Zoe Pepper’s ‘Birthright’ wins West Coast Visions funding

Writer-director Zoe Pepper and producer Cody Greenwood are the creative team behind 'Birthright'.

Writer-director Zoe Pepper is $750,000 closer to making her debut feature, black comedy Birthright, after receiving Screenwest’s 2022 West Coast Visions funding.

Described a revenge tale exploring the intergenerational inequality between millennials and Baby Boomers, Birthright follows Cory, who after losing his job and getting evicted from his rental is forced to move back home with his parents with his pregnant wife, Jasmine.

As their stay extends, Cory fixates on his parents’ wealth and decides the only way to achieve the success he always imagined is to do something unimaginable.

Pepper’s credits so far include web series Lift and The Big Spaghetti, for which she won an Australian Directors’ Guild Award. She has also been selected for Screenwest’s Feature Navigator program and participated in international feature lab Attagurl.

Birthright will be produced by Cody Greenwood of Rush Films, who has been developing several projects with Pepper. Greenwood’s recent credits include Gracie Otto documentary Under the Volcano, and Frances Elliott and Samantha Marlowe’s ABC doc Girl Like You. John Maynard, of Felix Media, is the executive producer.

“I couldn’t be happier with this support from Screenwest,” said Pepper.

“I went wild with this script, I wrote a film that I want to see and I’m thrilled that Screenwest are up for the ride. Working with Cody Greenwood as producer and John Maynard as executive producer really is the dream team. They’re so incredibly supportive of my creative vision.”

Greenwood adds: “It has been a privilege to work with Zoe over the past few years. She is an exceptional writer and director and is intensely dedicated to her craft. Birthright is a highly original story that sits squarely in the zeitgeist and there has never been a better time to make this film than now.”

West Coast Visions is given annually by Screenwest to a Western Australian director to help them realise their feature debut.

Previous recipients include Renee Webster’s How to Please a Woman, in cinemas now, and Jub Clerc’s Sweet As, due to premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival in August. Others include Ben Young’s breakout feature Hounds of LoveStephen McCallum’s 1% and Maziar Lahooti’s Below. Last year’s winner was David Vincent Smith’s Burden.

“We were incredibly impressed with the calibre of projects submitted this year,” said Screenwest CEO Rikki Lea Bestall.

Birthright stood out as a sharp, zeitgeisty and funny film, and we can’t wait to see it come to life. Zoe and Cody are a dynamic team with a strong track record, and we’re so pleased to be supporting Zoe to direct her first feature.”

The team aims to see Birthright in production in 2023.