Little blue penguins will have a big role in Christine Luby’s You, Me and the Penguins, which has begun filming in Queensland.
Written by Annelies Kavan, the romantic comedy follows Tilly Monterey (Tammin Sursok), a compliance and outreach manager at the Animal Discovery Institute in San Diego, who realises her dream to work in the field after hearing the Crystal Bay Penguin Sanctuary is threatened with closure and its colony of Little Blue Penguins is scheduled to be relocated 2,500km away.
After receiving a begrudging welcome from head zoologist Fletcher (Jason Wilder), she joins the group in their efforts to turn the sanctuary around within the space of a week. As Fletcher teaches Tilly more about the sanctuary’s needs and the Little Blue penguins that they house, his belief in people, and even love, is reignited, while Tilly realises she has never felt more at home. In the end, she must decide between leaving Crystal Bay or staying with Fletcher and the Little Blue Penguins he loves so much.
Due to be filmed at locations across Brisbane and the Gold Coast, You, Me and the Penguins also stars Stuart Lumsden, Madeleine West, and Nick Hardcastle.
The film is a co-production between the Steve Jaggi Company and Incendo, with Steve Jaggi, Spencer McLaren, and Ian Whitehead producing alongside supervising producer Graham Ludlow. Whitehead and Jaggi will also serve executive produce with Jean Bureau.
Luby, who made her directorial debut with last year’s This Little Love of Mine, recently acquired by Netflix for worldwide distribution. The director chose You, Me and the Penguins as her second feature because of the “smart and capable” protagonist in Tilly.
“We need more stories with female leads with agency and I find that Tilly is an inspiration to us all,” she said.
“Creating the town of Crystal Bay with its adorable Little Blue penguins and small-town vibes has been so much fun.”
Sursok, who recently returned to Australia from the US said she was also attracted to the “positive and inspiring” story.
You, Me and the Penguins is the latest feature film in the romance genre from The Steve Jaggi Company, having recently wrapped Love In Bloom, also shot in Brisbane.
The film will be distributed in Australia by Pivot Pictures and will be known internationally as Love and Penguins.