Private Project


2023 WINNER of the Australian Production Design Guild Award for Emerging Designer for a Screen Production

In the 19th century and a strange wilderness, Mary has struggled against the plan for her life that her older brother and father hold for her. As smallpox strikes, Mary’s choice lies between accepting this narrow prospect and following a dangerous path beyond the home.

  • Sarah Hegge-Taylor
  • Sarah Hegge-Taylor
  • James Walsh
  • Lucinda Halls
  • Evangeline Parks
  • Mattie McLeod
  • Paige Joustra
    Key Cast
    "Mary Small"
  • Hamish Johnston
    Key Cast
    "James Small"
  • Andy McPhee
    Key Cast
    "Septimus Small"
  • Brenna Cockrem
    Key Cast
    "Adeline Small"
  • Riley Hart
    Director of Photography
  • Pernell Marsden
    Production Designer
  • Alex Olijnyk
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Horror, Historical
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 11 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 1, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Victorian College of the Arts
Director Biography - Sarah Hegge-Taylor

Sarah Hegge-Taylor is a director/writer based in Melbourne, Australia; she is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts Film and Television School.

She seeks to make work that is deeply rooted in the feminine sociological experience of horror, the tension within the body and its facets, and the experience of internal and external decay. Her graduate work is Small, in which a woman in 19th century Australia deals with the existential dilemma of a family infected with smallpox.

She is currently working on her next project, Rotten Mangoes, set in her hometown of Brisbane, Australia, a vividly painted thriller about poor teenage girls seeking revenge on the private school boys who have hurt them. Small is her debut work.

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Director Statement

Small is a film about my family both past and present. I am descended from the Small family who came to Australia as convicts on the first fleet.

It is a film about the intergenerational trauma of colonial settler horror and the greed and sorrow that manifests in the soul. The film was born out of the strange sorrow of being made to feel small in dynamics that have hurt me, and then how we try to make ourselves larger.

I grew up in Brisbane on social welfare payments and for me Small is an accomplishment I couldn't really fathom five years ago. I'm continuing to work with my peers as a Producer and Director.

I'm keen to continue to make work that attacks gender and class in Australia's mythos, which sits rooted in the dreamscapes of uncomfortable people and their strange realities.