The Flip Side brings director Marion Pilowsky home to Adelaide

Eddie Izzard and Emily Taheny in The Flip Side.
Eddie Izzard and Emily Taheny in The Flip Side.

IF director Marion Pilowsky had never spent 20 years working overseas then returned home to Adelaide, her film The Flip Side would not have existed.

The industry veteran has six short film writing/directing credits and was executive producer on feature films such as Erskineville Kings, Being Julia and Little Fish.

The Flip Side marks her feature film directorial debut and she made it in and around her hometown.

The story is about struggling Adelaide restaurateur Ronnie (Emily Taheny) reigniting a spark with her ex-boyfriend and British movie star Henry (Eddie Izzard) when he returns with his current girlfriend Sophie (Vanessa Guide).

Pilowsky said she was inspired by the clashing cultural backgrounds when she came home after spending about 20 years living and working in the UK.

“It is built into the Australian psyche that the Europeans look down their nose at us; there is always a little of that, like we don’t have culture,” she said.

“This film is my battle cry for us to value ourselves more.

“Adelaide is a fantastic place to film; we don’t do what they do in America with independent films like Little Miss Sunshine, Manhattan, Sideways and About Schmidt, which are rooted in place.

“This is rooted in Adelaide and South Australia; it is very specific and I could not have done the film without the location.”

Despite working on several projects as a producer, she knew directing was her true calling before she got to step behind a camera.

“I always wanted to direct but I didn’t know how. I didn’t study it at uni or film school, I got caught on my own pathway,” she said.

“In 2010 I thought ‘that’s it, I’m going to make something’.

“My father wrote a short story in the 1960s which I adapted into The Ride, which was shot in the UK and backed by the BBC.

“The moment I started directing I had an epiphany: ‘this is what I want to do the rest of my life’.”

Pilowsky said she found directing an easier task than producing.

“Producing is much more stressful,” she said.

“With directing, there are always hundreds of questions and answers and there is always a forward momentum, but with producing you are always being rejected.”

She said she did not even think that shooting a 10-page scene on the third day with the full ensemble would be something to be nervous about until someone on the crew brought it up.

“I was relaxed until someone said ‘isn’t it nerve-racking?’ and I said “is it supposed to be?’,” she said.

The Flip Side is in cinemas August 30.