Created by Aurora Fearnley, The Pitch 2012

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Set in the Victorian era, romantic and willful Ellie Harvey feels confined by her protective father and dutiful elder sister Florence. She seeks adventure stowing away in the wagon of a traveling theatre troupe. Upon discovery Ellie must disguise herself as a boy to stay and gives away her family jewelry for her keep. Ellie is crestfallen to learn she isn’t a natural performer and feels quickly out of place. Running out of money she must decided where she belongs and starts to see that “chasing dreams” might also be “running away from fears”. Returning to her family ashamed of stealing she is confronted that illness took her father upon her disappearance. Too ashamed to reveal her identity she is put to work as a maid in her own house and confronted by her father’s sick bed to bring him soup. Finally she cries forgiveness and is shocked to be welcomed back, but to fully heal the family unit Florence must also find it in herself to forgive her sister. I propose a visually arresting film that is still achievable on the provided budget. The film contrasts scenes of drama and comedy following tenacious Ellie's journey.

Biblical Connection

I see a strong message in the Parble of the Prodigal son that examines the relationships of family and also the individual’s journey. The central character is a headstrong youngster who is willing to selfishly take in order to experience. This son wastes his money on hedonistic pursuits until he is left destitute. It is the return that connected with me, when the son realises he must beg forgiveness of his father. I personally find it touching that however far you stray and whatever wrongs you do there will always be unquestioning love and acceptance within the family. I chose the Victorian era because it reflected the importance of family and responsibility that existed in that society. Changing the sons to daughters also complimented the era as it created conflict for a young female looking to explore the world. The parable reminded me of a teenager’s transition to adulthood through accepting responsibility. I felt it important to explore both the daughters’ feelings towards each other and their father, as the parable speaks about the elder sons’ need to earn love and expect rewards for it in return. These themes are common in contemporary families and make an instantly relatable story.