The Hitman’s Cookbook

The Hitman’s Cookbook

 One first job. What could go wrong?

THE HITMAN’S COOKBOOK is a feature film screenplay by Ben Phelps and Gabriel Dowrick. The screenplay was a semi-finalist in the prestigious screenwriting competition at Austin Film Festival 2011 and a finalist in the acclaimed international competition, Script Pipeline 2012.


Check out the 2-minute teaser. Freshly baked! If you like this sizzle reel, you’ll love the film we want to make.


A talented baker becomes an unlikely hitman when she’s blackmailed into murdering her idol, a celebrity TV chef. But unexpected ingredients – the FBI, the Triad, a young lover and a jealous madman – complicate her recipe for success.


Sugar is a talented baker from New York who’s blackmailed into murdering a gangster’s ex-wife. Sugar doesn’t have the nerve to be a hitman but if she doesn’t pull the trigger, the gangster will kill her. Making matters worse, when Sugar arrives in Sydney she discovers that her target is her idol, a celebrity TV chef. Her recipe for success is further complicated when an FBI agent arrives in Australia to stop the hit. Sugar must now overcome a determined FBI agent, her reluctance to kill her hero, her aspiration to be a successful baker, the distraction of a new romance, a jealous madman, Triad mobsters and a fresh threat against her mother’s life. THE HITMAN’S COOKBOOK is a feature film about a young woman who learns the hard way that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.


THE HITMAN’S COOKBOOK will be a crime genre feature film that depicts the secret life of a hitman with a pinch of neo-noir, in the tradition of LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL, IN BRUGES and FARGO. However, the hitmen in all of these films are seasoned criminals. And they’re usually men. THE HITMAN’S COOKBOOK flips these conventions: ‘What if an inexperienced female hitman is forced to undertake her first assassination but nothing goes to plan?’


THE HITMAN’S COOKBOOK is a collaboration between the award-winning team of Ben Phelps and Gabriel Dowrick. Between them, they have won over 50 major awards and numerous accolades for their films, TV series, commercials and branded content. Their work has screened internationally in cinemas, on TV, online and in over 150 prestigious film festivals from Berlin to Brisbane, Montreal to Melbourne, Seattle to Sydney, Tampere to Tropfest.


Writers Gabriel Dowrick & Ben Phelps

Director Ben Phelps

Duration 100 minutes

Genre Crime

Setting Contemporary Urban

Shoot Sydney, Australia


Ben Phelps – Writer / Director

I’m an award-winning Writer and Director from Sydney, Australia. My passion for movies was ignited when I worked at an arthouse cinema while studying filmmaking and law at university. I’ve worked in the media industry for more than 10 years, writing screenplays, directing short films and producing branded online content.

Specialising in the Drama/Thriller genre, my films are underpinned by contemporary political themes that reflect my immediate environment. Anticipating the community tension that led to the infamous Cronulla riots in Sydney, my film CHECKPOINT (funded by Screen NSW) depicted an emotional encounter between a Lebanese-Australian family and a group of racist soldiers. I continued to explore Australian race relations with NICE SHOOTIN’ COWBOY (funded by Screen Australia), a portrayal about the complexity of cultural identity from the perspective of an Aboriginal teenage father.

My films have resonated with global audiences, garnering more than 20 awards and been selected for Official Competition in 100 international festivals, including 40 Academy Awards accredited festivals. Highlights include major prizes in Australia, USA, Canada, France, Italy, Spain and Russia. CHECKPOINT won the Jury Prize at Montreal Film Festival 2006 and a Dendy Award at Sydney Film Festival 2007. NICE SHOOTIN’ COWBOY became one of only 80 films eligible for the 2011 Oscars after winning Best Short Film at Austin Film Festival 2009. Check out the full list of Awards and Festivals. Both films were picked up for international distribution by Flickerfest and Arenafilm for broadcast in 6 countries, including SBS TV in Australia. I’m an alumnus of the competitive creative lab, Accelerator, at Melbourne International Film Festival and represented by Original Maverick. 

Since directing short films, I’ve become a father to young children. As a Dad, my screenwriting has expanded to encompass themes about gender identity, privacy in the digital age and the rise of generational conflict in the workplace.

Gabriel Dowrick – Writer

Gabriel Dowrick has been fortunate to work successfully as both a Writer and Editor in Sydney, Australia. His produced feature writing credits include SKIN TRADE, a multi-lingual Canadian/Thai co-production starring Tony Jaa, Michael Jai White, Celina Jade and Ron Perlman and TERMINUS, an independent Australian Science-Fiction/Drama. As an editor he’s cut more than 100 episodes of Australian network television (including SOUL MATES, BLACK COMEDY, NO ACTIVITY and THE FAMILY LAW for ABC), numerous acclaimed short films that have played at the world’s most prestigious film festivals, and hundreds of commercials and music videos. His editing work can be seen at: