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Then She Was Gone
Directed by Burleigh Smith
Produced by Mat de Koning
Burleigh Smith
Written by Burleigh Smith
Starring Burleigh Smith
Sarah Louella
Gordon Honeycombe
Cinematography Mat de Koning
Edited by Ross Farnsworth
Produced by Wavebreaker
Distributed by Wavebreaker
Release date 21 February 2010
Running time 7 minutes
Country Australia
Language English

Then She Was Gone is a 2010 short comedy-drama film, written and directed by Burleigh Smith. It features Smith, Sarah Louella and Gordon Honeycombe. The film was awarded Best Drama at the 2010 Katoomba Short Film Festival and Best Director at the 2011 West Australian Screen Awards.


Basil (Burleigh Smith) lives in Perth, Western Australia and feels isolated. His psychologist provides little help. Then Basil meets Mia (Sarah Louella), a florist. He pretends to share her love of ballet and invites her to a performance. They have a great time but several days later, Mia tells him she's only interested in him as a friend. Romantically, she prefers men who are masculine.

Basil does his best to hide his hurt. He continues to spend time with Mia and tells her he was raised without a father and knows little of what it is to be a man. This strikes a chord with Mia, who never had a mother. Mia attempts to make Basil more masculine and becomes unsettled when her girlfriends show interest in him. After an evening at the ballet, Basil and Mia spend the night together. In the morning, Basil cruelly rejects Mia, using similar phrases she had used earlier. "But I'd really like to be friends!" he tells her.

Alone, Basil considers his actions. "Sure, what I had done to Mia was selfish, heartless, despicable," he says. "And, for the first time in my life, I felt like a man".


After shooting several previous films in colour on high-definition video, Smith decided to shoot Then She Was Gone in grainy black-and-white on Super 8 film.

A longer version of the film exists, but has not been released.

Festival screenings

Then She Was Gone screened at film festivals around the world, including the Tropfest Best of the West screening at the Film and Television Institute, the Cambridge Super 8 Film Festival, Dresdner Schmalfilmtage (Germany), the Dungog Film Festival (New South Wales, Australia), the Academy Award-accredited Flickerfest (Australia) and the High Desert Shorts International Film Festival (Nevada).