Australia’s Inspiring Female Director Rhiannon Bannenberg Talks Life and First Feature Film

At the age of 23, Rhiannon Bannenberg was bound to create extraordinary and creative films. Now, 27-years-old, the young Australian continues her passion for directing, writing and singing after the success of 2015 feature ‘Ambrosia’ with a new blockbuster hit, ‘Rip Tide’.

“I studied music at University (with a background in composition), and after leaving school, I actually thought I’d be a film composer. Of course, I had no relative experience and couldn’t get a job (no one would give me the ‘gig’). So, I made my own movie which I was able to write the score for, and that became ‘Ambrosia’.

Bannenberg co-wrote the script with friend Elias Jamieson Brown and filmed the movie. Then, she directed it and was involved in post production.

“The best thing about directing ‘Rip Tide’ is I could do all of those things; working alongside a composer and the writer”, she tells us. “Even though I do have an interest in music, as a director, I feel that’s the best gig! You have the opportunity to work with all these talented people and oversee everything”.

Bannenberg’s film-making story begins on a weekly commute to Sydney from Illawarra, “I started writing ‘Ambrosia’ on the train, and began thinking of a character named India who had chronic pain (which derived from my life when I was 13 years old and fell off my horse). At 18, the pain continued to affect my social life. I wasn’t going out as much and felt pretty isolated. Then, I started writing diary entries as ‘India’, that soon developed into a movie.”

“It wasn’t until I saw the film, I realised ‘that’s part of me on the screen’. Every artist will tell you their work comes from a personal place; and you can take those experiences by telling other people stories”.

The multi-talented director started contacting friends to ask if they would volunteer to help for the independent film, “It was such a small project that I created it with a group of my friends, and it worked beautifully! I was able to jump between director, composer and writer when needed”.

Bannenberg can now be considered a true, inspiring female filmmaker in Australia. Her latest film, ‘Rip Tide’, is set in the heartland of Kiama and also features Disney channel star Debbie Ryan. So, overwhelmed with local and national fame, how does this Aussie ‘keep her cool’ when life gets a little demanding?

“As a director, there is a lot of pressure, expectation and responsibility when it comes to creating a feature film. I’m a big advocate of yoga and meditation. I feel that by doing something completely different from the job, you’re making the best version of you’.”

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