Bendigo actress a star in the making

HANNAH Raven Smith says if an actor isn't prepared to take up any given role at a moment's notice, they're not deserving of the opportunity.

It's a good thing, therefore, that when offered the leading part in Zoe.Misplaced two weeks before shooting was to commence, Ms Raven Smith jumped at the chance.

"The script was so relatable," she says of the feature film.

"I felt like I could really connect with the lead character of Zoe.

"The best thing about the film was being able to fully realise a character and present it in a medium that fully accessible to people."

Zoe.Misplaced is playing at the this year's Bendigo Queer Film Festival, taking place over the weekend, and Ms Raven Smith says she was overjoyed it would screen at her home town.

She says that the while the film features lesbian protagonist, the plot line isn't about gay rights.

Rather, the film is about "someone having their world turned upside down" and about "falling in love with someone they shouldn't".

"A lot of films are about gay rights, gay marriage and gay adoption," Ms Raven Smith says.

"That's important but it (homosexuality) shouldn't always be commented on."

While this is Ms Raven Smith's first feature film, the 27-year-old has been acting since she was a teen - starting out with the Bendigo Theatre Company.

Upon finishing high school, she moved to Melbourne to study at the Verve Studios and subsequently freelanced for a couple of years - landing roles on TV shows City Homicide and Sudden Impact.

Five years ago she moved to Sydney to study at the Actors Centre and since graduating in 2012 she's been partaking in musical theatre gigs, TV work and now a film. 

Ms Raven Smith says she loves that acting can be understood universally. 

"The role of the performing artist is to tell our history, tell stories and to educate," she says.

"It's incredibly tiresome but also incredibly rewarding."

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