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INTERVIEW: American director Anna Rose Holmer faces The Schembri Challenge


SHAKE IT UP: Interview with American indie director Anna Rose Holmer

In stark contrast to the situation in Australia, American’s fledgling filmmakers have almost no access to government money, so the feat of getting their foot in the door is often much harder and requires considerable ingenuity.

For her unusual and much-buzzed about debut feature The Fits Brooklyn-based director Anna Rose Holmer secured funding from the Venice Biennale to the tune of 150,000 Euros. This translates into around $US170,000, thus qualifying the film as a ‘micro-budget’ endeavour.

Shot on a remarkably tight schedule of 20 days, the film is largely set in a suburban community centre where an 11-year old girl named Toni (Royalty Hightower) strives to become part of the local dance group.

All seems to be progressing nicely, until something weird and disturbing begins afflicting the dancers in the troupe.

Gym girl: young actress Royalty Hightower puts in a remarkable performance in The Fits.

Gym girl: young actress Royalty Hightower puts in a remarkable performance in The Fits.

Having already garnered strong reviews from organs such as Variety and praise for eliciting such a strong performance from such a young actress, Anna Rose Holmer has been widely touted as one of America’s leading young directors to watch.

In Melbourne as part of Essential Independents: American Cinema, Now, a season of American independent film, she took some time out to speak with us about the film and the independent film-making scene in America.

She was also brave enough to undergo a role-play challenge designed to test her independent credentials.

Please enjoy.

The Fits screens Thursday 26 May at the Como; Friday 27 and Wednesday 1 June at the Palace Westgarth. It has also been slated for general release.


Click play to watch the interview


Click play to view a trailer for The Fits


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