Last stop for the Daughter awareness tour for 2016 saw Ivan and myself attend a small and humble Port Lonsdale screening hosted by Jan from the Queenscliff Uniting Church on November 22nd.
Jan and her partner were well prepared for the screening, making sure that film posters and event flyers were printed and pinned up , as well as organising a mention of Daughter in the local paper. I was very impressed by how enthused they were about this special screening in a town which I personally love visiting and spending time in as it is so full of old world charm.
In attendance was an older crowd then what Daughter usually screens to in Melbourne, which was a little bit of a surprise. I was very concerned as I always am in regards to the swearing and illicit drug taking and drinking in the film, but more so this time as Daughter was screening within a Church.
However the beautiful thing this about this screening was the fact that Daughter was well received and brought up some mature questions during the Q & A section of the afternoon from the audience . These questions lead to a wonderful discussion on gender roles and a women's place in society and also how men relate to the story and their awareness on the issue.
As I stood up after the screening and answered questions, I must say that I will never forget Jan telling me that her son is aware of the anxiety women feel when walking alone and that to avoid scaring women he walks on the opposite side of the street and does not look their way. This caused a mix reaction from me - in one instance it is great that he is aware women feel uncomfortable when walking solo and passing a man in the night. Yet on the other it is sad that this is the interaction some men feel they need to have with women to make them feel safe. Awareness is the first step, so I commend him on his actions but I still feel sad that as humans both men an women are not equals when walking alone down the street, which is a liberty both sexes should be able to enjoy.
Joining Ivan and myself at the screening was actor Robyn Duse, who plays social worker Molly at The Gatehouse in the film. It was a nice feeling to have an actor witness the crowd interaction while seeing the film for the first time in an intimate setting. We thank Robyn for coming down from Lorne, which is in the local area and for speaking about what she does.
Another good little story that came from this screening was a discussion I had after the Q&A with one of the elderly ladies, who told me she was in her 80's. She lived in St Kilda back in the 1960's when drugs and prostitution was rife in area, much worse than it is now. She remembers what life was like then for the disadvantaged and we had a short but interesting discussion on how St Kilda has changed from her day to my day.
An attentive crowd watching Daughter is all a director could ask for in a tour really and I am so happy that NPG booked this screening with Uniting Queenscliff for our short film and awareness project as it is one that we will both not forget.
This is the last event for the tour, wrapping up a fantastic and fruitful year for Daughter and a ride that NPG is so grateful to have had the opportunity to be on from day one.