16-year-old Claudia has grown up in isolation from the outside world. Stranded on a remote property after her mother’s death, she is shocked when Grace, a spirited local teen, appears in the garden like a mirage, a breath of fresh, sugary air. The pair find in each other the support, love and intimacy they need, and teach each other the restorative power of human connection. But their idyllic peace is a fragile one as the adult world closes in and threatens their secret summer love. Headlining some of Australia’s brightest young talent, Markella Kavenaugh (Romper Stomper) and Adelaide’s own Maiah Stewardson (Windmill, STC, Patch), My First Summer takes girls seriously and sensitively.
User Reviews: 16 year old Claudia has lived a secluded life with her writer mother in rural Australia. When her mother dies, Claudia is bereft. She is discovered by Grace, a young local woman who cycles into her life on a red bike, dressed in a pink fairy skirt. Grace initiates the fragile and timid Claudia into new experiences and into the wider world she has previously only heard bad things about. She introduces her particularly to strawberry milk, but many other mysteries and delights.
It’s an interesting scenario that develops, with beautifully scripted interactions between the girls.
The rustic setting is gorgeously portrayed, as are the innocent and lovely girls. (DOP Matthew Chuang) Gentle melodic songs mingle with magpie and chicken noises to sweeten the rich psychological drama.
Maiah Stewardson plays Grace, Claudia’s mentor and saviour. Claudia is played by Markella Kavenagh (Lord of Rings tv serial).
This is a wonderful story, beautifully told. A highlight of the Adelaide Film Festival.