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Pretty Girls is a visceral narrative of violence, personal tragedy and female resilience set against the backdrop of one of Australia’s most politically charged communities, Redfern, where sinister racial tensions underpin everything.

Evie is a woman in her mid-thirties who returns to her hometown to meet with her dying father. In coming back to the place where she grew up she has to revisit her history of violence – the death of her mother, the suicide of her brother and the domestic violence that occurred in her home. Her father only has a short time to live – she expects to find him a changed man. But he’s not. He’s unrepentant and unapologetic for his actions. Evie has to reclaim her story – she’s not just a pretty girl, she won’t just sit down, be quiet, stay still – but getting there is more than tough, more than an ordeal – it’s a mammoth display of tenacity and strength. 

Pretty Girls is ultimately a story of triumph. Evie rises from the ashes of a hellish past and re-writes her story. There is a part of Evie in every woman and Pretty Girls seeks to start a movement.

"I know there are other people out there, just like me. People who think they are alone in life and that their cards have been dealt... But now I know there's always time for change and there's always a better path. You just have to look for it." - Jimmy Barnes, Working Class Boy

Lisa Portolan is a journalist and author from Sydney. She has previously published two books, including bestseller, Happy As (Echo, Melbourne). She has written for publications like the Australian Financial Review, The Guardian, 9 Honey and 10 Daily, and appeared on the Today Show and The Drum.  

Samantha McDonald is an Australian director and producer. She has a degree in Law and Communications majoring in film. She has spent the majority of her career working in the fitness, sport and marketing space, as a trainer and later as a production expert. Growing up there was always a focus on looks and it took her years to reclaim her own story and reach a place of acceptance, joy and love.