Under My Skin

laurels icon Best Performance Nominee
  • Queer, Discovery
  • 1h 36m
  • Narrative Feature
  • World Premiere
  • 2020

This film is no longer available. To view the Q&A with filmmakers, please click here.

Denny, a free spirit and artist falls for Ryan, a straight laced lawyer. When Denny questions gender their love is tested.

David’s short Picture Wheel screened at festivals including Palm Springs, Rhode Island, Cinequest and Santa Monica (Best Short Film winner). His dark comedy Love & Dating in LA! screened at Cleveland International, Hollyshorts, Santa Monica (Audience Choice award winner). Current projects include feature Sons of Salt (Screen Australia development support, shortlisted for the Australians In Film Gateway Prize). Under My Skin is David's debut feature.

Film Review: A hard-working lawyer meets a whimsical musician. Ryan and Denny’s connection has all the, erm, hallmarks of romcom rapture. Then Denny begins to question their gender identity and finds the world does not necessarily fit the person they are. What does this mean for their nascent relationship? Can love outlast the turbulence of self-realisation? David O’Donnell’s debut feature enlivens a familiar genre with a sharp script and empathetic performances. This is all topped off with a unique twist - employing four non-binary actors to portray Denny as they come to realise their fluid gender identity. In lesser hands this could seem a gimmick; here, through four individual yet connected performances, it provides a distinct insight into a person accepting who they are, in a world keen for them to be something else. Under My Skin wears its contemporaneity with pride, with a witty commentary on the microaggressions that reinforce heteronormative structures. Not a film for girls, nor boys, but for anyone who has thought about who they are - and what love is. Pauline Rieux


Five Lip Films



Live Link


David O'Donnell

Executive Producer

Mary Larson

Executive Producer

Timothy R. Larson

Executive Producer

Paul Nelson

Executive Producer

Stephen Cleary


David O'Donnell


Raynen O'Keefe


Alex Russell

Director of Photography

Jac Fitzgerald


Kevin Ward

Sound Designer

Patrick Hogan

Production Designer

Carly Larson