Marta Dusseldorp, Julia Billington star in Monica Zanetti’s gay rom-com

Top (l-r) Sophie Hawkshaw, Zoe Terakes; Bottom (l-r) Rachel House, Marta Dusseldorp.

As a teenager Monica Zanetti searched in vain for gay rom-coms which she could watch with her mother, while Neil Armfield’s same-sex romantic drama Holding the Man was a major influence.

That has inspired the writer-director to make her feature directing debut on Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt), which, unlike Armfield’s film has a happy ending.

Shooting in Sydney started today, starring Marta Dusseldorp, fellow Janet King alumni Julia Billington, Kiwi Rachel House, Zoe Terakes and newcomer Sophie Hawkshaw.

Zanetti adapted the screenplay from her eponymous play which was staged in 2017 at The Depot Theatre in Marrickville, her second feature credit after Jonnie Leahy’s 2014 drama Skip Deep.

Hawkshaw’s Ellie is 18 and struggling to find the courage to ask classmate Abbie (Terakes) to the formal. Luckily her aunt Tara (Billington), a lesbian who died in the 80s,
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