The story of the project
That is what Protection is about.
A group of children, who mostly live in public housing in the Illawarra NSW, are making a film – a film about childhood.
The children will work with Beyond Empathy (BE) to tell stories inspired by their lives and make the film using live action cameras. The children perform the key roles. Then we are turning the live action footage into animation using simple smart device apps. The kids will help to animate their film – and we can even get you, our audience, involved in the process!
How will we know if we succeed?
If the children can experience success by being involved in this film project and take that experience into their future, it will help them be more resilient, resourceful and confident people. They can use those strengths to make a place for themselves in the world and be happy.
Why do we believe that this project will work?
A group of disadvantaged teenagers worked with BE in making a feature length drama film – Rites of Passage which recently screened on ABC 1. The film won a special jury prize at the Warsaw Film Festival and a number of other awards at International Film Festivals.
Most importantly, the project gave those young people their own rite of passage! For three years they operated cameras and sound gear, burnt their fingers on the lights and acted out stories inspired by their lives. At the end they showed the film they had made to their community and were recognised and applauded for their efforts. They felt they were seen differently. They felt people saw past the stereotypes about people from public housing.
But don’t just take our word for it! An independent evaluation conducted by Netbalance found that for every $1 spent on the project, Rites of Passage returned $3.10 in terms of social value – in the health and well-being benefits for those young people and their families.
How will Protection help the audience who will see it?
Adults who watch Protection will be reminded of the magic and the struggles of their own childhood and will consider their own role in the lives of children around them.
As Kofi Annan said: “There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they can grow up in peace. “
When will it be finished?
We are actually in our second year of the project. So while the finished film won’t be ready till mid 2017, we will keep you informed about how the project is developing and let you into the world of the film through live and online screenings over the coming two years.
How the funds will be used
However, to build on this, we are asking you to come on board!
Your pledge will directly and practically sponsor the kids involvement in the project.
But we don’t just want your money.
By registering your interest in this film, you will let the children, the funders and everyone else know that there is an audience for this film. The kids have a voice and it will be heard!
1. The making of the film should help kids living with hardship to build new futures
2. All key actors must be amateurs and live in the community where the film is shot
3. There can be no casting process for key actors that involves rejections: i.e. if they come to the project you must find a way for them be in the film.
4. There can be no traditional script and there must be more than one story line
5. The story lines must be developed with the actors, drawing on their life experiences
6. If an actor fails to turn up, the shoot continues, creating a new direction for the film
7. Where possible, everyone (actors and production team) should have a go at the technical aspects of making the film: using cameras, sound recording, lighting, editing and animating.
8. The film should be made with a diversity of styles, like a collage.
9. The participants should get the credit and the accolades and the opportunities that come from any publicity.
10. The film should bring people in the community together and the first screening must be held in the community where the film was made.
What are the stories about?
A boy causes a car accident by throwing something off a freeway overpass. Will he own up to it?
A girl finds an injured pelican and wants to help nurse the bird back to health.
A group of kids get worried about whether their friend might get evicted from his house, so they band together to keep the housing department workers away, while they try and figure out what to do.
An Aboriginal girl gets a scholarship to go to an after school dance class where she feels like a fish out of water. One girl is a bully and tries to make her give up. But she persists and wins everyone over with her determination to dance.
A girl and boy are best friends but their families are fighting. Can they stay best friends even if people they love are getting hurt?