NAOMI WATTS (Lil) was honored with an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actress for her role in Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu’s 21 Grams. Her performance in the film, in which she starred alongside Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro, also garnered Best Actress Awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Southeastern Film Critics Association, Washington Area Film Critics and San Diego Film Critics, as well as Best Actress nominations from the SAG Awards®, BAFTAs, Broadcast Film Critics and Golden Satellites. At the film’s premiere at the 2003 Venice International Film Festival, she received the Audience Award (Lion of the Public) for Best Actress. The film itself won the Special Distinction Award at the Independent Spirit Awards.
Watts was recently seen in Jim Sheridan’s Dream House, with Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz; in Doug Liman’s Fair Game, starring opposite Sean Penn; and in Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, as part of an all-star cast, including Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Freida Pinto and Antonio Banderas. She also starred in Rodrigo Garcia’s Mother and Child, for which she received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and Tom Twyker’s The International, with Clive Owen.
In late 2012 she was seen in Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible, starring alongside Ewan McGregor, as well as in Movie 43, opposite Liev Schreiber in one of the film’s many comedic shorts. She also completed production on Sunlight Jr. with Matt Dillon and as Princess Diana in Caught In Flight.
Watts has had an impressive list of movies since her acclaimed turn in David Lynch’s controversial drama Mulholland Drive, for which she earned Best Actress Awards from a number of critics’ organizations, including the National Board of Review and National Society of Film Critics. In addition to starring in Peter Jackson’s epic remake of King Kong, her credits include We Don’t Live Here Anymore, which she starred in and produced; The Assassination of Richard Nixon, opposite Sean Penn and Don Cheadle; David O. Russell’s I (Heart) Huckabee’s, with Jude Law and Dustin Hoffman; Marc Forster’s Stay, opposite Ewan McGregor and Ryan Gosling; Gore Verbinski’s The Ring and its sequel, The Ring 2; Merchant-Ivory’s Le Divorce, alongside Kate Hudson, Glenn Close and Stockard Channing; John Curran’s The Painted Veil, opposite Edward Norton, which was based on W. Somerset Maugham’s novel; David Cronenberg’s drama/thriller Eastern Promises, opposite Viggo Mortensen; and Michael Haneke’s thriller Funny Games.
Born in England, Watts moved to Australia at the age of 14 and began studying acting. Her first major film role came in John Duigan’s Flirting. She produced and starred in the short film Ellie Parker, which screened in competition at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. In 2005, a full-length feature of the short debuted at Sundance.
Among her many awards and recognitions, Watts received the Montecito Award from the Santa Barbara Film Festival in 2006 for her role in King Kong; was honored by the Palm Springs Film Festival in 2003 for 21 Grams; and in 2002, was named the Female Star of Tomorrow at ShoWest and received the Breakthrough Acting Award at the Hollywood Film Festival, both for her work in Mulholland Drive. She was most recently honored for her entire body of work at the 2011 Deauville Film Festival.
In January 2013, Watts has received a Golden Globe* nomination and an Academy Award * nomination for her performance in The Impossible. ROBIN WRIGHT (Roz) continues to make an indelible mark in Hollywood. She recently completed production on House of Cards, alongside Kevin Spacey and directed by David Fincher. She just finished shooting A Most Wanted Man ( with Rachel McAdams and Philip Seymour Hoffman), directed by Anton Corbijn. Wright has also completed production on The Congress, Ari Folman’s adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s novel, The Futurological Congress. In 2011 she starred in David Fincher’s highly acclaimed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as journalist Erika Berger and is committed to continue her role in the remaining two parts of the trilogy.
Wright consistently receives glowing reviews for the various characters she plays. In 2010, she received critical acclaim as Mary Surratt in Robert Redford's riveting courtroom drama, The Conspirator. Also in 2011 Wright starred alongside Woody Harrelson in Oren Moverman’s Rampart. Wright received praise for her portrayal in 2009 as ‘Pippa Lee’ in Rebecca Miller’s The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. The same year, Robin was also seen in the Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol, directed by Robert Zemeckis.
Wright has been recognized for her outstanding performances over the years. She was honored with a career tribute at the 35th Annual Deauville American Film Festival. Her first two nominations, a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild for Best Supporting Actress, came as early as 1995 for her unforgettable role as 'Jenny' in Robert Zemeckis' Best Picture Oscar winner, Forrest Gump. Robin earned her second Screen Actors Guild nomination for Best Lead Actress in Nick Cassavetes' She’s So Lovely, and her third nomination for Best Actress in a Television Movie or Miniseries in Fred Schepisi's Empire Falls. She has received three Independent Spirit nominations for her performances in Erin Dignam's Loved; Rodrigo Garcia's Nine Lives; and Jeff Stanzler's Sorry, Haters. Additionally, Wright starred in and served as an executive producer on Deborah Kampmeier's Virgin, which received an Independent Spirit nomination for Best First Feature also known as the “John Cassavetes Award."
Other film credits include: Bennett Miller’s Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, Rob Reiner's cult classic The Princess Bride, Barry Levinson's What Just Happened and Deborah Kampmeier's Houndog, which Wright also executive produced; Kevin Macdonald's State of Play; Anthony Minghella's Breaking and Entering; Robert Zemeckis' Beowulf; Keith Gordon's The Singing Detective; Peter Kosminsky's White Oleander; Anthony Drazan's Hurlyburly; Sean Penn's The Pledge; Luis Mandoki's Message in a Bottle; M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable; Pen Densham's Moll Flanders; Barry Levinson's Toys and Room 10 for GLAMOUR magazine's "Reel Women Film Series."
XAVIER SAMUEL (Ian) made his film debut in 2:37, which was selected for Un Certain Regard at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. He also starred in 2007 film September alongside Mia Wasikowska and 2008 film Newcastle.
Two more Australian films; The Loved Ones and Road Train were completed before he was cast into the international spotlight in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse starring as ‘Riley’ alongside Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. In 2011, Xavier starred alongside Olivia Newton John and Rebel Wilson in Stephan Elliott’s A Few Best Men.
Two Mothers marks Xavier’s eleventh feature film. In 2011, Xavier was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Breakout Star for his role in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
Newcomer JAMES FRECHEVILLE (Tom) made his big-screen debut at age seventeen in the 2010’s critically acclaimed Animal Kingdom. James played ‘J’, a boy on the brink of manhood, thrust into Melbourne’s underworld when following the death of his mother, he goes to live with his next-of-kin, the brutal Cody family.
Following the success of Animal Kingdom James starred alongside Craig Roberts in Jon Kasdan’s The First Time, and then played ‘Mal’ in Joseph Hahn’s Mall also starring Vincent D’Onofrio, Mimi Rogers and Peter Stormare. While Two Mothers marks Frecheville’s fourth feature film role, he is currently in pre-production on I Fought The Law co-starring Michael C. Hall, Giovanni Ribsi, Josh Lucas, Academy Award-winner® Melissa Leo and Jason Rotter. James studied acting since the age of eight, initially with various youth theatre groups and more recently via a range of acting courses.
English born SOPHIE LOWE (Hannah) moved to Australia with her family in 2000. Originally pursuing a modeling career soon after her arrival in Australia, she terminated her contract in favour of dancing. Sophie attended the McDonald College of Performing Arts in Sydney, where she was introduced to acting.
Although appearing in a number of television commercials and short film Kindle it was director Rachel Ward who hand picked her for the captivating title role in 2008 Beautiful Kate alongside Bryan Brown, Rachel Griffiths and Ben Mendelsohn.
Next up Sophie starred alongside Frances O’Connor, Miranda Otto, Deborra-Lee Furness and William McInnes in Ana Kokkinos’ Blessed. Sophie has recently completed production on Markus Blunder’s Autumn Blood, alongside Peter Stormare as well as The Philosophers which also stars James D’Arcy and Bonnie Wright. Two Mothers is Sophie’s eighth feature film.
While Two Mothers marks JESSICA TOVEY’s (Mary) feature film debut, she is commonly accepted as one of Australia’s brightest up and coming young actors. Jessica concluded 2012 on stage starring in the Q Theatre/Seymour Centre production of Truck Stop. Prior to which she appeared as the support lead of ‘Leslie Carpenter’ in the critically acclaimed Australian telemovie Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo for Southern Star/ABC TV. This same role gained her a nomination for the 2011 IF ‘Out of the Box’ Award.
Jessica’s other recent television credits include the lead roles of ‘Nina’ in the telemovie Panic at Rock Island for the Network Nine, ‘Laura’ in the telemovie Wicked Love for the Network Nine and ‘Wendy’ in TV series Underbelly: Golden Mile for Screentime & the Nine Network. She also played a guest role of ‘Caitlin’ in the TV series Rescue Special Ops also for the Nine Network.
In 2011 Jessica was named Westfield’s Spring Racing Carnival Ambassador. Also that year, Jessica was announced as an ambassador for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and spoke at Power Shift: a summit encouraging young people to share ideas and make positive change around environmental issues.
GARY SWEET (Saul) is an Australian film and television actor known for his portrayal of many roles. Gary’s career started in the early 1980s with the on-going role of Leslie 'Magpie' Madden in The Sullivans, and in 1984 he had his first major role as Donald Bradman in the Network Ten miniseries Bodyline. Between 1990 and 1996, Gary starred in the ABC drama series Police Rescue, and the role made Gary a house-hold name and lead him to win several major television awards including the Australian Film Institute's Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Television Drama (in both 1991 and 1992), the Variety Club Heart Award for TV Actor of the Year (1993), and two TV Week Silver Logie Awards for Most Popular Actor and Most Outstanding Actor (1992, 1994).
Other television projects include leading roles in: The Great Bookie Robbery, Come in Spinner, Children of the Dragon, The Battlers, Blue Murder,Cody,Big Sky, Cold Feet,Stingers, The Circuit, Rain Shadow, The Pacific,Cops, Small Time Gangster and mostly recently House Husbands. His film credits include: The Lighthorseman, Fever, The Dreaming, Indecent Obsession, Love in Ambush, The Big House, The Tracker, Alexandra’s Project, Getting Square, Macbeth, 2:37, Bitter & Twisted, Subdivision, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, co-starring Ben Barnes and Tilda Swinton,The Telegram Man, and Fatal Honeymoon.
Though most recognized for his television & film roles, Gary has also appeared in the stage productions of The Club (David Williamson), and in 2001 The Recruit (Tony McNamara) for the Melbourne Theatre Company. He has also appeared in the musical Oh, What a Night.
BEN MENDELSOHN (Harold) is widely recognised as one of Australia’s most outstanding actors. Among recent international features, Ben appeared in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, opposite Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway, Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper and Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly, opposite Brad Pitt, which screened in Official Competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. He was also seen in Joel Schumacher’s Trespass, alongside Nicole Kidman and Nicholas Cage, and Gary McKendry’s action thriller The Killer Elite, with Clive Owen, Jason Statham and Robert de Niro, both of which premiered at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival.
In 2010, Mendelsohn starred opposite Guy Pearce in David Michod’s highly acclaimed feature Animal Kingdom (winner of the Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Jury Prize). His performance in the film earned him both of Australia’s top awards - an AFI Award and an IF Award for Best Lead Actor. His other recent work includes Rachel Ward’s feature debut Beautiful Kate alongside Rachel Griffiths (for which he received an AFI Award nomination for Best Lead Actor), David Caesar’s Prime Mover, Alex Proyas’ Knowing starring Nicholas Cage and Rose Byrne and Baz Luhrmann’s Australia.
Mendelsohn’s other credits include Vertical Limit, Black and White, Mullet, Cosi, Idiot Box, Metal Skin, Spotswood, The Big Steal, The Year My Voice Broke and Terrence Malick’s The New World.
Ben has received multiple award nominations for his role in much loved Australian TV series Love My Way (including a Logie nomination for Most Outstanding Actor and an AFI nomination for Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama) and he has played guest lead roles in some of Australia’s most acclaimed television productions including Halifax F.P., GP, Police Rescue, The Secret Life of Us and Tangle. For his role in Tangle, Mendelsohn won the 2010 ASTRA award for Most Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor and was nominated for the 2010 Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Actor.
Throughout his career, Mendelsohn has devoted a substantial amount of time to theatre including the roles of ‘Mark Anthony’ in Julius Caesar and ‘Tom’ in The Glass Menagerie for Sydney Theatre Company. His other theatre credits include ‘Paul Peplow’ in My Zinc Bed, ‘Lewis’ in Cosi for Belvoir Street Theatre and ‘Andy Pettigrew’ in The Selection for Melbourne Theatre Company.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS Born into an artistically oriented family, her father a musician and brother an actor, ANNE FONTAINE (Director) first tried her hand as solo director on Les histoires d'amour finissent mal... en général (Love Affairs Usually End Badly), which won the 1993 Prix Jean Vigo and played during critics week at Cannes Film Festival 1993. In 1995, she worked with her brother on the comic Augustin, which again was selected to screen at Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard. Two years later, she wrote and directed the successful Nettoyage à Sec (Dry Cleaning). A film which won her Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival in 1997.
In 1999 the character Augustin (Jean-Chrétien Sibertin-Blanc) re-appeared in Fontaine's film Augustin, Roi Du Kung-Fu (Augustin, King of Kung-Fu) that screened at Toronto Film Festival the same year.
Another Toronto Film Festival film, Comment j'ai tué mon père (How I Killed My Father) was released in 2001, and followed by Nathalie... in 2003 and Entre Ses Mains (In His Hands) in 2005. A third Augustin film, Nouvelle chance (also known as Oh La La) was released in 2006 selected to screen out of competition at Cannes Film Festival. Her fourth Toronto Film Festival (2009) feature was La fille de Monaco (The Girl From Monaco) releasing in 2008 and closely followed the international renowned Coco avant Chanel (Coco Before Chanel) starring Audrey Tautou, her biopic of Coco Chanel, in 2009.
Coco avant Chanel received multiple awards including an Oscar nomination for best costume, multiple BAFTA nominations (Costume design, Foreign Language, Lead Actress, Hair & Make-up), Cesar Awards and nominations (Best Costume, Best Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Production Design and Supporting Actor).
Two Mothers is Anne’s twelfth feature film.
CHRISTOPHER HAMPTON (Screenwriter) was born in the Azores in 1946. As a child he travelled around Aden, Egypt and Zanzibar and at 13 went to Lancing College. In 1966 he went to New College, Oxford to study German and French and in 1969 graduated with a First Class Honours Degree.
While at Oxford Hampton became involved in theatre, where his first play Where Did You Last See My Mother? was performed. The same play went on to be performed at the Royal Court Theatre in London making Hampton the youngest writer to have a play performed in the West End.
Best known for his play based on novel Les Liaisons Dengereuses, in 1998 Hampton won an Academy Award® for his adapted screenplay Dangerous Liaisons. In 2007 he was again nominated for his adaption of Ian McEwan’s Atonement.
DORIS LESSING (Based on the novel by)was born of British parents in Persia in 1919 and moved with her family to Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) when she was five years old. She moved to England in 1949 and has lived there ever since.
The Grass is Singing was published in 1950, and since then she has gone onto publish more than fifty books; her most celebrated being The Golden Notebook which enjoyed its fiftieth anniversary in 2012.
Lessing is now regarded as one of the most important post-war writers in English. A Companion of Honour and a Companion of Literature, she has been awarded the David Cohen Memorial Prize, Spain’s Prince of Asturias Prize, the International Catalunya Award and the S.T. Dupont Golden PEN Award for a Lifetime’s Distinguished Service to Literature.
In 2007 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and is only the 11th woman to win literature's most prestigious prize in its 106-year history.
PHILIPPE CARCASSONNE (Producer)manages Ciné-@, a French film production company established in 1986, co-owned by Carcassonne and the Pierre et Vacances Group. That same company was previously in partnership with PolyGram (as Cinéa, from 1993 to 1997) and with Pathé (as Ciné B, from 1998 to 2006).
He has Produced or Co-Produced 57 feature films over 26 years, and worked repeatedly with some significant filmmakers: Claude Sautet (A Heart in Winter...), Michelangelo Antonioni (Beyond the Clouds), Jacques Audiard (Read my Lips...), Patrice Leconte (Ridicule, Man on the Train...), Denys Arcand (The Age of Ignorance)..., Robert Lepage (The Confessional...), Sylvain Chomet (The Illusionist), Benoit Jacquot (A Single Girl...), Anne Fontaine (Coco Avant Chanel...), Christopher Hampton (Carrington), Coline Serreau (Romuald and Juliette), Olivier Assayas (Fin Aout, début Septembre), Nicole Garcia (Le Fils Préféré)… among many others.
In addition to his Producing duties, Philippe Carcassonne has held a number of official positions within the French film industry, as vice-president of Unifrance (the public agency in charge of promoting French cinema abroad), Commission d’Avance sur Recettes (selective support funding committee), Cinémathèque Française and ACE (Ateliers du Cinéma Européen).
ANDREW MASON (Producer)began his film industry career as an editor but quickly moved to producing. He also worked as Visual Effects Supervisor on a number of Australian films and in 1993 Mason served as VFX supervisor and second unit director on the dark and iconic The Crow. Mason produced Alex Proyas’ kafkaesque thriller Dark City (1998 - New Line). That was followed in the period 1998-2003 with Producing or Executive Producing a string of US studio pictures including the Waschowski brothers’ The Matrixand it’s sequels, Matrix Reloadedand Matrix Revolutions, as well as Red Planet, Scooby Doo, Queen of the Damned, and Kangaroo Jack. He established City Productions to develop and produce Australian films, including Swimming Upstream (2001) and Danny Deckchair(2003). Mason spent 2004 in Romania producing Bruce Hunt’s horror thriller Caveand 2005 in Canada producing Christophe Gans’ film Silent Hill.
Returning to Australia in early 2009 after an extended period in Paris, Mason produced Paramount’s highly successful screen adaptation by writer turned Director Stuart Beattie of well-loved Australian novel Tomorrow When the War Began.
In 2010, Mason joined forces with Writer John Collee, and Hopscotch Distribution principal Troy Lum to form development/production company Hopscotch Features. The Mothers is the first production from Hopscotch Features, and will be followed by Stuart Beattie’s I,Frankenstein, produced in collaboration with Lakeshore Entertainment.
Mason was a member of the board of the Macquarie Film Corporation, and spent a number of years as Deputy Chair on the board of the Screen NSW. He is currently a board member of the Sydney Film Festival and serves on the Council of Australian Film Television & Radio School.
BARBARA GIBBS (Line Producer)has been responsible for steering some of Australia’s most loved films through the complexities of physical production over many years of highly regarded producing. Working as a Production Manager in the early 80’s, Barbara became an integral part of the Kennedy Miller company at the height of it’s output in both film and television. Line Producing TV mini-series such as Cowra Breakout, Bangkok Hilton, and Vietnam, led to Associate Producing/Line Production duties on features Flirting, Dead Calm, Babe and it’s sequel Babe in the City.
In 1996 Gibbs was Line Producer for Alex Proyas’ iconic noir thriller Dark City, and in the 15 years since has Line Produced as many features, ranging from the low budget art house Book of Revelation to the multi-territory complexity of Colin Firth starring Railway Man.
MICHEL FELLER (Producer)was born in Brussels in the mid 60s.
In 1985, he was admitted to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in Brussels, which soon helped him hereafter to expand its activities. While working as an actor for ten years, he directed two short films (which made the selection of fifty festivals around the world), created a theater company in Paris and produced plays (Hall de nuit by Chantal Akerman, Le Silence by Nathalie Sarraute, Les cahiers de Malta by R.M. Rilke).
As a friend of the actress Isabelle Adjani, Feller eventually became her agent, thus becoming a team member of the company Artmédia, working there for five years and also becoming the agent for Olivier Gourmet, Jérémie Renier, Jean-Paul Rouve, Pascal Elbe, Dany Boon, Vincent Perez, Julie Delarme, Michael Muller in the process.
As a result of negotiations regarding Luc Besson’s studio project à la française, Luc offered Feller the opportunity to join the team of Leeloo Productions, which rapidly became the company EuropaCorp.
Feller then joined Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, and, as Executive Producer,took on the making of Fanfan la Tulipe directed by Gerard Krawczyk and La Boite Noire directed by Richard Berry. Michel developed and produced, again as part of the company EuropaCorp, Moi César 10 ans ½ 1m 39, directed by Richard Berry and Michou d'Auber, directed by Thomas Gilou.
In 2008, he joined the company Mon VoisinProductions which he created with Dominique Besnehard, also a former talent agent at Artmédia and Michel’s friend of 20 years.