Now in its 23rd year, Flickerfest, Australia’s leading short film festival, is one again coming to Perth, running at Camelot Outdoor Cinema from March 6 – 9. We had a word with Perth-based filmmaker, Miranda Edwards who, with her brother, Khrob, co-directed the romantic short, Tango Underpants.
Based on a short story by Carolyn Swindell and starring model turned actor Emma Booth, Tango Underpants follows the tribulations of a young backpacker in Buenos Aires as she seeks to outrun the pain of a broken heart. “John Collee, the writer of Happy Feet and Master And Commander, read the short story on the train from Paris to the Cannes film festival in a Lonely Planet travel book.” Edwards tells us. “We met him for lunch and he told about this girl and her underpants and we knew at once it would be a great short film. Three days later John had written the script!”
The project gathered steam quickly, with Emma Booth coming on board to star almost immediately. “One of the producers, Stephen Van Mil, emailed the script to Emma and she got back to us within two hours to say she would do it. It turns out she used to be a state ballroom dancer when she was 13 and she has always wanted to go to South America so the project connected with her immediately.”
Of course, shooting a short film in a foreign country on a relatively limited budget was never going to be easy, but one of the factors Edwards and company did not foresee was the cold weather they encountered when filming on location in Buenos Aires. “Buenos Aires was having a really cold spell so we had Emma on set in just her Aurelio Costarella tango dress when it was midnight and only three degrees Celsius which was a real challenge. Luckily her dancing skills meant she got the moves in just a few takes.
“The other strange thing is that we tried to find some country side that was typically South American, but unfortunately it all looked like Australia – flat, with windmills and even some gum trees! Luckily there was a patch of pampas grass we could use that helped! Overall, however, the Argentinean crew was amazing and we had such a wonderful experience working there.”
So far the response to the film has been overwhelmingly positive, which Edwards credits to the universality of the themes. “We have been so excited by the response to the film. People seem to genuinely enjoy it and the shop scenes always get a laugh. It seems there is something irrepressibly funny about undies.”
For Flickerfest tickets and information, head here.