Jovana Fey (Sophie Desmarais) is a novelist. Her first two books received positive reviews, but were a commercial failure. Her third, Don’t Read This on a Plane, has just been released – an amusing, risqué chronicle of a woman’s dalliances with a hundred women. Jovana hopes it will bring the success she craves.
As she attempts to check into the first hotel of her 28-day European book tour, she learns that her publisher has gone bankrupt. Penniless and stranded, she decides to continue the tour regardless, resorting to hitchhiking and couchsurfing to meet her appointments across Europe, all the while attempting to project an image of success.
Her book’s provocative premise, and Jovana’s reluctance to deny or acknowledge its autobiographical nature, result in significant reader and media interest. Publicity is also generated by airline passengers ignoring the book’s title, and subsequently being apprehended by security.
Throughout Jovana’s rough and ragged travels around Europe, she meets a wide array of characters, and has her resilience tested daily. She’s forced to question her identity and values, and what she’s willing to sacrifice in the pursuit of her dreams.
Australian filmmaker Dr Stuart McBratney has written and directed two feature films, a tv series, and around 500 tv commercials, with clients including McDonalds, Honda, Nike, Seiko, and Canon. He holds a PhD in Design from the University of Newcastle, Australia. Don’t Read This on a Plane is his third feature film as writer/director/composer.
In 2012, the factual tv series Back in the Soviet Bloc was shot on location in Russia and Ukraine. The entire cast and crew consisted of two people, with Stuart functioning as as the co-director, camera operator, and sound recordist throughout the shoot.
Don’t Read This on a Plane applies aspects of this production method to a drama/comedy. Fresh from traveling the world with his second feature Pop-Up, which has screened at 18 international festivals in 12 countries, Stuart and lead actress Sophie Desmarais have teamed up with a small, agile, world-class crew led by Laszlo Kun of Amazing Visuals.
They've shot the movie in some of the world's most beautiful bookstores - and the occasional library - in Budapest, Burgundy, Berlin, Venice, Porto, Maastricht, Santorini, and Ordea.
The film is a drama, with a healthy serve of comedy. Lost in Translation and Her are similar in tone – amusing and a touch wistful, but never too earnest.
Don’t Read This on a Plane is currently in post-production, and will be ready for the world's eyes and ears in 2019. It will be a beautiful, funny, engaging, unpredictable film, daring to address modern relationships, and shedding light on the struggles, pleasures and absurdities of artistic passion.
Behinds the scenes