greenwood.

Birthright has the ingredients to become a buzzy festival film mixing social satire and thriller elements. Zoe Pepper’s writing will attract talent and we have full confidence in the producing team to deliver a tense, thought-provoking tragicomedy,” said Paul Wiegard, CoFounder & CEO, Madman Entertainment.

Birthright is set to head into production in Western Australia later this year.

Production credit: Birthright is a Rush Films production. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screenwest. Local distribution by Madman Entertainment. Post, digital and visual effects supported by Sandbox Productions. Developed with the assistance of Screenwest.

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