The film is a lyrical treatment of Homer’s tale of Penelope, depicting her psychological struggle as she waits twenty years for her husband to return from the Trojan War.
It draws on the long-take filmmaking style of film directors such as Andrei Tarkovsky (The Mirror), Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai) and Bela Tarr (Werckmeister Harmonies). Director Ben Ferris and Director of Photography James Barahanos also embrace this style in their short films Ascension and The Kitchen.
In Ferris’ mythical tale of Penelope, the technique is used as a dramatic device that experiments with time and space to build the tension and sense of nostalgia experienced by the waiting heroine. Penelope presents performances that have been choreographed to a hauntingly beautiful score by renowned film composer Max Richter (Shutter Island, Stranger Than Fiction, Waltz With Bashir).
The film premiered at the 4th One Take Film Festival in Zagreb Croatia as the Opening Night film, following in the footsteps of Alexander Sukurov’s long-take masterpiece Russian Ark which opened the inaugural festival in 2003. Penelope screened at the 56th Pula Film Festival in 2009 and was awarded the Van Gogh Award for Best Fantasy Film at the 2010 Amsterdam Film Festival. Ben has previously won awards for his one-take short films, winning the Grand Prix at the 2004 One Take Film Festival and the Grand Prix at the Inaugural Akira Kurosawa Memorial Short Film Festival in Tokyo in 2005.
Penelope, starring Natalie Finderle in the lead role and Croatian actor Frano Maškovic as Odysseus, is the first Australian-Croatian co-production.
Language: Croatian (with English subtitles)
Rated: MA 15+