Private Project

Murder On The Dancefloor

It’s 1925 and hundreds of people are dancing the foxtrot in Western Australia’s Government House, when BANG! A gun goes off. People turn to see jilted fiancée, Audrey Jacobs, holding the pistol while standing over the bleeding body of her ex, Cyril Gidley.

What should have been an open and shut case proved to be a very different story.

  • Louise Bertoncini
    The Throwback
  • Louise Bertoncini
    The Throwback
  • Dumi Mashinini
    The Docks
  • Lucy Lock
    Key Cast
    "Audrey Jacob"
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Louise Bertoncini

Louise Bertoncini has been working in the screen industry for almost 20 years, beginning as an editor in Perth Western Australia, before moving London to work for Film4 as a Segment Producer, Editor and occasional Director on the show Movie Rush.

Since returning to Australia she worked as the Head of Production at Siamese, co-ordinating vfx and post-production on animated series Dog Star (Season 2) before moving to Sandbox Productions where she has produced numerous TV commercials, web and music videos. Since 2016 she has post-produced numerous feature films including Ben Young’s Hounds of Love and Ben Elton’s Three Summers amongst others.

In 2018 she was selected to take part in the “MentorHer” mentorship program through WIFT WA (Women in Film & TV Western Australia) to guide her transition into documentary filmmaking. This evolution stems from a life-long interest in wanting to listen to other people’s stories as a way of trying to make sense of life.

In 2019 she wrote and directed “The Throwback”, a short documentary funded by The City of Vincent Film Project. The film has gone on to win the Grand Prize award for Best Short Film and Best Director at the Canada Shorts Film Festival and the Audience Choice Award at WA Made Film Festival.

She is currently developing her first feature documentary and is looking for opportunities to bring this to life.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

When I came across this story in the State Library of Western Australia’s archive, I felt like I was reading the synopsis for a film. Drama, tragedy, scandal… it had it all. It is one of those unbelievable pieces of history where real life is stranger than fiction which is exactly why I love documentary films!

Working through collection items I realised that there is no such thing as an “open and shut case”. Even with multiple eye witness accounts, the weapon, and a letter from the deceased saying he feared his life was in danger, it was still not enough for the accused, Audrey Jacob, to be convicted of any crime. This was all thanks to the manoeuvrings of defence lawyer Arthur Haynes in this sensational trail by media.

As a female director, I wanted to show how the defence leaned into the stereotypes and expectations of what it meant to be a “lady” in the 1920s. Fragile, religious, virginal and passive – these were the values forced on women of the time. Audrey was angry at being dismissed and disrespected and sought revenge in the worst way possible. This film doesn’t seek to condemn her but rather show how the “truth” can be manipulated.