/News 24.02.22


Horror-satire film Sissy is one of just five Australian feature films to be invited to premiere at the SXSW Film Festival being held March 11-19, 2022 in Austin, Texas. 

The SXSW Film Festival celebrates raw innovation and emerging talent from behind and in front of the camera and is known for its high calibre and diverse program. 

Inclusion in the Festival’s programming is a huge coup for the movie that was produced at Film Plus (a non-profit collaborative workspace run by Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) for filmmakers and related specialists) and filmed in Canberra, adding to the growing list of acclaimed productions being shot in the nation’s capital. 

Hannah Barlow (For Now) and Kane Senes (For Now) co-wrote and co-directed the riveting script, with Hannah also having a leading acting role. The film also features several well-known and up-and-coming on-screen talents, including Canberra raised Emily De Margheriti (Ladies in Black), Aisha Dee (The Bold Type), Daniel Monks (Pulse), Yerin Ha (Halo), and Lucy Barrett (Bloom). 

Arcadia’s producer, Lisa Shaunessy said “We couldn’t be more thrilled to premiere Sissy to an international audience at SXSW’s renowned Midnighters Section. It’s a perfect festival home for the film and a testament to the hard-working Canberran film community, as well as the broader team from all over Australia to be premiering at such a prestigious global event.”

“The film is a thrill-a-minute and Arcadia distribution look forward to opening the film for Australian audiences in cinemas later this year. We’re also very grateful for the support of the Australian Capital Territory Government, Screen Canberra and the local community”

Lisa Shaunessy, Arcadia’s producer
Aisha Dee as Cecilia in Sissy. Photography by Steve Arnold ACS. Copyright: Highway Films Pty Ltd.

Monica Penders, CEO of Screen Canberra, says this achievement is a tribute to the team behind Sissy and further showcases the world-class productions being created in Canberra and Australia. It’s terrific to see local acting talent like Emily De Margheriti giving such an outstanding performance and we hope to see many more Canberrans on the big screen! 

“This is an impressive achievement for the entire Sissy team, and I congratulate them on all their hard work,” says Monica. “It is no small feat and demonstrates the quality of the film across multiple aspects of production.
Screen Canberra is delighted to have been a part of this production, which is a great showcase of the local industry’s diversity in talent and skills. “

“Canberra’s screen industry is comprised of up-and-coming talent and seasoned professionals who have moved to the region for a lifestyle change. This highly skilled and motivated creative community are passionate, committed, and ready to work hard. Sissy is a wonderful example of the originality and creativity that Canberra can produce.” 

Monica Penders, CEO of Screen Canberra

Sissy was principally financed by AIE and received production funding from Screen Canberra through the CBR Screen Fund (administered on behalf of the ACT Government), with further funding from Screen Australia, Freedom Films, Mind the Gap, Grumpy Originals, Running Girl Pictures and Arcadia. 

Claudia Vannithone
0409 999 644