Shannon Murphy

Australia, 2019 / 117 min / English OV with French & Dutch subt. / comedy, drama

The first love of a seriously ill teenager gives her a new lust for life. A heartbreaking comedy about how good it is not to be dead yet and how far we will go for love.

When seriously ill teenager Milla falls madly in love with small-time drug dealer Moses, it's her parents' worst nightmare. But as Milla's first brush with love brings her a new lust for life, things get messy and traditional morals go out the window. Milla soon shows everyone in her orbit – her parents, Moses, a sensitive music teacher, a budding child violinist, and a disarmingly honest, pregnant neighbour – how to live like you have nothing to lose. What might have been a disaster for the Finlay family instead leads to letting go and finding grace in the glorious chaos of life. Babyteeth joyously explores how good it is not to be dead yet.

“I hope audiences have a visceral experience watching Babyteeth, one they feel deep in their bones that allows them to ache for and celebrate their own relationships.” Director’s statement by Shannon Murphy

Fri 06/03 21:00 Ciné Utopia EN OV with FR & NL subt. Public
Mon 09/03 21:00 Cinémathèque EN OV with FR & NL subt. Public
Wed 11/03 10:00 Kinepolis Kirchberg EN OV with FR & NL subt. Public

“a wickedly perverse and, in time, intensely moving variation on familiar coming-of-age themes that marks an arresting feature debut for both director Shannon Murphy and screenwriter Rita Kalnejais. The most youthful and surprising entry in this year’s Venice competition, Babyteeth arrives fully formed in its bite, with a balance of fluorescent stylistic edge and broad emotional accessibility […] Among its many achievements, “Babyteeth” succeeds in being a terminal disease drama with not one glimpse of a doctor or hospital ward: With a protagonist battling to resolve childhood and adulthood, first love and last, in a compressed space of time, Murphy’s remarkable debut keeps its pain close to home.” Guy Lodge, Variety, 04/09/19

“Eliza Scanlen succeeds by tapping into a different kind of darkness than the one she channelled on HBO’s Sharp Objects. Quirky yet never annoying, sympathetic but never pitiful, Milla is extremely rounded in a way teen protagonists rarely are on screen. […] Unlike its namesake, Babyteeth isn’t just a fleeting experience. Murphy’s debut avoids the usual growing pains of first features to capture the transcendent and yet excruciating kind of first love that stays with you long after your adult teeth have all finally come in.” David Opie, British Film Institute, 02/10/19

“There’s more sweetness in Babyteeth than you might expect from a first time feature film director who lists Gaspar Noe and Lars von Trier as influences, but that quality is one of the several disarming ones present in Shannon Murphy’s picture” Brian Tallerico,, 07/09/2019

  • Directors to Watch, Palm Springs International Film Festival, 2020 (USA)
  • Best Actor for Toby Wallace, Marrakech International Film Festival, 2019 (Morocco)
  • People's Choice Award, Pingyao International Film Festival, 2019 (China)
  • Best Film – New Directors Competition, São Paulo International Film Festival, 2019 (Brazil)
  • Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor for Toby Wallace, Venice International Film Festival, 2019 (Italy)
  • Special Mention – International Feature Film, Zurich Film Festival, 2019 (Switzerland)
Cast & Credits
Eliza Scanlen, Toby Wallace, Emily Barclay, Eugene Gilfedder, Essie Davis, Ben Mendelsohn
Rita Kalnejais, based on her eponymous play
Andrew Commis
Angus Robertson
Sherree Phillips
Amanda Brown
Whitefalk Films

Raised in Hong Kong, Singapore, Africa and Australia, Shannon Murphy is an award-winning theatre director. In 2007 she attended Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art. At a young age, she has already established herself as one of Australia's leading directors. She directed productions for the Sydney Theatre Company and other Australian theatre companies, as well as for the Schaubühne in Berlin. In 2013, she graduated from the Australian Film Television and Radio School with a graduate diploma in directing. Her graduating short film, Kharisma (2014), screened at festivals including Cannes, Toronto International Film Festival and Palm Springs International Film Festival, among others. She has since directed multiple episodes of Australian television series. Babyteeth (2019) is her first feature film.

  • 2019 – Babyteeth
  • 2018 – On the Ropes (4 épisodes de la série TV / 4 episodes of the TV series / 4 Folgen der Fernsehserie)
  • 2018 – Rake: Greene v The Unflushables (1 épisode de la série TV / 1 episode of the TV series / 1 Folge der Fernsehserie)
  • 2018 – Rake: Greene v Diaries (1 épisode de la série TV / 1 episode of the TV series / 1 Folge der Fernsehserie)
  • 2017 – Sisters (2 épisodes de la série TV / 2 episodes of the TV series / 2 Folgen der Fernsehserie)
  • 2017 – Offspring (4 épisodes de la série TV / 4 episodes of the TV series / 4 Folgen der Fernsehserie)
  • 2017 – Love Child (2 épisodes de la série TV / 2 episodes of the TV series / 2 Folgen der Fernsehserie)
  • 2016 – Eaglehawk (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2015 – Pineapple Squat (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2014 – Love Me Tender (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2014 – Kharisma (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2013 - The Comeback (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2012 – Being Brendo (série TV / TV series / Fernsehserie)