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Then She Was Gone

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Then She Was Gone
File:Then She Was Gone Poster.jpg
Festival release poster
Directed byBurleigh Smith
Produced byMat de Koning
Burleigh Smith
Written byBurleigh Smith
StarringBurleigh Smith
Sarah Louella
Gordon Honeycombe
CinematographyMat de Koning
Edited byRoss Farnsworth
Production
company
Wavebreaker
Distributed byWavebreaker
Release date
  • February 21, 2010 (2010-02-21)
Running time
7 minutes
CountryAustralia
LanguageEnglish

Then She Was Gone is a 2010 short comedy-drama film, written and directed by Burleigh Smith. It features Smith, Sarah Louella and Gordon Honeycombe. The film was awarded Best Drama at the 2010 Katoomba Short Film Festival and Best Director at the 2011 West Australian Screen Awards.[1][2]

Plot[edit | edit source]

Basil (Burleigh Smith) lives in Perth, Western Australia and feels isolated. His psychologist provides little help. Then Basil meets Mia (Sarah Louella), a florist. He pretends to share her love of ballet and invites her to a performance. They have a great time but several days later, Mia tells him she's only interested in him as a friend. Romantically, she prefers men who are masculine.

Basil does his best to hide his hurt. He continues to spend time with Mia and tells her he was raised without a father and knows little of what it is to be a man. This strikes a chord with Mia, who never had a mother. Mia attempts to make Basil more masculine and becomes unsettled when her girlfriends show interest in him. After an evening at the ballet, Basil and Mia spend the night together. In the morning, Basil cruelly rejects Mia, using similar phrases she had used earlier. "But I'd really like to be friends!" he tells her.

Alone, Basil considers his actions. "Sure, what I had done to Mia was selfish, heartless, despicable," he says. "And, for the first time in my life, I felt like a man."

Production[edit | edit source]

After shooting several previous films in colour on high-definition video, Smith decided to shoot Then She Was Gone in grainy black-and-white on Super 8 film.[3]

A longer version of the film exists, but has not been released.

Festival screenings[edit | edit source]

Then She Was Gone screened at film festivals around the world,[4] including the Tropfest Best of the West screening at the Film and Television Institute, the Cambridge Super 8 Film Festival,[5] Dresdner Schmalfilmtage (Germany),[6] the Dungog Film Festival (New South Wales, Australia),[7] the Academy Award-accredited Flickerfest (Australia)[8] and the High Desert Shorts International Film Festival (Nevada).

Reception[edit | edit source]

Smith won Best Director at the 2011 West Australian Screen Awards.[9] In his acceptance speech, he dedicated the award to one of his former Curtin University lecturers, who had told Smith on several occasions that he would never succeed as a director.[10]

The film won Best Drama at the Katoomba Short Film Festival,[11] Best Screenplay at the Angry Film Festival[12] and an Audience Award at the Sydney Underground Film Festival.[13]

Caught Short programmer Katharine Rogers described Then She Was Gone as "Smith's playful observation of unrequited love and the gross transformations people undertake in order to win affection. Confidently written and uniquely styled, Smith's film is an original take on a common theme."[14]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The West Australian, Sparrows Wins Top WA Award; by Mark Naglazas 21-3-11. Retrieved 11-4-15.
  2. WA TV History, WA Screen Awards Special on WTV Channel 44; by Ken McKay 5-4-11. Retrieved 11-4-15.
  3. Film and Television Institute, Then She Was Gone Accepted Into Its 20th Film Festival; by FTI 10-12-10. Retrieved 11-4-15.
  4. Film and Television Institute, Then She Was Gone Accepted Into Its 20th Film Festival; by FTI 10-12-10. Retrieved 11-4-15.
  5. Cambridge Super 8 Film Festival, Competition 1; by Cambridge Super 8 Film Festival 28-4-11. Retrieved 11-4-15.
  6. 12 Dresdner Schmalfilmtage, The Competition; by Dresdner Schmalfilmtage 22-1-11. Retrieved 11-4-15.
  7. ScreenWest, WA films converge on Dungog; by ScreenWest 18-5-10. Retrieved 11-4-15.
  8. Film and Television Institute, Then She Was Gone Accepted Into Its 20th Film Festival; by FTI 10-12-10. Retrieved 11-4-15.
  9. The West Australian, Sparrows Wins Top WA Award; by Mark Naglazas 21-3-11. Retrieved 11-4-15.
  10. Youtube, Best Director, W.A. Screen Awards 2011; by Ted Derez 21-3-11. Retrieved 11-4-15.
  11. Film and Television Institute, Then She Was Gone Wins Best Drama at Katoomba; by Film and Television Institute 16-6-10. Retrieved 21-2-12.
  12. Film and Television Institute, Best Screenplay Award for Burleigh Smith; by Film and Television Institute 15-4-10. Retrieved 21-2-12.
  13. Underground Film Journal, 2010 Sydney Underground Film Festival: Award Winners; by Mike Everleth 16-9-10. Retrieved 21-2-12.
  14. Film and Television Institute, Then She Was Gone Accepted Into Its 20th Film Festival; by FTI 10-12-10. Retrieved 11-4-15.

External links[edit | edit source]


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