Blake Paul Kendall
(Creative Director & Facilitator)
in collaboration with St Vincent de Paul
Society, Obrien Institute of Mental Health
(St Vincents Hospital), Mission Australia,
Reclink Australia and The City of Sydney.
Located in the heart of Sydney’s Woolloomooloo, the Ozanam Learning Centre offers practical education and creative facilities to all members of the community, with a particular focus on the socially marginalised. After two years of teaching ‘storytelling’ and film within the facility, a key insight became very apparent : Everyone has a story to tell, and there is power in sharing these stories. This insight emerged in partnership with several of Sydney’s largest NGOs working in the fields of mental health and homelessness. The result was an annual film festival, held at the iconic Sydney Harbour.
The Resilience Film Challenge ran consecutively for 5 years with a mission of social inclusion and community participation. Participants were invited to make a short film over five days, responding to a theme, announced on the first day of the challenge. With most participants being first-time filmmakers, at the heart of the project was the process of teaching practical skills and facilitating the production of up to twenty-films made over the five days. The event culminated with public screenings at iconic cinemas on the foreshores of Sydney Opera House. The beauty of this project, was that no matter what circumstances people were in, for one week they could remove social-labels (homeless, pensioner, unemployed etc) and instead everyone was a filmmaker. The power of film is sharing stories of different perspectives, and the power of facilitating and creating such a project, was to create the space for these voices to be heard.