Magik & Rose

A film by Vanessa Alexander.

The director — Vanessa Alexander

So you can shove your fortune telling up your ass! – Rose, scene 59

Winner of the 1999 Filmmaker of the Year award. Writer/Director Vanessa Alexander has had her fortune told. Twice. Neither prediction has come true. Not the birth of her first child — 11 days before starting film at Ilam School of Fine Arts. Not that she would then shift the now one-year-old to Melbourne to start VCAs Film school. And definitely not that she would be making her first feature film at 28.

Vanessa Alexander, the director

As a director, also being a writer is a huge advantage, says Vanessa. You have to make a clear shift from one role to the other. You know the material, like you know your own face. The challenge is to take that solitary discipline and be able to collaborate.

Magik and Rose is about similarity and difference, says Vanessa. It's about the odd way that humans - all humans - have a point of connection. And the fact that you can't predict anything. That's what makes life real - and quite funny at times.

When she first started writing at 18, Vanessa says she was only concerned with the intellectual and experimental aspects of filmmaking. Now, I feel the art is to be able to write something that has those elements, while reaching a wide audience.

She wanted to write something that was very honest - that to her was a blend of comedy and chaos. All the characters in the film are very different - they dress differently and have different lifestyles. But there is something inherently human about desire that connects them.

Vanessa Alexander has an MA in Film and TV, a BA in Drama/English, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Film Directing from the Victoria College of Art, Melbourne. She has written several plays, which have been performed around New Zealand, one of which won her the International Student Playwrighting Award in 1991. Her short film My Mother Practices Drowning screened at a number of international film festivals (including Sydney, Seattle and Mill Valley) and won a Cinevex Script Prize in Melbourne. Vanessa was named SPADA Young Filmmaker of the Year in 1999.


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