“When you are connected to something that’s so important to you, your own personal drive to get it out there overrides all other factors”.

Award-winning Australian writer/actor Monica Zanetti marks her first foray into feature film territory with confronting indie drama ‘Skin Deep’, the story of a young woman (‘Leah’ played by Zara Zoe) who is diagnosed with terminal melanoma and discovers the courage to embrace life after befriending a queer stranger (‘Caitlin’ played by Zanetti).

Inspired from personal experience with the life threatening illness and grateful for her survival, Monica was driven to raise awareness about ‘Australia’s national cancer’ and tackle a neglected topic in the film arena.

“Don’t let fear be the thing that stops you”.

Forget about waiting for funding or whinging that it’s too hard. Too often, these excuses hold many a filmmaker back from taking their vision from concept to completion. Monica champions in her recent discussion with AnyCameraWillDo, the artist’s responsibility to take control, and the need to be proactive and battle to get our stories made. The need to triumph over fear. Here and now.

Monica Zanetti on Skin Deep:

Budding writers can relate: it’s not easy to pump out a 100 page screenplay in mere weeks let alone months or years! For Monica, the first draft was written in 4 weeks and 5 months later, the Skin Deep crew were shooting on draft 14. If you wanna write at warp speed, check out Monica’s writing tips:

Writing Tips:

• Lots of thinking and talking about the idea is the key to writing fast.
• Only until you can tell the story to someone else, should you ever start scripting.
• Write down ideas when you think of them. If it sparks something in you, it could spark something in someone else.
• Write the story YOU want to read.

In 2014, a United Nations backed survey revealed that female protagonists have less than one-third of all speaking roles in film and are largely absent from powerful positions. Perhaps this absence argues for the involvement of more female filmmakers in the industry? Monica’s written portrayal of the two lead characters in Skin Deep as strong, proactive women sets this argument for gender equality in good stead.

When it came to writing her own character (a great way to give yourself a job!), Monica felt it was imperative to switch off her ‘actor brain’, so as to not subconsciously censor herself. The aim was to keep the character of Caitlin raw; much akin to the film’s aesthetic, primarily taking place in and around graffiti scrawled Newtown at night, drenched under the sodium vapor streetlamps.

skin 3The film has also not shied away from the spotlight, with an honorable mention for Best Narrative Feature at the 2014 Austin Film Festival, and an hotly anticipated Australian release set to kick off as part of the 2015 Queer Screen – Mardi Gras Film Festival in Sydney.

But ‘Skin Deep’ is just scratching the surface for the young writer/actor, with a slew of creative projects on the boil. Along with several feature scripts, Monica is writing ‘Young Labor’, a series for Heckler TV. Monica is also the founder of Marrickville based ‘The Projects Short Film Festival’, an exciting new backdrop aimed at supporting emerging Australian filmmakers.

Skin Deep Trailer:

Stay tuned for our article coming up on Skin Deep’s director Jonnie Leahy!

To learn more about Skin Deep, check out the Facebook page here.
For the Skin Deep IMDB page, go here.
To purchase a ticket to the Skin Deep premiere on February 28th, go here.
For more info about ‘The Projects Short Film Festival’ go here.
For Monica’s filmography, check out her IMDB page here.

Got any questions for Monica? Comment below or on our facebook page and we’ll hit up Monica for more info.

Skin Deep 4 square


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