petrol station girl

Written by Kierian O'Hare                                          Directed by Anna McKenzie                                          Produced by Jessica Benson

Petrol Station Girl is a coming of age film following thirteen year old Connor. He cycles past the same petrol station every day on his way home from school. Today is different. Today is the last day before he moves away and he’s going to confess his love for the petrol station girl, who works behind the counter. He’s about to discover, for the first time, that the visions we construct and the futures we imagine for ourselves play out quite differently in reality. 

The main theme of the script that drew me in as a director was the idea of reality not living up to a preconceived version of events. As a film student and lifelong film watcher, I had been very guilty of believing I had to hit certain milestones, but if I did, and usually didn’t, they were never how I had pictured them. A universal theme like this is what I believe makes the coming of age genre such a visceral and raw brand of filmmaking, it strikes a chord with those who have come of age, and those on the cusp.

 

Looking at the finished film, I think we achieved what we set out to achieve. The film is a wistful portrait of two people in limbo, both wanting and waiting for something more. There is sadness and cautious hopefulness. Throughout the production process, I talked a lot with the crew and the actors about 'liminal spaces', about how these characters have left something behind but have not yet arrived at the next chapter. Neither Connor nor Katie (the petrol station girl) are in control of where they go next, they collide at a similar point in each other's lives, and recognise that yearning and that melancholy in each other. 

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