Maddy is a vibrant, precocious, sixteen year old desperate for life to begin. Sylvie, her recently-bereaved French cousin, has come so stay with her and her parents in London for the summer. With the parents’ increasing absence and self absorption, the girls and Maddy’s crew have the run of the house for six long weeks. Maddy’s house, and its overgrown back garden, is the base for a summer of emotional and physical exploration. Maddy feels threatened by Parisian Sylvie, with her aura of tragedy and exquisite ways, especially when her new boyfriend Isaiah shows an interest in her. But it takes the summer heat to reach boiling point emotionally, and for events to escalate in a feral, Lord of The Flies way, for Maddy to learn that Sylvie isn’t her enemy but her equal. She discovers the painful truth about the disintegration of her world, and Sylvie emerges from her cocoon of grief. The ending is an epiphany of irreverence and hope, leaving both girls on the threshold of seizing their lives for themselves.
This is a film set in an in-between world: between kid and adult, between certainties. It will be thrilling and yet dreamy, entering into the lives of 16 year olds and their drift into dangerous emotional territory. Teenagers from carefully-restored Victorian terraces meet those from estates, gathering in the spaces outside schools and under parents’ radars. When realising the film, we want to retain a looseness and freedom so we can explore scenes with the young actors on set. We will all spend time in the places we are filming in, making it feel as real as possible whilst infusing it with a heightened magical aura that encapsulates what it is to be 16 and on the brink of huge change.