women

A Uniting screening in historical Queenscliff

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. 

Answering audience questions and starting a discussion

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.

Attentive crowd at Queenscliff United

Attentive crowd at Queenscliff United

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. 

Daughter flyer on the board

Daughter flyer on the board

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. 

 

 

  

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

Daughter Takes the First Public Step Towards Education

It is a totally amazing feeling as a film maker to see your project and short film up on a screen in front of the Holmesglen Waverley Tafe students being used as an educational tool, and part of their assessments for the Justice course.

I can't even begin to tell you how content my heart and soul are right now. To have Daughter achieve so much already. To have this tough little film from St Kilda make changes to peoples thoughts and to educate these young minds on the affects of gendered violence and victim blaming in our communities is a very rare and special opportunity.  I feel so grateful. 

Today at Holmesglen I was so nervous before I was even in the auditorium, I had to tell myself that what I am doing is very important and that this is the start of something very big. I had been anticipating this screening for the last few months and like other screenings it went too quickly. 

Tamie Cousins talking about attitudes, norms, behaviours and practices that support violence

Tamie Cousins talking about attitudes, norms, behaviours and practices that support violence

The students filled the auditorium around 10am and their teacher Tamie Cousins began by introducing Ivan and myself and talking a bit about Daughter and how the film fits into what the Diploma and Advanced Diploma students are currently learning in their Justice Course. 

Stats on violence towards women and men from the Our Watch website were shown and the numbers are alarming. An explanation on what gendered violence is, how many women are currently reported as affected by gendered violence on the streets and most importantly the attitudes, norms, behaviours and practices that support violence was mentioned, all linking back to Daughter.

I then had my chance to speak about why I wrote Daughter and what my inspirations  and goals were for the film before Daughter was shown to the class of around 90 students and teachers. 

Sarah Jayne talking about Daughter, why she wrote the script and the characters. 

The Q and A that followed had the students asking the most wonderful and thought provoking questions such as "Did you go into the Gatehouse with any of your own prejudices?" and "Why was the film shown from the perspective of just the three women, why not the perpetrators view". Some of these questions really got me thinking about how I can expand the film into a feature, a thought I have had many times the last couple of months and also how I can show a different view on gendered violence. 

I was blessed to have also received fantastic feedback on Daughter through the survey I handed out to the students as well as the teachers. They answered questions about how they believed Daughter was affective to their learning and if they felt Daughter should be used as a teacher's aid and part of the curriculum. A few of them said the film is good for secondary schools, they wanted to see more of the film and that they found sympathy with the character of Jemma. 

There are 94 surveys to continue reading though and I will get to that perhaps tomorrow. NPG now have to work on the Daughter tour, but this test run really was worth doing. From here we also have a connection through Tamie, which will open more doors in education for Daughter and help me to work on a new School Press Kit to spread the word nationally. 

More photos can be found under Gallery

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.