Alana Hick's Chicken hatches at Flickerfest 2020
Screen Talent Camp alumni Alana Hick’s short film Chicken will hit the big screen at Flickerfest 2020. Ahead of its Australian Premiere, Screen NSW spoke with Alana Hicks to find out how it came about.
How does it feel to have your film Chicken to screen at the Flickerfest 2020?
I’m stoked to have the film screen at Flickerfest. It feels right that the Australian premiere should be in Sydney, where it was produced. Flickerfest has been the launching pad of the careers of many emerging writers and directors, and I love being part of a festival that advocates for new, bold and Australian-made stories.
You directed and wrote the script for Chicken. Can you tell us about how the idea for the film came about?
The story is based on a real situation that happened when I was a kid, after moving to Sydney in the 90s with only a Mickey Mouse backpack and my mum. To give me opportunities, my mother left her family, her home, and her career in Papua New Guinea and moved us to Australia. As an 11-year-old, I was able to adapt to a new lifestyle in Australia easier than my mum. Like many migrant kids, you end up being the go-between for your parents, and the prejudice we experienced was subtle and insidious.
Chicken received funding through Talent Camp in 2018 - a joint initiative of Screen NSW, AFTRS, Screen Australia and other state screen agencies. What was it like being a participant in the program and how did it help you develop this film?
Chicken would not exist if it were not for Talent Camp. I know I’m a better creative because of the company I keep, so I’m indebted to all the facilitators and the other ‘Talent Campers’ for their generosity of sharing knowledge and insight. In particular Gary Paramanathan. I learned a great deal about my voice as a director.
The colours in the film feel deliberately dark. Can you tell us why you selected that look?
I worked very closely with cinematographer Campbell Brown to create a contrast in the lighting between the ‘home’ scenes and the ‘shop’ scenes in the film. I worked with production designer Jean-Pierre Yomona to devise a noticeable distinction between the scenes shot in the house with film’s mother and daughter, and then the ‘society’ scenes represented by the supermarket.
Pacific Islander homes are like tiny museums. You’ll find bilums (string bags), grass skirts, shell art and thousands of terrible school photos. And I wanted to show that on screen.
Best of Australian 5 – 2020 stream
Monday 13 January 2020, 8.45pm | Runtime: 110 mins
Follow Chicken on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chickenshortfilmaus/
Watch the trailer: https://vimeo.com/347759457
Images: Still from Chicken. Photo by Campbell Brown.