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Release Date: December 2, 2011 (limited)
Studio: IFC Films
Director: Julia Leigh
Screenwriter: Julia Leigh
Starring: Emily Browning, Michael Dorman, Mirrah Foulkes, Rachael Blake
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: R



in association with SCREEN NSW

Jane Campion presents
A film by Julia Leigh

Jane Campion Quotes:
“Julia Leigh has a new, fully confident cinema voice."
"Sleeping Beauty thrilled and excited me."
"Sensuous, intriguing, complex and unafraid."
"Her talent and the film are extraordinary.”
Sleeping Beauty is a contemporary piece of
existential cinema. A fascinating portrait of how
some of us live or sometimes have lived.”
“Heartbreaking, tender, terrifying. I love it."
“Shocking and beautiful."
"Emily Browning is flawless.”

a film by Julia Leigh
Australia, 2011, 35mm/ colour/ 1.85, Dolby SRD, 101 min

Julia Leigh

Emily Browning... Lucy
Rachael Blake... Clara
Ewen Leslie... Birdmann
Peter Carroll... Man 1
Chris Haywood... Man 2

Produced by:
Jessica Brentnall
Executive Produced by: Tim White
Executive Producers: Alan Cardy, Jamie Hilton
Director of Photography: Geoffrey Simpson ACS
Production Designer: Annie Beauchamp
Editor: Nick Meyers ASE
Costume Designer: Shareen Beringer
Composer: Ben Frost
Casting Director: Nikki Barrett
Sound Designer: Sam Petty
Associate Producer: Sasha Burrows

A haunting portrait of Lucy, a young university student drawn into a mysterious hidden world of unspoken desires.

“You will go to sleep: you will wake up. It will be as if those hours never existed.”
Death-haunted, quietly reckless, Lucy is a young university student who takes a job as a Sleeping Beauty. In the Sleeping Beauty Chamber old men seek an erotic experience that requires Lucy’s absolute submission. This unsettling task starts to bleed into Lucy’s daily life and she develops an increasing need to know what happens to her when she is asleep.


Emily Browning (Lucy)

“I think it’s probably the best script I’ve ever read -- I was just floored by it."
“Reading the first scene gave me a panic attack and I thought if something can make me feel that much, I have to be part of it."
“Sleeping Beauty is such a huge step away from anything I have ever done before and that was exciting to me. I like the fact that it’s risky and dangerous.”

Emily Browning is an Australian actress best known for her performance as Violet in the 2004 film Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events which starred Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep, and earned Emily an AFI International Award for Best Actress.

Emily Browning is an Australian actress best known for her performance as Violet in the 2004 film Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events which starred Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep, and earned Emily an AFI International Award for Best Actress.

Emily won an AFI Young Actor’s Award in 2002 and was nominated for Broadcast Film Critics Association Critics’ Choice Award for Best Young Performer and Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film, Leading Young Actress (both 2005).

Other credits include the Australian films The Man who Sued God with Billy Connolly and Judy Davis, and Ned Kelly opposite Heath Ledger, and the US horror film, The Uninvited for Paramount, opposite Elizabeth Banks.

Rachael Blake (Clara)

Rachael Blake graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1994 and won a Silver Logie and an Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award for her performance in the television drama Wildside. Rachael’s stand out performance in the feature film Lantana, earned her both IF and AFI Awards in 2001. That year Rachael was also awarded the Australian Centenary Medal for services to Australian society and to film production in the Queen’s New Years Honours List. In the following decade Rachael spent several years undertaking a range of work in the UK.

Ewen Leslie (Birdmann)

Ewen Leslie first appeared on television at the age of 12 and won a scholarship to study acting while still at school. After graduating from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Ewen was cast as the lead in Jewboy, which screened in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 and at Sundance. Sleeping Beauty is his third feature after Kokoda and Three Blind Mice, which critics at the London Film Festival judged to be the best film in the World Cinema section. Ewen is popular among theatre directors and in 2007 was invited to join the Actor’s Company of the Sydney Theatre Company. Since then Ewen has won prestigious Helpmann Awards for Richard III and War of the Roses. In the latter he played Henry V and also won a Sydney Theatre Award for his performance.

Peter Carroll (Man 1)

Peter Carroll has been delivering award-winning performances, principally live on the Australian stage, for more than 30 years. In 2009 he was presented with the inaugural award for lifetime achievement from the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance; 20 years earlier local critics bestowed on him the Circle Award for significant contribution to Sydney theatre. He has also won Green Room Awards for Season at Sarsaparilla (2008), Hamlet (1995) and Masterclass (1986); a Helpmann Award for Endgame (2003); MO Awards for The Christian Brothers (2001) and Jesus Christ Superstar (1992); a Variety Club of Australia Award for musical theatre actor of the year for Sweeney Todd (1988); and a Penguin Award for the television drama Rafferty’s Rules – Private Lives. He worked on features early in his career but rarely does now, although he did voice the elder in Happy Feet.

Chris Haywood (Man 2)

Chris Haywood has built up an extraordinary body of work in Australian film and television. He has been presented with Australian Film Institute Awards for the features A Street To Die (1985) and Emerald City (1988), and the drama series Stingers. The Film Critics Circle of Australia also recognized him for Kiss or Kill. In the 1970s and 80s he was in such iconic Australian films as The Cars That Ate Paris, The Removalist, Newsfront, Breaker Morant, Heatwave, The Man From Snowy River, Razorback and Malcolm. Hardly a year has gone by that Chris hasn’t appeared in at least one Australian film, and sometimes he works on as many as four. Credits include Beneath Hill 50, The Boys Are Back, Jindabyne, Black Rock, Muriel’s Wedding, Shine, most of the films of Paul Cox, and the US mini-series The Starter Wife.


Julia Leigh (Director and Screenplay)

Julia Leigh comes to film having established herself as a leading contemporary novelist.

Her first novel The Hunter (1999) was internationally shortlisted for many prizes and won a Betty Trask Award (UK), the Prix de L’Astrolabe Etonnants Voyageurs (France), and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She was named a Sydney Morning Herald Young Novelist of the Year (Australia) and “one of 21 writers for the 21st century” by The Observer (UK). Don DeLillo described it as ‘a strong and hypnotic piece of writing’. A film based on the novel, directed by Daniel Nettheim, written by Alice Addison and starring Willem Dafoe, is in post-production.

Her novella Disquiet (2008) won the Encore Award (UK), was a France Culture/Télérama rentrée selection (France), was an LA Times Favourite Book, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year (US) and No.7 on Entertainment Weekly (US)’s Top Ten Books of the Year. Its many shortlistings include the Adelaide Festival Fiction Award, the NSW Premier’s Prize and the West Australian Premier’s Book Award (Australia). She was a participant in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, working with Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate, who said of Disquiet that ‘Julia Leigh is a sorceress. Her deft prose casts a spell of serene control while the earth quakes underfoot.’

Her work is published in 7 languages.

In 2008 the script for Sleeping Beauty landed on the Hollywood ‘Black List’ and she was named one of 25 New Faces of independent cinema by Filmmaker Magazine (US).

She was born in 1970, Australia. She received a Bachelor of Arts majoring in philosophy and a Bachelor of Laws, both from the University of Sydney. In 1995 she was admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW as a Legal Practitioner – though never practised. In 2009 she received a PhD in English from the University of Adelaide.

She was born in 1970, Australia. She received a Bachelor of Arts majoring in philosophy and a Bachelor of Laws, both from the University of Sydney. In 1995 she was admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW as a Legal Practitioner – though never practised. In 2009 she received a PhD in English from the University of Adelaide.

Jessica Brentnall (Producer)

Jessica is an Australian Film Institute Award-winning producer. Jessica started her career in fashion at Vogue Australia and made the transition to film working on Rabbit Proof Fence. Her most recent credit as producer was the animated short film, The Cat Piano, which was shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2010. Jessica’s production company, Magic Films, is developing a variety of film and television projects, including The Magician with HBO. Sleeping Beauty is Jessica’s first feature film as producer.

Tim White (Executive Producer)

Tim White has produced or executive produced 30 films in Australia and New Zealand.

His Australian titles include Malcolm, which won the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award for best film in 1986, The Big Steal, Death in Brunswick, Angel Baby (AFI best film in 1995), Oscar and Lucinda and Two Hands (AFI best film in 1999). Tim’s New Zealand titles include Broken English, No. 2 and Out of the Blue. In 1997 Tim was appointed chief executive of Fox Icon, a joint venture between 20th Century Fox and Mel Gibson’s Icon Entertainment. From 2000 to 2004 he headed Working Title Australia and under this banner produced Gettin’ Square and was executive producer on Ned Kelly. He now runs his own production company, Southern Light Films, and increasingly works on international projects. Recent examples include the UK/Australian co-production The Boys Are Back, the Korean/ US film Warrior’s Way and the adaptation of Mr. Pip being directed by Andrew Adamson.

Geoffrey Simpson ACS (Director of Photography)

Geoffrey Simpson is one of Australia’s most experienced cinematographers. He was crowned Cinematographer of the Year by his peers at the Australian Cinematographers Society in 1986 for Playing Beatie Bow and 21 years later won the organisation’s Golden Tripod for Romulus, My Father. He has been behind the camera on about 40 dramas, including Shine and Oscar and Lucinda, which earned him Australian Film Institute Awards for cinematography in 1996 and 1998 respectively. He has worked on films all over the world including Under The Tuscan Sun in Italy, Fried Green Tomatoes, Little Women and Green Card in the US; The Navigator: A Mediaeval Odyssey in New Zealand; Some Mother’s Son in Ireland; and most recently, The Dragon Pearl in China.

Annie Beauchamp (Production Designer)

Sleeping Beauty is Annie Beauchamp’s third feature as a production designer. Most recently she worked on Disgrace which was principally filmed in South Africa and won an award from critics at the Toronto International Film Festival. She has been art director on many films and was on the team that won acclaim from the Art Directors Guild of America for its work on Baz Luhrmann’s box office hit Moulin Rouge ! She has been on films with other high-profile directors too including Alex Proyas (on Garage Days ) and Phillip Noyce ( The Quiet American ). She was also art director on The Well, which was in official selection at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998. She works on a broad range of jobs, including television commercials and restaurant interiors.

Nick Meyers ASE (Editor)

Nick Meyers won IF Awards for the feature films The Bank and Balibo in 2001 and 2009 respectively, and is acknowledged for his major contribution to the critical hit The Boys. He also edited Three Dollars and was a consultant on the highly acclaimed Ten Canoes. He works on documentary as well as drama and recent credits include Mrs Carey’s Concert, which opens the 2011 Adelaide Film Festival, and Rampage and The Miscreants of Taliwood, both directed by George Gittoes.

Sam Petty (Sound Designer)

Sam Petty’s first feature as a sound designer was The Boys in 1996 and many of his collaborators were fellow graduates from the Australian Film, Television & Radio School, including director Rowan Woods and producer Robert Connolly. He has worked on dozens of projects since including Somersault, Little Fish and the documentary Global Haywire, each of which won Australian Film Institute Awards for best sound. He also edited Global Haywire, directed by his father, the renowned animator Bruce Petty. Somersault also earned Petty junior an Australian Screen Sound Guild Award and Little Fish an IF Award. He also won IF Awards for The Square and Balibo. He has worked with Neil Armfield, George Ogilvie and other admired directors in theatre, and on many shorts including the Oscar-nominated Miracle Fish.

Ben Frost (Composer)

Ben Frost’s albums include Steel Wound (2003), Theory of Machines (2007) and By The Throat (2009). He is known for the boldness and intensity of his festival performances and has collaborated with contemporary dance companies Chunky Move and the Icelandic Dance Company. He has worked with artists as diverse as Björk, Stars Like Fleas, Tim Hecker, Amiina, Christian Fennesz, Jóhann Jóhannsson and Wildbirds & Peacedrums and Bora Yoon, but his most regular collaborator is electronic composer and producer Valgeir Sigurðsson from Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavík. Frost is Australian born but based in Iceland. His most recent film project was In Her Skin.

Transmission Films (Australian Distributor)

Transmission Films is a Sydney based feature film acquisitions and distribution company. Joint Managing Directors Richard Payten and Andrew Mackie previously ran Dendy Films for six years before launching Transmission Films in partnership with Paramount. Together, Transmission and Paramount collaborate on acquisitions, with Transmission overseeing the creative marketing and Paramount bringing their muscle and expertise to all stages of release. Prior to Transmission Richard and Andrew released and acquired over 100 films, grossing more than $125m box office in Australia and New Zealand, earning 23 Oscar nominations, 3 Palme d’Ors and 150 AFI Award nominations. Transmission also has a sister company, Emile Sherman and Iain Canning’s production entity See-Saw Films, producers of the Academy Award winning, The King’s Speech.

Studio photos, notes and videos © 2011 Screen Australia, Magic Films and IFC Films