After the premiere of her graduate film at Locarno Film Festival in 2010, Jessica’s films have screened at 60+ festivals worldwide.

image of Jessica Barclay Lawton

After the premiere of her graduate film at Locarno Film Festival in 2010, Jessica’s films have screened at 60+ festivals worldwide, including; MIFF, Aspen, Palm Springs, Slamdance, Raindance, as well as Vimeo staff picks. In 2016, Jessica’s Screen Australia funded web series, Movement, was selected as one of only six web series from around the world to screen at TriBeca Film Festival. 2017 saw her assisting Director Larysa Kondracki on the Foxtel mini series, Picnic At Hanging Rock. Following this, she completed a Film Victoria funded Director’s Attachment on the Stan mini series, Romper Stomper, with original films Director Geoffrey Wright.

The Project

Over a 5-month period, Jessica will work with a social researcher, casting agents and community groups to connect with people from a range of backgrounds to explore what “The Great Australian Dream” means today. The research period will be intensely collaborative, with a focus on experimentations in cinematic form, as she seeks to find a line of demarcation between fiction and documentary that is indistinct. The learning’s will inform the concept for a new hybrid feature film. 

Teaser clip to latest short film ‘Living Room

What does being awarded a Creators Fund grant mean to you?

Firstly, everything. Secondly, total freedom to follow whatever path my nose leads me down, uninhibited by the rules and restrictions a project is typically bound by when made in the more traditional way, guided by clients and funding bodies. 

How important is 'time' to you, as an artist/creative professional?

As much as I try not to dwell on time’s relationship to creativity, for fear of twisting myself into a complete psychological pretzel, there’s no doubting that time really is everything. Without it, no idea has room to grow, and unfortunately, it's not something we can just buy at the local IGA. So, to be gifted something as precious as time really is the greatest honour. 

What are you most looking forward to over the months ahead?

I’m most looking forward to entering a new phase of my creative practice with complete mental clarity. The stress that suffocates creativity when you’re trying to develop a project in and around all of life's stressors can completely fracture the development of any idea. So, I’m excited to see the impact that eliminating financial stress has on my practice and projects. That and the unknown, of course! 

Where would like to see yourself at the end of this process? How do you anticipate your career will develop as a result?

I look forward to adopting a more flexible filmmaking style through the process, ultimately creating in a way where risk isn’t an inhibitor to my practice. This project will be an ongoing one far beyond the grant, but the materials I produce during this time will significantly contribute to me being able to take the next step forward with this project and my career. What I can achieve in this focused time would otherwise take me years!