‘You and Me, Before and After’ selected for Toronto International Film Festival

The Australian short film by Madeleine Gottlieb will screen at TIFF next month. It's also available free on MIFF Play right now.
Yael Stone and Emily Barclay in 'You and Me, Before and After'. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti.

You and Me, Before and After, a new Australian short film written and directed by Madeleine Gottlieb (Laura, Snare), has been selected to screen in competition next month at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival (9-18 September). The film will appear as part of the Short Cuts program.

The film is produced by Liam Heyen and Cyna Strachan from Mad Ones Films, who met at AFTRS in 2014 and focus on producing emerging Australian talent.

‘It is incredibly exciting to have such a personal film selected by TIFF and a true testament to the talent of our wonderful team. I’m especially proud that 95% of our cast and shoot crew were female or non-binary.’

Madeleine Gottleib

You and Me, Before and After stars Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black) and Emily Barclay (Please Like Me). They play ‘sparring sisters who decide to get their first tattoos together. As they get inked, and unable to leave until it’s done, Hannah (Stone) and Rachel (Barclay) bond in conversation over still fresh wounds they share. Touchingly told and tinged with the inherent relational comedy of banter between siblings, You and Me, Before and After is a heart-warming portrait of a late-blossoming relationship.’

The music was composed by Australian singer-songwriter Ainslie Wills, cinematography is by Alex Cardy, production design by Diva Abrahamian, costume design by Verity Mackey and editing is by Christine Cheung.

Of being selected for TIFF, Gottlieb said: ‘It is incredibly exciting to have such a personal film selected by TIFF and a true testament to the talent of our wonderful team. I’m especially proud that 95% of our cast and shoot crew were female or non-binary.’

Read: Two short films, Laura and TÂM, and their journeys into space and light

Photo: Madeleine Gottlieb, supplied.

Gottlieb’s previous short Snare premiered at SXSW 2019 in competition and went onto screen at Tribeca, Sydney Film Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival, and was nominated for an AACTA award. She is in development on her first television series, an 8 x 30-minute dramedy with producers Heyen and Strachan, for which You and Me, Before and After acts as a proof-of-concept. Interestingly, Gottlieb’s other short film Laura (written by James Fraser and Christian Byers, and produced with Rachel Argall) and premiered at MIFF 2020, was also made as a proof of concept for a feature film.

Gottlieb began as a production and development executive at Goalpost Pictures and worked on Matthew Saville’s Felony (2014), Neil Armfield’s Holding the Man (2015), and was script coordinator and assistant to Wayne Blair on Cleverman Season 1 (2016), and associate producer on Cleverman Season 2 (2017).

According to Madeleine Gottlieb’s website, her first short film as a director, the AWGIE-winning I F***ed a Mermaid and No One Believes Me, had its international premiere at Interfilm Berlin/KUKI Berlin in 2018 and premiered in Australia at Flicerfest 2019 before screening at festivals worldwide.

In 2018 she directed, wrote and produced her second short film Snare, which was nominated for a 2019 AACTA Award for Best Short Film and world premiered in competition at SXSW 2019. ‘In late 2019 Snare was bought by global online marketing platform Mailchimp and released online to mark the launch of Mailchimp Presents, the company’s boutique streaming platform.’

READ: First Look at Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife

Gottlieb also completed a Screen Australia Director’s Attachment on Leah Purcell’s revisionist western feature film The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson, which was to have premiered at MIFF 2021 as opening night film, but has now been pushed back with Roadshow slating it for release in May 2022.

In a delightful interview last year with Screenhub’s David Tiley, Gottlieb said: ‘I think [film is] an incredibly empathetic medium. And I think that it really has the ability to touch people. And it’s a marriage of so many other creative industries that I find so fascinating. It’s just a completely multi sensory experience and I’ve always loved story.’

You and Me, Before and After was self-funded with a portion of production costs crowd-funded through the Australian Cultural Fund. Production partners included Sonar Music, Spectrum Films, Tora Sumi and Blockhead VFX.

You and Me, Before and After premiered at MIFF and is now watchable on MIFF Play as part of the 90-minute Australian shorts program. You can also check out Laura on the MIFF Accelerator shorts program, featuring filmmakers participating in the festival’s Accelerator 2021 program. Both films are available to watch until 22 August.

Rochelle Siemienowicz is a journalist for Screenhub. She is a writer, film critic and cultural commentator with a PhD in Australian cinema. She was the co-host of Australia's longest-running film podcast 'Hell is for Hyphenates' and has written a memoir, Fallen, published by Affirm Press. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram