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Category: Edition 2005


Frankie, a 9 year-old deaf boy, his mother Lizzie and grandmother Nell move constantly to run away from Lizzie’s abusive ex-husband. Most recently they have arrived in a seaside Scottish town. Wanting to protect her son from the truth, Lizzie has created a fictitious identity for his father as a crew-man on a ship sailing the globe. Frankie’s idealized view of his dad is fed by fake letters from exotic lands, in reality penned by his mother. As Frankie tracks the ship’s progress around the world, he discovers that it will dock in the local harbour in a few days. Cornered into revealing the truth or find someone to play the part of his father for just one day, Lizzie chooses the latter. She hooks up with a stranger who agrees to pose as Frankie’s dad. The arrangement extends into a full weekend. The new family’s unity is destabilized when it emerges that Frankie’s real dad is dying.

Original Title DEAR FRANKIE
Italian Title DEAR FRANKIE
Category Official Competition
Section Free to Fly
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 105'
Production Year 2004
Nationality United Kingdom
Directed by Shona Auerbach
Screenplay Andrea Gibb
Script Andrea Gibb
Director of photography Shona Auerbach
Editor Oral Norrie Ottey
Production Design Jennifer Kernke
Costume Design Carole K. Millar
Sound Peter Brill
Music Alex Heffes
Main cast Gerard Butler (“Davey”)
Emily Mortimer (Lizzie)
Jake McElhone (Frankie)
Mary Riggans (Nell)
Sharon Small (Marie)
Sean Brown (Ricky Monroe)
Produced by Caroline Wood

dear frankie regShona Auerbac

Shona Auerbac directed short films in 1995/1996 (SEVEN 1996). Since then she has been working in commercials. DEAR FRANKIE is her debut feature. With this film she won the Women In Cinema Award, 2004 at the Seattle International Film Festival and the audience award for best international feature at the LA Film Festival. Her dream now is to do a contemporary tragic love story.


Director’s statement

“I was looking for a feature script to direct, and DEAR FRANKIE was a short script I was sent. I fell in love with the story and really wanted to make it. My husband said, "That would make a great feature", and he really put the seed in my head. And we worked on it for six years, on and off. I was impressed by the unconditional love this mother has for her son, and the lengths she'll go to to make him happy, which I think is something I connected with. We just want our children to be happy and we don't always make the right decisions in life, but we do the best we can. That's why I identify so much with Lizzie, because I do think she’s doing what she can, she’s doing her best for her child”.

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World sales
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Italian distribution
Festival contact
Buena Vista Italia