There is a moment near the beginning of the upcoming film, Callie, penned by and starring Sophie Max and produced by a Cinema Scape Studios, where Callie (Sophie Max), in the middle of a crowded room, notices Jenn (Fay Koulouri) standing alone on the balcony and chooses specifically to approach her. We see it in Callie’s eyes; a desperate need for connection underneath the façade of casual friendliness. The meeting of two deeply lonely people finding a kindred spirit in each other. This is something that sets the tone for the rest of the movie; the tension between the surface and what is bubbling just underneath. Throughout the duration of the largely dialogue-free film, the audience has an acute sense of every tragic missed warning sign in Callie’s path.
It’s an important message. Every time I synopsise Callie, discussions arise about mental health and how we communicate with people about our mental health. It has sparked visceral, vulnerable and meaningful conversations with people of all ages, interested in my inspiration for writing this film and the themes it portrays.
It is a project I am deeply passionate about. Working with a majority female crew (something I am a huge champion of and was determined that this film needed), we have created a film that speaks deeply to the female experience and one that touches on deserving and timely topics like mental health and sexual assault. These are stories that deserve to be told without judgement or stereotype and when writing Callie, I set out to tell them in as honest a way as possible. I wanted to tell a young woman’s story on her own terms and create the kind of movie that I wish I had been able to see when I was a teenager and one that would resonate with audiences of all ages.
Overarching these heavy topics, at its heart Callie is a film about friendship. It is a love letter to those friends that, no matter whether they were in your life for a long or a short time, had a lasting impact. It begins with the hopeful notion that in a city as lonely as New York can be, deep human connection is possible.
Characters in their early twenties were a rich landscape for me, both as writer and actress playing Callie. It is an age full of self discovery, floating somewhere between childhood and being a ‘real adult’. Creating a dynamic, natural friendship between two women who were both incredibly strong and each totally unique was a gift and a welcome challenge to play as an actor and allowed for a rawness in the relationship which is rare and compelling. This relationship and these dynamic characters are what audiences will respond and relate to; it is a story both deeply personal and universally resonant.
At the time of writing (April 2018), Callie is in post production. We filmed it in February and March 2018 in New York. I am excited for the road ahead and look forward to the film festival circuit and sharing this story with a wider audience.
In the mean time, check out our teaser trailer: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=
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