On the surface, Dear Frankie is about a boy who communicates by letter with his long-lost father. But this sweet, charming film is really a love letter to the relationship between mothers and sons. Ten-year-old Frankie hasn't seen his father in years, and thinks he is away at sea on a merchant ship. Every few weeks, he receives a missive from his father from a different exotic port of call. Unbeknownst to Frankie, his mother Lizzie (a stellar Emily Mortimer, star of Bright Young Things and the soon-to-be-released Young Adam) is really writing the letters, in an effort to give the boy a man in his life. When Frankie learns that the ship on which he believes his father is stationed is coming to town, Lizzie must make a desperate choice: reveal the truth, or set up an elaborate ruse, complete with a pretend father. Shona Auerbach's film is a testament to the power of family love -- how it shapes us, for better and for worse.
Shona Auerbach began her career as a stills photographer but, aware of the creative limitations, decided that she wanted to work with moving images. She studied film at Manchester University and cinematography at Leeds completing her M.A. at the Polish National Film School in Lodz. It was during this period that she made her 35mm directing debut with the short film Seven, which was awarded Best Short Film at the British Short Film Festival in 1996. She has directed a number of successful commercials before making her feature directing debut with Dear Frankie. On both of her directorial efforts, Auerbach has also acted as the director of photography.