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Australia, 2002 (MIFF 2002, Australian Showcase)

Director: Melanie Rodriga

In Unit 6B at Platypus Rise Flats, two hardened and damaged women living on a diet of soapies, sarcasm and frustration are about to reach breaking point. A bad day becomes worse by the hour and to top it off, the toilet won't flush. Twenty-something, ugh-booted Teesh is unemployed and uninspired. Her son Kenny's playing up, her jailbird father is due out that day and she doesn't know what to do with her too-good-to-be-true boyfriend, Les. Trude is Teesh's older but none the wiser flatmate. Still in pain from seeing her husband walk out with the kids at a time when she was either doped or drunk most of the time, she's damaged goods. Trude's macho, bully boyfriend, Rod, is the latest in a long line of chauvinists and Teesh can't stand him. And you thought you were having a bad day.

With a headline cast including Susie Porter (Mullet, Better Than Sex, MIFF 2000 and Feeling Sexy, MIFF 1999), Peter Phelps (Lantana, MIFF 2001) and Linda Cropper (Water Rats), Teesh & Trude is a warm but biting story of dysfunction, denial and desperation set in the gritty suburbs of Oz. The hard exterior of both Platypus Rise and the characters are slowly pulled back to reveal the humour, humanity and reality of two people trapped by circumstance, apathy and class.

Melanie Rodriga (director) and Melissa Hasluck (producer) are guests of the Festival.

Melanie Rodriga has worked in the film and TV industry in Australia and New Zealand for over 20 years as writer, director, producer, film and script editor and cinema columnist. Rodriga has directed 19 films; Teesh and Trude is her third feature after Trial Run and Send a Gorilla.

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