×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

10 Directors to Watch: Bert and Bertie Combine Forces on Underdog Comedy ‘Troop Zero’

This playful duo, who call themselves 'The Berts,' directed Viola Davis and Allison Janney in Sundance closing night selection 'Troop Zero.'

Back in 2005, Bert met Bertie. Bert was producing a series of short films to accompany Sony’s “The Getaway” video game series while Bertie served as the game’s writer. The two struck up an immediate kinship and found that together they were a “creative melting pot of ideas.”

Cut to 14 years later. The female duo — who call themselves “The Berts” — are headed to Park City, Utah, to unveil their sophomore effort “Troop Zero.” The Amazon film, written by “Beasts of the Southern Wild” scribe Lucy Alibar, follows a young spunky girl named Christmas Flint (Mc-
kenna Grace) who, after getting rejected from the high-and-mighty Birdie Scouts, decides to form her own scout troop.

The film, an outsider comedy full of girl power, attracted such grownup stars as Viola Davis and Allison Janney.

“I think they saw the potential in the script in terms of what it means for girls,” Bertie says.

As for working with two Academy Award-winning actors, Bert and Bertie weren’t intimidated due in part to their extensive résumé, which includes commercials, numerous shorts, a Fox Studios Directors Initiative fellowship as well as their 2016 inaugural feature, YouTube Red’s “Dance Camp,” a music-and-dance teen drama.

“That first feature taught us when to be precious and when not to be precious,” Bert says. “To not obsess over details that weren’t important to a particular scene or a particular part of the story. That was huge.”

Recognized by the DGA as one of the few female directing teams, Bert and Bertie, who split their time between London and Los Angeles, insist on being called only by their collective name, as opposed to their birth names of Katie Ellwood (Bertie) and Amber Finlayson (Bert).

“Bert and Bertie are really our names,” Bertie says resolutely before quipping, “It’s a huge coincidence.”

The duo was recently hired again by Amazon to rewrite and direct “Eurydice,” described by those close to the pair as “Terminator” meets “Thelma & Louise.”

Influences: Jeunet and Caro, the Coen brothers, Tim Burton, Guillermo del Toro
Agency: Verve
Legal: Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof & Fishman

More Film

  • 'Captain Marvel' Lands Day-And-Date China Release

    'Captain Marvel' Lands Day-And-Date China Release

    Marvel Studios’ hotly-anticipated Brie Larson-starring blockbuster “Captain Marvel” will hit Chinese theaters on the same day as it debuts in North America. The female-led picture will release on March 8, 2019, International Women’s Day. Written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the film tells the story of Carol Danvers, a former fighter pilot who joins [...]

  • Peter Rabbit trailer

    Australia Box Office Recovers, Grows 3.8% in 2018

    Gross theatrical box office in Australia grew by 3.6% in 2018, to $890 million (A$1.25 billion). The score was propelled by a rebound in the performance of the top local films. Data from the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia published Tuesday showed aggregate cinema revenues recovering after a dip in 2017. While the 2018 [...]

  • Why Megan Mullally Won't Talk Politics

    Q&A: Why Megan Mullally Won't Talk Politics While Hosting the SAG Awards

    Megan Mullally is funny. The “Will & Grace” star can also sing and dance. While she’s not picking up the Oscar hosting gig after the Kevin Hart fiasco, Mullally will take center stage on Sunday, Jan. 27 when she makes her debut as the host of the 25th annual SAG Awards. Variety caught up with [...]

  • Glass trailer

    'Glass': Five Box Office Takeaways From M. Night Shyamalan's Thriller

    With his fifth No. 1 box office opening, M. Night Shyamalan has plenty to celebrate. “Glass,” the conclusion to a trilogy that consists of the 2000 cult hit “Unbreakable” and 2016’s box office sensation “Split,” topped the box office last weekend — though its win comes with a few caveats. James McAvoy reprised his role [...]

  • Berlin: Patra Spanou Picks Up Panorama

    Berlin: Patra Spanou Picks Up Panorama Title 'Family Members' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Patra Spanou has picked up world sales rights to “Los miembros de la familia” (Family Members), which will world premiere in the Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section. Variety has been given an exclusive first look of the film’s trailer. The film is the second feature from writer/director Mateo Bendesky, and is produced by Agustina Costa [...]

  • Great Point Media, The Development Partnership

    Great Point Media, Development Partnership Join Forces on Slate of Movies

    Great Point Media and The Development Partnership, the development and production arm of the talent agency the Artists Partnership, are joining forces to develop, package, and co-produce multiple films, kicking off with three projects, including “Chasing Agent Freegard,” starring James Norton (“War & Peace”). “Chasing Agent Freegard,” which is being produced by “Captain Phillips” co-producer [...]

  • Berlin: FiGa Acquires ‘Landless,’ Drops ‘Hormigas’

    Berlin: FiGa Acquires ‘Landless,’ Drops ‘Hormigas’ Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sandro Fiorin’s Miami-based FiGa Films, a leading sales agent on the independent Latin American scene, has announced the acquisition of Brazilian doc “Landless,” and released a trailer for the Costa Rican-Spanish drama “El despertar de las hormigas.” Both features will play at this year’s Berlinale Forum and come from young Latin American filmmakers making their [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content