Set in Geelong, in particular around Corio Bay's Eastern Beach precinct - and along Victoria’s rugged Shipwreck Coast among the towering Otway Ranges south of Lorne, THE WOMAN BY THE WATER is a beautifully told, contemporary fairy-tale where 'The Return of the King' meets 'The Big Blue' – as it follows two women’s search for home and love – and how they find peace where they least expected it, in each other’s arms.
This project is developed by LORNE FILM and forms part of its charter to stimulate film culture and commerce along the Surf Coast and Otway region - and beyond.
With an aim to utilise local talent from Geelong to Lorne both behind and in front of the camera – along with showcasing the breathtaking beauty of the region, THE WOMAN BY THE WATER will become a true Lorne film.
Story by Darren Markey & Lucy Best
Written by Darren Markey
Kath Adams wants to go out on her own terms. With only months to live, the reclusive water-woman and marine photographer takes on one last job while setting her sights beyond the horizon and the peace she believes waits for her there. Kath must photograph a submerged 19th century shipwreck laying off a desolate coastline bordered by brooding forests – before heading on her last trip to the sea, placing herself at the mercy of the ocean she loves and trusts.
Kath takes up residence in a remote woodland cabin belonging to her deceased uncle Finn, who left the cabin to the family in mysterious circumstances. Kath soon discovers she is not alone in the woods as the figure of a woman appears watching on from a waterfall. When Kath waits by the waterfall early one evening the woman appears, a silent, playful presence who follows Kath to the cabin. Her name is Brook. The two soon form a bond, with Kath sensing Brook has knowledge of her, while hiding fear and pain behind her mischievous exterior, and a magical other worldliness that Kath can’t quite comprehend.
While diving, Kath discovers a coral encrusted scabbard – inside it a distinctive jewelled sword, connecting Brook to the shipwreck and unlocking the secret of who she is, a ‘naiad’ fleeing an arranged marriage to a King over 150 years ago. Brook was armed by her mother with a sword that controls the sea - only to be washed up by a fierce storm on a shore far from home. Brook fled into the forest, with the sword remaining on the ocean floor – until now. Brook pines for her woodland home far away – and now with the sword back in her possession, only needs a vessel and someone to sail it, to find her way home.
The discovery of the sword heralds the arrival of two strange hunters - Wolf and Ash. The brothers arrive in a vessel from a faraway shore, setting up camp in the forest nearby – sleeping by day and hunting by night. Brook vanishes; while Kath senses trouble as Wolf presses her for information – hinting that Brook and something she possesses might be their long sought after quarry.
Matters turn for the worse as Wolf resorts to force, revealing to Kath their identity, trolls employed by the King to find Brook, and return her to him. The troll brothers murdered the King, setting out in search of Brook and her sword. Ash disappears, lured away with fatal consequences, turned to stone by daylight by the waterfall. As the sun sinks Kath finds Brook hiding in the forest, the two fleeing with Wolf in pursuit. The lovers steal the hunters’ vessel and head out to sea under a full moon as the silent horizon waits.
They arrive finally on a shore far away as Brooke leads Kath to her home, wedding her by the woodland pool she fled all those years ago – thereby ensuring them both the peace and love they both so badly craved, and an eternal future neither could have imagined.
A native of both Geelong and Lorne, Darren Markey completed his first screenplay in 2002, travelling to Los Angeles to begin his journey as writer/producer, leading to the development of a slate of screen projects, including feature films and TV series - with more to come.
Darren was screenwriter/associate producer on the supernatural thriller, THE UNLIT – shot partly in Lorne and released world wide in 2020 by High Octane Pictures, Arizona. His second feature film, MAGPIE, a supernatural romance/horror is currently shooting in Central Victoria.
Darren is also co-founder and director of LORNE FILM, a film entity based in Victoria, whose charter includes stimulating independent film culture and commerce throughout the Geelong/Otway region and beyond.
'A smart Aussie horror…The Wicker Man meets Blood on Satan’s Claw…one to watch but not alone!’
'Ominous…clever…the writing shone…great acting. Powerful…absorbing.'
Lucy is associate producer on MAGPIE, a feature film currently shooting in Central Victoria.
Lucy has worked as a professional photographer and is an experienced scuba diver - mainly in the Caribbean.
An experienced performer, writer and producer, Lucy has written and produced shows featured as part of Australian's festival circuit and independent productions in Melbourne, and is a novelist and screenwriter.
Lucy recently launched her critically acclaimed one-woman show, DISGRACEFUL at Melbourne's Butterfly Club, with a view to touring the show internationally.
'...warmness, grace and sharp humour.'
'...boisterous...slick...very funny...full of laughs.'