woman

On the road again - destination Mansfeild

Daughter returned to Regional Victoria as we visited Mansfield Armchair Cinema on the 20th of November 2016.

It was a hot and muggy day when Ivan and I ventured down to Benalla country from Melbourne, our first destination being Lima East. On our way we stopped in at Bonny Doon for an upmarket pub lunch, which is one of the more swish meals we have tasted in the area. We were quite impressed. We then made our way off through the heat to Mansfield township for a brief sight see and a flyer drop. Much to our surprise, our new friends at the Mansfield Arm Chair Cinema (The MAC) had most of the major bases covered with the Daughter event prep. 

On our way 

On our way 

When evening came and we had missed the timing of the local winery we instead made our way into Lima East early, where our cabin and new but somewhat old friends awaited our arrival. Like last month when Daughter and Made In Melbourne Film Festival held a joint event in Swanpool, we stayed on at Pam and Ian's cosy farm, the cabin situated behind their home. As expected from previous visits we were treated well and welcomed with a meal and an interesting conversation on film and travel upon arrival. 

After dinner and more conversation it was quite late when Ivan and I got back to the cabin and we spent our night writing character breakdowns for NPG's next feature film, Friends, Foes and Fireworks. We wrote and threw ideas around while all comfy in the cabins bed, surrounded by the sounds of nature. When the next day rolled around and it was Sunday, the screening day, we again spent the morning writing on the verandah after being awoken by the sun rising over the paddocks. We enjoyed a few slices bread we had provided for us in the cabin by our hosts and anticipated meeting James and Katrina from the MAC over a lunch, which we had been kindly invited to. 

Me and Ivan with James and Katrina 

The heat continued that Sunday and did not let up. On arrival at The MAC we took our usual 'social media' snaps with the signage (don't laugh, they are valuable) and made our way into the air conditioned cinema, which was previously a tennis court. James and Katherine were so welcoming and we could not have asked for more generous new cinema friends. An equal tie with Pam and Ian! It must just be a quality bestowed on country folk, always so content and humble. 

Me with the MAC sign before heading in.

Together we walked across the road and to a local park where we found some shade and a table under a huge tree where we put down the esky and the platter of home made sandwiches our friends had prepared.  They had even packed wine in a cooler. What a perfect way to enjoy the area - with locals in a beautiful setting. It was so generous of our hosts to give Ivan and I, two strangers so much in exchange for a screening of films. 

Once back in the cinema the people started gathering and I was wondering just how many would turn up. The word in town is that the cinema is not a common place to hide from the heat, making it likely that we would screen our films to a small audience. However the foyer was quickly ablaze with people queuing at the desk to purchase last minute tickets and once inside the upper level was almost full. Ivan and I were shown to our 'reserved' seating section which saw seated under the mezzanine level, in big leather reclining chairs - yes, we were so comfy in the Gold Class section. It was great seeing some of the MIMFF 2016 selected films on the big screen for the first time and Daughter was thrown in the mix as part of this joint Regional Tour. 

Audience in the mezzanine level watching the films 

Audience in the mezzanine level watching the films 

Daughter was well received, the audience had a lot of intelligent questions up their sleeves for me to answer afterwards. The main focus of this Q&A ended up being very community and crime focused and questions about the justice system and victim blaming were asked. Some tough ones to answer but I think I answered them well as a discussion formed on the perceptions of women in the media and how the system supports or does not support women. 

After the Q&A Ivan and I had our picture taken inside the cinema room with a woman from the local press, who was going to write a story about the joint MIMFF/Daughter event. On heading back out into the foyer we chatted some more with the audience. One woman I will never forget had a dog with her which happened to belong to a man who'd committed a violent crime against a woman many years ago. She brought a bunch of flyers which told the story of the dog and the man who once owned her, who happened to be a murderer. 

At every screening for Daughter and also MIMFF, when on tour we meet all sorts of people , all with different takes on violence and of different experiences and views on life and experiences they have had or witnessed. I believe that art affects us all in certain ways, we see what we want to in art and our upbringing has us conditioned to think and act and even re-act in a certain way. Our actions and emotions after viewing art are automatic responses, justified in our own ways due to this conditioning we can't help be allow to accept as part of us and who we are as individuals.

Katherine Langford as Scarlett

It is true when I say that Ivan and I were happy with the joint screening. It gave us a chance to screen Daughter in Mansfeild to a new audience as well as MIMFF, allowing us to also see the reaction of the audience to the festival's films before we screening them to a wider audience back home. I would say this screening of Daughter and MIMFF at the MAC was a success. 

After saying our goodbyes to our new friends, we took the directions to the nearest swimming spot they had written on the back of one of our flyers and hit the road toward Gloughs Bay. Once there I was happy to kick my heels off and dip my feet in the lake while eating a much deserved ice-cream. 

Ivan and I were sad to leave peaceful Mansfeild, but our next stop on the Daughter Awareness Tour was Port Lonsdale's Queensciff Uniting Church that coming Tuesday. We had lots to think about while eating dinner in Bonny Doon that night and lots to contemplate on the two and a half hour drive home. As well as much to be grateful for, which we both believe is very important when being a filmmaker.

This tour as been more than we expected. 

 

 

Daughter wins in Sydney

On the first weekend of October Daughter had it's Sydney premiere screening at the Women Media Arts and Film Festival, making this event Daughter's first public festival screening. The festival, which celebrates women filmmakers was held in an interesting venue - Newington Armory / Blaxland Riverside Park, Sydney.

Unfortunately the cast and crew could not be in attendance. Writer/director Sarah Jayne and Producer Ivan Malekin were tied up in Melbourne filming another project and could not make it to the festival, but they were following WMAFF's Facebook page for news as it happened. 

Sarah Jayne is one of the festivals alumni, having had her debut film Dusk screen back in 2013, so she was thrilled that again, her work was seen as an important piece of filmmaking from a female director.  

On Sunday Sarah Jayne received the fantastic news that Daughter had taken out the award for Best Short Film - Fiction Category at the festival. What an honour. Now Daughter is an award winning film! 

NPG are ecstatic that their tough little film from St Kilda had been asked to screen at the festival, and taking out an award was a bonus. It has been a great month for the independent production company with other films, recent and older being chosen for a number of festivals as-well as taking out prizes internationally. For more NPG news, go to the website - Nexus Production Group. 

There is much more happening for Daughter, all will be revealed soon. Keep up-to date by liking the Facebook page and for behind the scenes photos as they happen for NPG follow their Instagram page

Encore Screening @ 4Dverse Continues Discussion

Last nights encore screening at 4Dverse on Carlisle St Kilda was another success for this tough little social justice film, proving that Daughter is still a much needed part of the discussion gendered violence and victim blaming in our communities.

Guest speakers Wendy Squires and Anne Riggs touched on important matters to do with community violence, perceptions of women in our society and how victims are taking back control of their lives.  

Wendy, a St Kilda local, writer and journalist was one of the first people in the media to see the problem with how Tracy Connelly's murder coverage was wrongfully portraying the victim and her speech last night gave a very personal insight into how loosing a friend through gendered violence is very much something to be discussed. No matter what the persons choice of work, respect is more important than comparing one victim to another based on this choice. 

Anne Riggs, visual artist and one of the founders of Arts in Community International knows how challenging it is for women she works with on arts projects to come to terms with the violence they have experienced. Anne spoke about some projects in particular and explained the reasons behind the pieces shown on a powerpoint presentation and she discussed the effects of violence and how she helps to heal through her art. 

SJ opening the night

 

Both speeches made for a perfect lead in for the two films which followed, Force and Daughter. Scott Blease's Force, is a ten minute short film which shows family violence from the point of view of a young boy who is trying to escape the reality of an abusive home through his imagination and interest in superhero movies. Force made for a great lead in film and all but 1 cast and crew member were in attendance to answer questions through a short Q&A. 

Daughter was once again received well by the audience, which this time around seemed to be an older demographic. The crowd was intimate, estimated at around 50 people max and we almost filled all the seats at 4Dverse. As the director of Daughter, I was very pleased with the outcome. I have now had further requests by those who once again could not make it to this encore screening, however at this stage I am unsure if I will screen Daughter to the public once more or just move straight into a full fledged school tour as planned.

4Dverse as a venue and new art and wellbeing space was such a perfect venue for this screening.  Founded by Victor Holder this community space caters for all functions and events and is always open to discussing ideas. Victor had the bar and door under control and even found time to light the open fire to keep us warm. Teamed up with Vegilicious once again, who supplied NPG with some winter warming soup for everyone , this night felt complete.

I keep getting surprised by the audience and the attraction to my film and I must say that this screenings Q&A, despite being nervous ,was one of the best I have ever taken part in. I could not have asked for a better night and once again, it went so quick and ended too soon. 

Check out the photos under the gallery.