Bushfires and Environment on the Minds of Junior Filmmakers

Updated: Feb 19, 2020

For Immediate Release

School holiday programs are fantastic opportunities to keep school children busy, with some parents having to return back to work before school's re-open for the new year. Sanguineti Media's School Holiday Filmmaker program is one such opportunity, that has now been running since 2016 at the Canberra Technology Park in Watson.

In their recent 2020 Summer Workshop, the apprentice Filmmakers were faced with the backdrop of one of the worst bushfire seasons on record in Australia, extreme heat waves, and Canberra covered in thick smoke for most of the holidays.

Workshop Facilitator Dan Sanguineti set the challenge. "On the first day, I asked our filmmakers, who are aged between 10 and 13 years old, to brainstorm ideas based around the concept of saving our planet. It became clear very quickly, how much our torrid bushfire season had been affecting the children, with all four films highlighting how action is much better than inaction."

The workshop produced a total of 4 short films in under 5 days. For the first time, three of the films were animations and only one was live action.

'When a Lake turns Green,' written and directed by Ava Nash and Ellie Anderson is a part stop motion animation, part documentary that follows a character of a frog whose home is destroyed by pollution in his lake. Nash and Anderson decided to include a documentary element to their film, to further their green message of keeping our environment free of trash.

'The Forest,' written and directed by Jack Mathieson, William Keating, Finn Brawata and Xavier Fergus, is an eco-thriller that sees a shady government character cutting down the forest, and is put up against a climate terrorist who plans to destroy the government's bulldozing equipment. Satire was embedded deep into the story, with the news personality in the film is being played by Keating, who also plays the shady Government character.

'Clean the Present' written and directed by Aria Katavic and Olive Choe is an animation film that speaks to wealthy entrepreneurs who could be doing more to better our environment. The story follows the daughter of a rich tech family, who goes about inventing a new way to recycle plastic.

'Sophia the Firefighter' written and directed by 10 year old Sophia Maloney is a stop motion animation telling the story of Sophia the firefighter, who saves a burning house with her firefighter crew after a careless individual throws a lit cigarette into dry grass. Maloney lives with autism, and she drew, photographed and recorded all the voices for the film herself.

"Sophia has an aspiration to be a firefighter one day, even though her talent for storytelling and filmmaker is exceptional. I'm hoping I can inspire her to follow both dreams," say Sanguineti.

The workshops are run during most school holidays, and take place over 5 days, with filmmakers having to complete a rough story outline after the first day.

The second day usually involves the planning of the film, with activities such as storyboarding or prop construction.

Day 3 is production day, with Filmmakers filming their films on semi-professional cameras provided by Sanguineti Media.

The 4th day is post-production day, with filmmakers using the edit stations at Sanguineti Media to assemble their films, add sound effects and music, and sometimes dropping in pre-made visual effects.

The final day involves a poster design activity and a special screening in the afternoon with parents, family and friends invited to an afternoon tea presentation with popcorn.

The 4 films are available to view below for a limited time. All 4 films will be submitted to the Canberra Short Film Festival a little later this year.

For media enquires and questions, please contact Dan Sanguineti.

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