'Winter as Frida Kahlo' brings together the life and work of a painter who changed art forever.
The story begins with her sister Cristina and Frida Kahlo's ex-husband Diego (they were twice married) on the day of Frida's funeral. Diego is in a philosophical mood about growing old. But the emotion of the day has brought back something else for Cristina. The old guilt over her affair with Diego has come back to haunt her. The grief takes us back to the day it began.
The memory is of where Cristina and Diego would meet in secret. But we're also suddenly introduced to a stranger. Someone who just happens to be passing by. He's dressed in a very sharp suit and has the kindest of smiles. He's on his way to a bus stop, but it looks like he has a long wait. He takes out a book. It must be a very good book, because once he starts he can't put it down. Until he hears music in the distance that is.
The music is a Mariachi singer busking in the street. She's performing to an audience of just one - and that one is our stranger. Their eyes meet. Her voice is full of power and passion. He doesn't understand a word of what she's singing, but he knows he never wants the song to end.
When the music stops we return to the present. Diego isn't lying about getting old. Washing his face is hard. Crushing his tablets is hard. Now it's his turn for the memories to flood back in.
He's suddenly standing in front of Frida in the middle of the night. She hasn't slept and they've been fighting all day. Frida is demanding he ends the affair. She wants her sister back. But she's not going to beg. Her hurt and anger burns right through his act. She throws him out and slams the door in his face.
A few seconds later there is a knock at the door. She takes a deep breathe. But it's not Diego she finds standing there. It's someone else. Someone who shouldn't be there. Someone she's never met. The past and present of two sisters and an unfaithful husband are suddenly in the same place at the same time.
'Winter as Frida Kahlo' was born when Cheyenne Rae Hernandez crossed paths with the Noah brothers while filming a TV pilot. The story might well be left at that, were it not for the fact that the subject of Frida Kahlo came up. Specifically a play Bramwell Noah had written some years earlier called 'Winter as Frida Kahlo'.
It was a piece that featured a tour de force lead role with one actress playing both sisters. The play had been an instant success. It had even toured as part of an international exhibition of works by Frida Kahlo that had been brought together for the very first time.
The stage play had been an authentically theatrical experience. For the all new cinematic take, Bramwell Noah set out to completely and totally reimagine the fantasia approach of his original work. A host of new characters and the paintings themselves would now heighten the journey. But Frida Kahlo would naturally still be at the centre of it all.
Dan and Bramwell Noah are Australian film directors and screenwriters.
They opened their movie making account with the short human rights drama 'Massacre of the Innocents'. Their debut feature 'According to Ben Adams' (2016) tapped into a supernatural vein with the story of what happens when the devil in a bad mood meets a gentle madman claiming to be Jesus.
'I,Timon' (2017) saw the brothers take a period turn to bring Shakespeare's "Timon of Athens" to the big screen for the very first time. Both releases enjoyed major festival runs with international award recognition in almost all categories (including multiple special jury award prizes).
Their next two features further established the brother's reputation for keeping audiences guessing. 'Something To Do With Death' (2018) was a genuinely original take on the gangster genre. While 'Song without Words' (2022) presented an almost wordless sci-fi fairytale about what it means to be human by examining what happens when people are anything but.
Terry Tubbs was born in Michigan and began his career in repertory theatre before moving to Hollywood to work in film and television. His design specialty is period gowns and costumes ranging from Shakespeare through to the classics. The same approach to thorough character study has also seen him dress contemporary dress ensembles on stage and screen. 'Winter as Frida Kahlo' is his sixth collaboration with the Noah Bros.
HAIR & MAKEUP
Simone Clarke is an award winning designer with experience in all facets of hair and makeup art. Her international portfolio of work includes print, theatre, television, music video and film. She is also a successful entrepreneur and educator with a focus on maintaining a community connection. She is the founder of Wig Therapy Ltd; a charity dedicated to supporting cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Nino Cotone is an Italian multi-instrumentalist and composer. A graduate of G. Verdi Conservatoire in Como in 2000, his output of over 20 full length releases reflects his wide interest in music of many genres. Most recently he has been active as a film composer and writing chamber works for his main instrument the violin. He is also a trained music therapist with a passion for working with people with severe disabilities.
Yunfan Zhang studied performance design in Shanghai and Hong Kong before completing her Masters of Design in Melbourne. Her works draw heavily on the fundamentals of the traditional aesthetic of her native China. She is a dedicated hands on practitioner - with an eye for creating intricate reproductions that function less as props - and more as reimagined spiritual and cultural elements.
Janina Buenaseda is a multimedia designer born and raised in Manila. She graduated magna cum laude before launching into a career as a digital artist. Her body of work has included global colloborations in most digital mediums and formats; original and reworked digital paintings, photo and video editing, 3D modelling and the full spectrum of animation. Her ability to bring creative visions to life is a distinctive aspect of her work.
Caleb Lindner is a Melbourne based musician and audio engineer. His sound specialty is crafting immersive soundscapes to compliment film and music. He is in demand as a producer with a wide and diverse roster of artists. He is also a member of 'BANTA.'; a cult duo act who have doubled as festival favourites with their unique compositions, music videos and stage shows.