Melissa makes a splash at Sydney Film Festival

A trip to the local swimming pool was a springboard to an idea for a new movie for filmmaker and Arncliffe resident Melissa Anastasi.

A graduate of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, Melissa is about to have her short film, Chlorine debut at the Sydney Film Festival on Tuesday, June 11.

The 17-minute film tells the story of an 11-year old girl, Keira who in a bid to get her mother's attention steals from pregnant women at the local swimming pools.

Melissa was able to make the film after receiving a $50,000 Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship last year.

She was inspired to make the film after a visit to a local swimming pool.

"I thought of a story involving a young girl who visits the local pool. She's neglected and looking for a mother figure, so she steals from expecting mothers at the aqua-natal classes.

"The film is about what she is looking for in her life."

Melissa describes the film as a family drama.

"The story comes from various people I have known who had a difficult upbringing," she said.

Chlorine stars Clementine Bell as Keira, and includes Tasma Walton, Marlo Kelly and Ezekiel Simat.

Melissa hs lived for many years in Rockdale and Arncliffee and has used several locations in the St George area for the film, including around the airport and near the Chinese market gardens.

Chlorine is produced by Dollhouse Productions and the crew consisted of 80 per cent women.

Melissa was only one of four recipients of a Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship last year and said that she is now looking at turning Chlorine into a longer film.

As well as screening at the Sydney Film Festival, Melissa will submit Chlorine to screen at other film festivals around the world.

Melissa's short films have screened at over 40 film festivals including Cannes Cinema Antipodes, St Tropez, Brisbane International, Flickerfest and New Directors New York.

She is currently developing the feature screenplay Bluebirds with support from Screen Australia and Create NSW.

Chlorine will be screening at the Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship Gala Premiere, Tuesday, June 11 at 7pm at the Dendy Opera Quays Cinema 1; and at 9pm at the Event Cinemas in George Street.

The Sydney Film Festival runs from June 5 to 16.

Tickets for Sydney Film Festival 2019 are on sale now. Call 1300 733 733 or visitsff.org.au for more information.

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