2018 Angel Film Awards - Monaco International Film Festival angel awards




MARY SEWELL is a professional violinist for over thirty years, New Zealand-born Mary Sewell switched to screenwriting after an unusual encounter she witnessed on a megabus seven years ago. This event led her to embark on a new career as a writer. Since then, she has worked as a producer for independent films as well as orchestral stage shows, serving in costuming and casting. Reflective of the rolling countryside in which she grew up, Mary’s literary style may be described as highly organic, often incorporating elements of the spiritual or supernatural. Most recently, Mary co-produced Fantasy in D Minor which recently earned Best International Short at the Oxford International Film Festival in May 2018.

“Good writing is formed in the absence of words.” — Mary Sewell

“LET YOUR SISTERS BE” Inspired by a true story WRITTEN BY Mary Sewell (US)

LOGLINE: (Genre: Drama)

Two sisters journey to a small New Zealand town to witness the burial of their childhood abuser.


When two middle-aged sisters Alex and Claire learn of their abuser’s death, they journey to a small New Zealand settlement to witness his burial. From the opening scenes, we see there are other forces at work.


Life is simple in this close community. Everyone is connected. For Tia’s single mother Madonna, a helping hand makes all the difference whether from her mother, Nana the Kuia, or trusted friend and local celebrity Dennis (aka Birdman.)

Alex and Claire roll into town. Triggered memories take us back through their childhood. We witness the subtlety of their abuser, Dennis’s deception. Blinded by the practicalities of family life, their parents David and Helen miss the telling signs of interference.

Eleven year old Tia is the unsuspecting link between past and present. Like her mother, Madonna, Tia is strong minded and resilient, though far less trusting. Tia is like her Grandmother, Nana, she keeps a watchful eye. Madonna prepares food for the funeral and whether intentional or not, Tia lets down her guard setting Madonna off on the mother of all missions. A cemetery provides the stage for the final showdown. From a distance Alex and Claire observe as mourners gather by Birdman’s graveside. The burial proceeds but all dignity is shattered when Madonna wreaks havoc. The heavens quake as Nana commands the soaring Kotuku bird to damn Birdman’s soul to the underworld.

It’s evening and Alex and Claire encounter Tia one last time. A passing glance offers mutual understanding of all that has transpired. What needed to be done is done. There has been a reckoning. Peace is restored.