The Life and Assumed Death of the Baroness

A surreal queer fairy tale...

Project type: Fiction Feature
Project status: Development
Director/Producer: Andrea Maxwell
Writer/Producer: tammy lynne stoner
Producer: Lindsay Lanzillotta, Theresa Burkhart Gallagher, Diana C. Zollicoffer
Director of Photography/Producer: Ron Simonson
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A secluded woman adheres to a strict schedule with the fear that if she breaks her routine she will die, but when a new female butler arrives, she risks it all for the promise of love.


A young girl lives on an isolated estate with her parents. Her father, a delicate florist, teaches her the importance of following a strict daily routine. Her mother, a Scientist, lets her assist in making seemingly magical potions in between commuting by small plane to her job at a university. Not convinced of the importance of the family’s schedule, her mother often races to be on time while her father looks on anxiously.

One day, desperate for her mother’s attention, the girl decides to jump out of a tree just as her mother ascends in her plane. When the girl falls too hard, her mother circles the plane back, breaking the schedule of departure time. The plane crashes. She dies in front of the young girl and her father.

On the 15th anniversary of her mother’s death, her bereaved father intentionally breaks routine. The girl finds him, outstretched on a pile of rose petals–dead. Fearful what might happen should she break the routine, the girl embraces it. She creates a make-shift, throne, dons a gown, and pronounces herself The Baroness.

An adult now, The Baroness is settled in at the estate with her staff. When the Butler suddenly drops dead, he’s replaced with the intriguing Ms. Mothe. The Baroness begins to fall in love with Ms. Mothe, and over time, Ms. Mothe convinces The Baroness to make small changes to the routine. And as she does, she does, The Baroness begins to turn to wood.

Unable to hide her panic, The Baroness confesses to Ms. Mothe. But is she turning to wood or is she insane? As the wood takes over, she realizes this terrifying transformation is tied to being touched, physically and emotionally.

Meet the Filmmakers

Andrea Maxwell – Director/Producer
Andrea Maxwell is a queer independent filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She has worked as a VFX editor at Marvel Studios on numerous blockbuster films including: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Spider-man Far From Home and Black Widow. As a producer/director/editor, she has created web series, behind the scenes featurettes and the first gay friendly children’s TV show, Dottie’s Magic Pockets. Her projects have screened all over the world including: Outfest (Los Angeles), Frameline (San Francisco), Inside Out Toronto and The Melbourne Queer Film festival. Her short film Honey and Clover: A Recipe for Disaster screened at Short Film Corner, Cannes Court Metrage, Bentonville, AGLIFF in Austin, TX, Dances with Films, Hollywood and won Best Comedy Short at The Franklin International Film Festival. Her latest short film Nana Dara is Gay screened at The American Pavilion Emerging Filmmakers Showcase at Cannes International Film Festival, LA Shorts Film Festival and won the audience award for Best Short at The Out on Film Festival in Ft Lauderdale.

tammy lynne stoner – Writer/Producer
tammy lynne stoner is an award-winning screenwriter and author of the novel, Sugar Land, which won an IPPY, was a finalist for the Crooks Corner Prize and the Forewords Book Award, and a #1 Amazon category bestseller that a starred Kirkus Reviews called “a ravishing debut.” A VCAA Fellow and Sou’Wester Artist-in-Residence, tammy has been published 25 times and was nominated for two Pushcarts (one a Special Mention) and a Million Writers Award. Her pilot Dipso Maniac won “Best Pilot” in the 2023 Portland Screenplay Awards and another is an eight-time Finalist. Several short films she’s written have played in dozens of festivals, including Frameline, OUTfest, the American Pavilion at Cannes, the Melbourne and Paris Intl Film Festivals, and the LA Intl Shorts Fest. On the side she is the President of the Board of Directors for Gertrude, a queer storytelling space.

Lindsay Lanzillotta – Producer
Lindsay is an independent producer and partner in Brave-Jayne-Films, and co-founder of The-51-Fund, funding independent-films directed by women. The Fund’s most recent film, Shayda, was co-produced with Cate Blanchett & Coco Francini’s Dirty Films (Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic at Sundance 2023). Sony-Pictures-Classics acquired it, and it was Australia’s submission for the Best International Feature Film Academy Award. The Fund’s first investment, Cusp, premiered at Sundance in 2021, winning the Emerging Filmmaker Jury Prize and selling to Showtime. She was also lead producer on The Vicious Kind with Adam Scott, JK Simmons and Brittany Snow; Executive Produced by Neil LaBute (Official Selection Sundance, nominated for two Film Independent Spirit Awards. Lindsay teamed up with producer Tony Mancilla and Gamechanger-Films for Karyn Kusama’s, The Invitation. She co-produced alongside Martha Griffin, and writer/producers Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay. The film premiered at SXSW and was distributed by Drafthouse and Netflix. Tony and Lindsay continued to collaborate on Sony and Vega Baby’s thriller Shortwave. She produced the Samuel Goldwyn film noir Obsession with Elika Portnoy and director Goran Dukic, Delivery-Girl with Deniz Gumustas and writer/director Kate Krieger (Sundance in 2019), and Spin Me Round (Limelight and Duplass-Brothers-Productions) starring Alison Brie and Aubrey Plaza.

Theresa Burkhart Gallagher – Producer
Theresa is a writer, producer and actor based in Los Angeles. She is currently producing Schmoolie-the-Deathwatcher, a feature film she wrote, Miranda Bailey set to Direct. Theresa is producing along-side Josh Bachove (Minari, The Curse) and Diana C. Zollicoffer. Theresa produced the feature film Swamp Lion written and directed by Torben Bech (Oscars Short List, Sundance Grand Jury Prize Nominee NUUMMIOQ). Swamp Lion premiered at Austin Film Festival. Her short, Nana Dara is Gay, premiered at the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at Cannes before moving on to AGLIFF, Out on Film, and OutReels. She wrote/produced and starred in the short film, Honey and Clover: A Recipe for Disaster which screened at Cannes Short Film Corner Cannes Court Metrage, Bentonville and Dances with Films. Theresa wrote and produced the short film Schmoolie-the-Deathwatcher, directed by Michael Ray Escamilla, praised as “a stunning gem” (Huff Post) and screened at Dances-with-Films, Vail Film Fest, and Rome International. Prior to film, Theresa wrote and produced theatre including Feeding the Monkey in Hollywood at the Red Room Theatre NYC before moving to a Hollywood run, and was voted, “Best Play in LA”, LA Times Magazine, and was a Backstage-West-Critic’s Pic.

Diana C. Zollicoffer – Producer
Diana was born in Seychelles Island. She is an LA-based independent filmmaker focused on strong dynamic stories. Currently, she is producing the feature film, Harlem 58 with Toil Films & Foxxhole Entertainment, which she co-wrote with Marc Furmie. She and her partner Theresa Burkhart Gallagher are producing Schmoolie The Deathwatcher with Josh Bachove; to be directed by Miranda Bailey, and The Life & Assumed Death of the Baroness with Theresa Burkhart Gallagher and Secouya Studios Madrid; to be directed by Andrea Maxwell. Her award-winning films have been screened at many international festivals most notably, Cannes Film Festival Court Metrage, American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase, Cannes, Essences Film Festival, Manchester Film Festival, Bentonville, Dances With Films Festival and the New Orleans Film Festival. She was a Finalist for the Sundance Institute Producer’s Lab and Screencraft Film Fund. She was the first BIPOC to direct for the Australian Theater Company. She produced the NAACP Theater Award-nominated play “innocentFLESH” about teen sex trafficking in Los Angeles and New York. Diana served on the Board of Directors for Journey Out and The Charlotte Maxwell Clinic of Integrative Cancer Care where she was also Board President.

Ron Simonson – Director of Photography/Producer
Ron is a seasoned filmmaker, producer, VFX Supervisor and Director of Photography, having worked on many Hollywood blcokbusters as well as series, mini-series short films and special venue projects. He was nominated for, among others, a primetime Emmy for his work on HBO’s multi award winning production of Angels in America and most recently completed Sony Studios/TOEI Animation’s Knights of the Zodiac. He is also known for his work on the DC Comics series Legends of Tomorrow, Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and many others. Ron has collaborated with Andrea on many projects in the past including her recent short film Nana Dara is Gay which premiered at The American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase, Cannes. Ron’s combination of creative, artistic and technical abilities are a unique and valuable asset.

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