Australia / 2003 / 52 minutes / 35mm / Colour / English with French subtitles
Director: Rachel Ward / Screenplay: Elizabeth Mars / Cinematography: Cordelia Beresford / Music: Karen Leimbach / Editor: Mark Perry / Producer: Liz Watts / Cast: Matilda Brown, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Lisa Hensley, Daniel Wylie.
Fifteen year old Martha lives with her mother and her younger sister Elsie in a small dilapidated town. Her birthday is not turning out as she had hoped, with one of her class mates wanting to beat her up, her mother ignoring her and her father, who had left them, forgetting to send her a birthday card. To make this day a memorable one, she decides to leave the dullness of the surrounding town and take off with her sister for the coast.
Rachel Ward was an actress before she moved behind the camera. She is mainly recognised for her short film, The Big House, presented at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001 and awarded several prizes. In Martha's New Coat, her first feature film, she directs her own daughter, Matilda Brown. The film was recently nominated for the Dendy Awards at the Sydney Film Festival, 2003.