A dark and magical film set in a brothel, an unexpected love, a strong-willed Russian madam and The Cross at its most fabulous!
About this project
Harnessing a whirlwind of power, intrigue and obsession across two continents from Russia to Australia, the Fishbowl draws you into the enticing world of Kings Cross, the characters who are drawn to it, and the one women who dares to control it all.
Please help us fund this project, we can’t do it without you!
Who are you?
Hi. I’m Michele Konrad, an independent filmmaker based in Sydney, Australia. I’m getting ready to make an amazing film, the story of a heroic Russian madam who sets up a brothel in Sydney’s iconic district of sin, King’s Cross.
The film is called The Fishbowl.
I’m so excited to be working with this wonderful creative team, including:
Paul J Warren – Cinematographer (The Cup, Milarepa)
Paul is one of Australia’s most experienced Directors of Photography. In addition to his feature film and narrative experience, he has shot documentaries for BBC Natural History, National Geographic and NOVA, in locations as various as Antarctica, the Arctic and the rainforest and was the official ‘behind the scenes’ filmmaker for all three of the Matrix films.
Jonathan Zwartz – Composer (The Sea, The Remembering & Forgetting of the Air)
Jonathan’s debut album ‘The Sea’ won two Bell awards, as well as being the best selling Australian Jazz release at Birdland Records in 2010 and 2011. ‘The Remembering & Forgetting of the Air’ was released in 2013 and received the Australian Independent Music Award for Jazz. He has performed and recorded with notable Australian and international artists from Ray Charles to Barney McAll, and co-produced a ten-part series on jazz for ABC TV.
David White – Sound Design (Mad Max: Fury Road, Farscape, The Railway Man)
David White is an Australian sound editor best known for his role as the sound designer of the 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road, for which he received an Academy Award. His other credits include work on the Happy Feet franchise, Wild Planet and Farscape.
Daniel Le – Editor (Underbelly, The Kettering Incident, Alien: Covenant)
Originally from Tasmania and now based in Sydney, Daniel Lê is an editor, musicophile, free spirit and creative force. For the past ten years has been working steadily in television, notably on television series Underbelly and The Kettering Incident, and in films including The Great Gatsby, Burning Man and Alien: Covenant.
For more about our creative team and vision, visit our website for The Fishbowl:http://www.thefishbowlmovie.com
Or find us on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/thefishbowlmovie
Here is the trailer for the last film our team made together, If I Were You, currently in festival submissions.
What are you making?
The Fishbowl is a feature film set in King’s Cross, capturing all the grit and glamour of Sydney’s true crime history. A dark and magical fantasy set in a brothel, featuring an unexpected love affair, a strong-willed Russian madam and The Cross in all its dark and compelling beauty.
In the wild-west days of Moscow in the 1990’s Katya Severina, a strong-willed woman who lost everything in the collapse, creates The Fishbowl – Moscow’s premiere brothel and nightclub, a hotspot that captures the theatrical and bohemian excesses of its time.
Under pressure from the mafiya, Katya takes her girls and her house to the furthest place she can imagine – to King’s Cross, the legendary sin district of Sydney. But there she discovers that Australia has its own dangers. Katya comes up against the King of The Cross, a legendary crime figure ripped from the pages of Sydney’s true crime history.
The stage is set for an epic battle for control of The Fishbowl, and the magic faerie-land Katya and her girls have created!
Our campaign has a limited amount of time life! Select a perk to get started and help us bring this film to life.
Why do we care so much?
We love the story. We love that the women are the heroes, that it brings you Moscow in the ‘90s, and King’s Cross at its most gritty and glamorous. We love the characters, the raw intimacy of the club scenes, the surprising ending.
We think you’ll love it, too. And we will to bring you along with us, by offering special behind-the-scenes updates and backer polls, which will open up the creative process and get your feedback into the movie itself. We’re going to take your input seriously. You’ll find it an amazing experience to be part of the making of this film.
Where did this project come from?
In the 1990s I went to work in Moscow, just as the wild-west days of mafiya capitalism were at their height. It was a fascinating city in a fascinating time. Because I speak Russian, I was able to go out and meet people. Some of these were girls who made their living in the clubs, selling the glamour and fantasy of their company to men who were only too happy to pay for it. Beautiful, intelligent girls who, because of luck or circumstances, found themselves in need of money with only one way to get it.
It wasn’t an easy life, but they owned it. Going out at night armed only with wits and charm, they supported their families, paid their University fees, sometimes even found love in the least expected places. Their stories moved and inspired me, all the more so because they were so much different than I had expected. When I moved to Sydney I found myself wondering, what if those girls had come here? What would they make of it?
To write this script I held dozens of interviews with Sydney working girls, cops, musicians, tattoo artists, and denizens of King’s Cross. I read up on the fantastical real-life dramas that have taken place in the Cross, and watched iconic crime dramas: Blue Murder and Underbelly, Two Hands and End of Watch. I reacquainted myself with the Moscow of the 1990’s, from clubs like The Hungry Duck and Chance to the late-Soviet hotel scene of Interdevushki. And of course, that eternal classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
I cast my mind back to those proud, lonely, fabulous girls I’d known in Moscow, and asked myself, where had they come from? Where were they going? What were their dreams?
All of these stories woven together have become the multi-coloured tapestry that is The Fishbowl.
What’s your plan, and what’s your schedule?
The script is written, most of our crew are attached, and we have the support of some of Sydney’s top companies including:
Spectrum Films, Sydney’s premiere post-production house:
Red Apple Cameras, for the lovely RED DRAGON cameras:
Moneypenny, Sydney’s top production accountancy:
The next stage is to cast the film, and to secure funding and a distributor. To get there, we need early-stage funding to draw up agreements, hold casting calls, produce pitch materials and complete development.
And that’s what this Kickstarter campaign is for.
In the venture capital world, they call early-stage investors ‘Angels’. We agree. And so we’ll be creating special behind-the-scenes updates and polls for our Kickstarter supporters, to bring you with us behind the scenes, on set and into the editing room, on every step of the journey between now and the premiere.
Please donate today, any amount counts!
We plan to shoot in February 2017 and complete the film by September 2017. All going well, The Fishbowl could be in theatres next Christmas!
What’s your budget?
The total budget for this film is $1.38M. We’ve had an independent production company draw up a budget to check our figures, so we’re confident we can make the movie for that amount.
This campaign is to raise the first $95k. All of the funds donated for this campaign (minus the Kickstarter costs) will go directly to help launch the film. Here is how:
We also have stretch goals, because every dollar above our minimum funding goal can be used to progress the film.
If we raise an additional $65,000 we can start shooting! Now that would be exciting.
Please help us fund this project, we can’t do it without you!
Risks and challenges
Every film, like every creative endeavour, has risks. We have a professional crew with decades of experience, and we’re backed by some very competent people who believe in our vision. We’re going to make this film.
There are bound to be bumps in the road, but we’ll deal with them, and we’ll come out with something amazing that you are proud to have supported.
And you’ll be with us every step of the way, via our supporter updates! If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to make an independent film, here is your chance to find out…and help us get there.