In diaspora communities, sex is often a topic of stigma and shame. I.C.E. is working with Greek-Australian early career screen creative, Danielle Stamoulos, to produce a six-part narrative digital series that pushes the envelope and explores sexual taboos through comedy.
Creator, writer and actor Stamoulos plays the role of Maria, a sexually frustrated Greek-Orthodox woman who believes she has inherited a curse of virginity from her ancestors. Aspiring witch-coach Zainab, Maria’s African-Australian bestie, brings the curse to life in a hex that goes haywire. There can be no doubt that Maria has now contracted the dreaded Curse of the Virgin.
With irreverent wit, this project explores the stigma that lurks at the intersection of culture and religion.
For Danielle Stamoulos, the series emerges from agonising personal experience.
“Curse of the Virgin is really just a horny rebel at heart. Growing up as a young ethnic woman in today’s growing sex-positive modern world, has been a confusing and frustrating experience, as most ethnic women in-between cultures would know,” Danielle says.
“It’s a series that hopes to shed light on the invisible sexual wellbeing and mental health of those who share a similar experience. But I’ll confess, it’s deliciously inappropriate – you might even get off on it.”
Project collaborators include Co-producer Nicole Delprado, a neurodiverse screenwriter, producer and director, who was named one of Screen Producers Australia’s ‘Ones to Watch’ 2019. Mentor/EP consultant on the series, Bec Bignell, is co-founder of the New Media Production Company COCKATOO COLAB and producer of the seven-part series Homespun as well as 600 BOTTLES OF WINE, which has been picked up by Netflix and the BBC.
“When Danielle and I first met at a workshop I was immediately impressed by her imagination, creative process, and focus,” Bec says. “I’m so grateful to be involved in her brainchild, ‘Curse of The Virgin’ and I believe this project will not only shine a light on her highly engaging perspective, voice and talent but it will also set a benchmark for emerging creatives.”
As E.P. of the TV series, the Information and Cultural Exchange is proud to support Screen storytelling that helps to normalise the shared human experiences of sexuality, with authenticity and charm.
Information and Cultural Exchange Producer, Screen Cultures, Barry Gamba, spoke of the way that Curse of the Virgin offers an opportunity to enhance the visibility of stories told by Australian CALD women in new and daring ways.
“It’s an exciting project that really packs a punch,” says Barry Gamba.
“And Danielle is part of a new generation of storytellers, drawing on lived experience to explore issues of gender identity, sexuality and power, through wit and wild imagination.”