Mystic Pines Selected to Make World Premiere at Brisbane International Film Festival 2020

Western Australian female filmmaking trio Zoe Pepper, Adriane Daff and Cody Greenwood are thrilled to announce their short film, Mystic Pines, has been selected to make its world premiere at the 2020 Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) which is being held from 1 – 11 October 2020.

Mystic Pines is a striking, experimental and mysterious short film written and directed byPepper (The Irresistible, The Big Spaghetti, LIFT), written by and starring Daff (The Irresistible, The Big Spaghetti, Le Nór) and produced by SPA Ones to Watch alumni, Greenwood (Under the Volcano, Girl Like You) of Rush Films.

The film sees Serena (Adriane Daff) seek out a mysterious psychological treatment that gives her the courage to stand up for herself. Armed with this new sense of agency, Serena and her brother make their annual outing to buy the family Christmas tree. This year, Serena is not content to ride shotgun to her brother’s decisions.

Mystic Pines is a tonal proof of concept for the trio’s feature film, Fads & Miracles, which is 1 of 3projects recently shortlisted for Screenwest’s highly-acclaimed West Coast Visions $750,000 production grant, one of the most coveted production funding grants in Australia.

Fads & Miracles sees a determined single mother seek the help of a charismatic high school teacherto coax her chronically shy teenage daughter to speak, but the harrowing side effects of his mysterious treatment have devastating consequences.

“Both films explore themes of power control through female protagonists who have a quiet and determined hunger for change. We’re super excited to premiere Mystic Pines at Brisbane International Film Festival, as one of the only physical film festivals happening this year, it’s an amazing opportunity for our film to play to a cinema audience.” said Pepper.

Across 11 days, BIFF 2020 will celebrate contemporary international and Australian screen culture with new-release features, documentaries, short films and curated strands, alongside screenings with live music, conversations, panel discussions and more.

The BIFF team has curated six programs of short films entitled Heart Beats, Mind Beats, Short Beats, Life Beats, Wild Beats and naturally, Mystic Pines has been selected to screen as part of the Off Beats program.

After a decade as a theatre director, Pepper is fast establishing herself as a filmmaker to watch. Her taste and sensibilities have already garnered her industry recognition with her debut web series, The Big Spaghetti, being selected to make its world premiere at the 2019 Slamdance Film Festival, aswell as scoring her an ADG gong for Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series in 2019. She also directed Lucy Durack’s screenwriting debut, LIFT, a romantic comedy which premiered on 10Peach on Valentine’s Day 2019.

Daff is an actor, writer, theatre-maker and founding artist of critically-acclaimed theatre company, The Last Great Hunt. Her theatre credits include the Helpmann-nominated Lé Nør and The Irresistible. Daff won Best Actress for The Big Spaghetti at NextGen Webfest 2018 and she also starred in the AACTA-nominated web series, Small Town Hackers.

Greenwood is the Founder of Western Australian production company, Rush. She started her career in London making music videos and branded content, before moving to LA to join production company The Masses, which was founded by Heath Ledger. Cody has produced documentary and short filmswhich have garnered international acclaim at festivals.

She is currently in post-production on feature music documentary Under The Volcano, documentary series Girl Like You and upcoming short film, Sparkles, which is set to premiere on the festival circuit in 2021.

Both Mystic Pines and Fads & Miracles are being executive produced by John Maynard (Jirga, The Boys, Sherpa, Balibo) who has been mentoring Pepper and Daff on the script since its inception.

Mystic Pines will screen at the State Library of Queensland on4 October 2020and at the Gallery ofModern Art on 7 October 2020.

Tickets are on sale now at

Andrew F Peirce

Andrew is passionate about Australian film and culture. He is the co-chair of the Australian Film Critics Association, a Golden Globes voter, and the author of two books on Australian film, The Australian Film Yearbook - 2021 Edition, and Lonely Spirits and the King. You can find him online trying to enlist people into the cult of Mac and Me.

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