Lily Bennett and Max Draper’s collaborative practice fuses their shared interest in set design with the spirit of resourceful cinema. 

Adopting lo-fi aesthetics, their films and installations are either constructed worlds, centred around a built set and the discourse that this imagined world elicits or are documentary based, focusing on intimate narratives and peoples of interest with acute spontaneity and an intentionally amateur look.

The duo met in 2015 while studying at the Australian Film Television and Radio School. In the years succeeding, their work was shown at screenings and exhibition spaces nationally, most notably at VIVID, Oxford Art Factory and Melbourne Music Week and published online by TransCultural Exchange and KubaParis. They’ve designed short films selected for, among others, NewFest New York, Image+Nation Montreal, Film School Fest Munich, and Flickerfest Australia.

 

In 2019, they attended the World of Co Residency in Sofia, Bulgaria. There, the two filmmakers made ‘Branches of a Tree’, a short film documenting visits and conversations with a family hand-making Chiprovtsi kilims, pertaining to the Western Bulgarian weaving tradition. At the residencies end, the film screened at Aether Art Space, alongside a sculptural installation. 

 

Lily and Max are now based in Seattle, Washington.

lilypadbennett@gmail.com ~ @cold_bath

maxboutwelldraper@gmail.com ~ @max__draper ~ Vimeo

 

How To

2021

10:43 mins

 

How To restages various processes leading up to Jonah Gebka's solo exhibition, Take Your Time, and is narrated by a voiceover that provides detailed instructions on how to produce the paintings shown in the exhibition.

Take Your Time on KubaParis

A film by Max Boutwell Draper and Jonah Gebka

 

Zum Keller!

2020

3:39 mins

 

Currently on show for Hello World, a global, online art exhibition by Transcultural Exchange featuring artists and cultural venues from 70 countries. You can watch the film via Max's artist page here

 

Zum Keller! (To the cellar!) is a film about the things we send to the cellar of our home; the possessions - and the memories that are connected to them - we store away, out of sight.

In Zum Keller! a box of photographs, letters and mementos, are being brought down to a cellar, to be placed in the holder’s storage unit. Once the box has been put down and whilst other contents of the unit are shuffled around and brought out, the box reveals to the viewer the contents that lay within it.

The rolling text that appears over the image of the box is a letter to a loved one, written a long time ago. As the contents of the letter are slowly disclosed, the viewer’s eyes shift between the rolling text, the photographs lain directly under the box’s lid and the two individuals moving within the frame. The viewer draws connections between these three elements, imagining the life of the one who writes the letter, the one who receives it and the remaining loved ones, written about and encircling this narrative. The people in the photographs are presumed to be the ones written about and consequently, a glimmer of the life and history of a family emerge.

A film by Max Boutwell Draper

 

Branches of a Tree

2020

24 mins

 

Branches of a Tree is a short film that documents visits and conversations conducted with a family of Bulgarian carpet weavers. Over the course of the visits, the filmmakers uncover the individual stories of a group of weavers, as they are sitting in front of their looms, weaving carpets, in the same way, with the same symbols and patterns, as has been practiced for hundreds of years. Consequently, a collective history emerges.

Filmed in November 2019 as a part of a month long residency with World of Co. in Sofia, Bulgaria.

A film by Lily Bennett & Max Boutwell Draper

In association with World of Co.

With support from Chiprov Kilim

Trailer:

Poster by Liam Halverson:

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Pick 'n' Mix

2020

6:45 mins

Halloween is for disguise, so trust no one. Not all sweet tooth's crave candy.

Screenings:

2020

Garden Reflexxx presents: Worth It!, Pink Flamingo Cinema, Sydney

 

A film by

Lily Bennett

Max Boutwell Draper

Mia Terry

Screened at Garden Reflexxx Presents: Worth it! ~ February 2020

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Text by Enoch Mailangi for digital publication of Garden Reflexxx presents: Worth it! ~ See full publication here

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Elagabalus

2020

18 min

 

A short narrative art film - a drag-ball retelling of the past set in the future.

Knowing via a prophecy that they are destined for a gruesome death, a hedonistic, genderqueer Roman Emperor Elagabalus embraces a life of luxury and excess.

Festival Selections:

2020

Image+Nation, Montreal

Film School Fest, Munich

Gold Coast Queer Film Festival, Australia

Uppsala Short Film Festival, Sweden

NewFest, New York

Cinefest OZ, Australia

Director: Xanthie Dobbie

Producer: Alexis Talbot-Smith

Screenplay: Sam Herriman

Director of Photography: Sidat de Silva

Production Design: Lily Bennett & Max Boutwell Draper

Costume: William Trab

Make Up: Jade Diaz

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The Familiars

2020

16 min

 

A short supernatural thriller and modern day witch story.

When a skeptical teenage girl inherits a mysterious heirloom, she must decide whether to use it to protect herself from her destructive Mother.

Festival selections:

2021

Flicker Fest, Australia

2020

San Sebastian Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, Youth Jury Award for Best Short Film, Spain

Maniatic Film Festival, Spain

Rhode Island International Film Festival, USA

Telluride Horror Show, USA

Revelation Perth International Film Festival, Australia

Director: Millicent Malcolm

Producer: Alexis Talbot-Smith

Screenplay: Octavia B. Martin

Director of Photography: Callum Riddell

Production Design: Lily Bennett & Max Boutwell Draper

Editor: Xanthie Dobbie

Music: Jorde Heys

Costume: Laura McGenniss

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Munich August 2018 

2019

65 mins

 

The title refers to the period of time that the filmmaker had spent with his mother, who after 25 years of living with the filmmaker and their family, in Sydney, Australia, now lives in Munich, Germany. With minimal exposition, the film is both an observation of the place in which the filmmaker’s mother now resides, as well as an experiment in the documentation of family oral history and the discourse shared between loved ones in the wake of recent trauma.

A film by

Max Boutwell Draper

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Bound and Gagged

2018

9 mins

A young woman feels the weight of the Patriarchy in her Bonsai Tree Class and daydreams herself into an overgrown flower forest inhabited only by woman, but the forest is being poisoned, and they have to come up with a solution, fast!

Writer & Director: Lily Bennett

Producer & Cinematographer: Max Boutwell Draper 

Production Design & Costume: Freya Aisbitt

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A Moment Then Three More With Mother And Son

2019

20:11 mins

A Moment Then Three More With Mother And Son is a film that consists of 4 moments in which the dreams of both a mother and son intersect.

In 2016, my father was undergoing treatment for Stage 4 Brain Cancer. Throughout that year, he spent a lot of time in his room. He was reading, writing, painting and drawing, but most of the time he was sleeping and dreaming. His mother, my grandmother, who lived on the other side of the city, and who too was frail and dependant on others to bring her to her son, felt at a great distance from him and would have liked to be closer to him more of the time.

Physically separated in the real world, A Moment Then Three More With Mother and Son envisages a dream world in which the two meet. However, their encounter with one another is not necessarily joyous, but rather reflects the anxieties of my grandmother who was witness to her dying son.

Screenings:

2019

Live Music Safari: LOOP ft. Dead End Film Festival for Melbourne Music Week with live musical accompaniment from Evelyn Ida Morris

By Max Boutwell Draper
Performers: Rosemary and James Draper
Cinematographer: Rex Woods
Sound and Lighting: Jack Jen Atherton and Lily Bennett (Also an Extra)

 

Galvanised Penny

2016

7:35 mins

A young woman struck by lighting suffers the side effects.

Screenings:

2019

Garden Reflexxx presents: Last Minute Challenge, Pink Flamingo Cinema, Sydney

Writer/Director: Lily Bennett

Producer: Jen Atherton

Cinematographer: Max Boutwell Draper

Production Designer: Louise Dietz-Henderson

 

Down the Back

2016

3:03 mins

A young woman struck by lighting suffers the side effects.

Screenings:

2018

107 Projects, Sydney

A film by Lily Bennett & Max Boutwell Draper

 

Untitled

2016

3:40 mins

Screenings:

2019

Garden Reflexxx presents at Flower Cinema, Melbourne

2016

Diamond in the Rough Cut, Sydney

A film by Max Boutwell Draper