An Island / Mouth of the Bull


TYPE
: Narrative Feature
GENRE: Comedy
STATUS: Production

LOGLINE

Fatigued by her golden boy husband, Drew, Teresa pursues a threesome on their honeymoon in Bocas del Toro, Panama, to avoid facing her own demons. AN ISLAND is a darkly comedic drama that explores our ability to ruin a good thing.

SYNOPSIS

Honeymooning on the island of Bocas del Toro, Panama, the magnetic, darkly funny TERESA (she/her) is growing fatigued by her husband, the people-pleasing golden boy, DREW (he/him). It comes to a head after he publicly takes the fall for an accident Teresa caused. Teresa feels Drew's “toxic positivity” makes her look bad, but instead of working through it with Drew, she sets her sights on PAZ (they/them), a free-spirited expat who runs the couple’s vacation rental.

Teresa convinces Drew to have a threesome with Paz, and eager-to-please Drew agrees, despite reservations about opening their relationship. Fortunately for Teresa and Drew, Paz is down. But the dynamics shift as Drew and Paz form a deeper connection causing Teresa to spiral further. If she can't love sweet, kind, and open Drew, what's wrong with her?

"An Island" is a darkly comedic drama in the vein of "The White Lotus." The idyllic island backdrop contrasts with the hellish mess of Teresa's inner turmoil, allowing us to pose the question: Can we love our partner if we hate ourselves?

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

Does vacation turn us into the worst version of ourselves while convincing us that we're at our best? It strips us of our daily roles, routines, and facades. Add tanning oil and free-flowing booze, and it’s a recipe for repressed feelings to surface.

When we meet Teresa, she's grappling with her feelings toward her husband; the world idolizes him, but she can't find a way to love him. I’m drawn to complex female characters like Teresa—the self-destructiveness, the incorrigibility, the guilt for her inability to love her kind and good partner.

When the film’s editor, Christina O’Sullivan, read the script, she called up other 'unlikable women' from films like “Cabaret”, “Take this Waltz”, “The Lost Daughter.” We love them because they speak the truth, manipulate, and are not satisfied with settling. They are a window into the human condition, grappling with who they're supposed to be as women. In their desire to find joy and not settle, they almost seem to be wondering if they've made a mistake and should have forced feelings, situations, and decisions that didn't feel right.

For Teresa, she took the 'right' steps by marrying the good man, following her bliss to the Bocas beach, going through the motions of it all. But now she's questioning why she's not happy—is it a lack of knowing herself, is it that she rushed decisions, is it that she's selfish for wanting more—these are the questions she's left asking herself… Thematically, this all comes down to the moment when Teresa turns to Drew and says, I’m sorry I’m not good.

“An Island” delves into our deepest desires to expose our worst selves. I developed the story around actors Madison Lanesey and Scott Monahan, featured in the short film “Yes, Daddy” (which you can watch on the next slide). There’s a humanity and vulnerability that Madison and Scott bring to their characters, making the cutting actions and words palatable.

Why islands in Panama? I’ve found there is duality in Bocas del Toro that pushes the story further. Its unrelenting beauty combined with its stifling hot climate is the perfect setting to watch Teresa unravel. In addition to my personal connection here—my family lived here for two decades; my brother was born here—our production is partnering with the Panama Film Commission and hiring local talent to ensure a true international co-production.

KEY CREW

GG Hawkins - Writer-Director

GG's work has been showcased around the US at Tribeca, Nantucket, Sonoma, HollyShorts, and more. She wrote and directed "G.U.F.," an episode of "You Feeling This?" that premiered at Tribeca in 2023. She received the Channie Award for Best Directing for her web series, 'Kinda Flakey.' GG's short 'An Aspirational Space' was awarded the Robert De Niro Scholarship. She is a fellow of the Film Independent Episodic Lab. She hosts the No Film School Podcast, interviewing filmmaking talents such as Kelly Fremon Craig, Ray Romano, and Chris McKay.

Elle Roth-Brunet - Producer

Elle has dedicated her career to helping 60+ underrepresented voices gain more equity in entertainment through content partnerships with Hello Sunshine, Paul Fieg's Powderkeg, the Producers Guild of America, Women In Film, and the Black List. She’s produced 11 shorts and produced her first feature, Moloka'i Bound, with Ava Duvernay's ARRAY this year. Her shorts have screened at Slamdance, SXSW, SeriesFest, Palm Springs and Aspen Shortfest, and the Nantucket Film Festival. She’s also served as a Juror for Series Fest, Louisiana Film Prize, and Women in Film’s Episodic Labs.

Ryan Thomas - Director of Photography

Ryan is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild, and an ASC Vision Mentorship fellow. He's had two films play at Sundance (SquirrelPlace). He has shot for Nickelodeon, MTV, Rolling Stone, Facebook, Geico, Redfin, and Comedy Central doing both union and non-union work. More at ryanthomasdp.com. Ryan and GG have known each other for 28 years, and have been working together for three.

 

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