WA’s burgeoning film industry will be in the spotlight this month when a red-carpet charity premiere of Ben Elton’s new movie Three Summers is held in Mandurah. However, the big winner of the night will be a national indigenous charity.
The British comedian’s new feature film, shot entirely at Fairbridge Village in Pinjarra, is a romantic comedy that also touches on a number of a topical political issues, including those faced by Indigenous Australians. And the film-maker plans to give all proceeds from the Mandurah premiere to support FISH, the Foundation for Indigenous Sustainable Health.
Executive producer of Elton’s production, Mark Anderson, who is also the CEO of FISH, was until early 2016 CEO of Fairbridge Western Australia Inc, which owns and operates the film’s location, leading to a partnership with Mr Elton.
FISH works “to break the cycle of generational trauma, poverty and engagement in the justice system and enable indigenous Australians to be valued by and able to positively contribute to their community”.
Mr Anderson said the film’s depiction of indigenous culture was an important avenue for educating the wider public, “using humour that provides all Australians a deeper understanding that we are all the same and need to take the time to understand each other’s stories.”
Elder and FISH senior manager Koodah Cornwall was the cultural advisor for the film, assisting Elton in providing a respectful and accurate portrayal of indigenous culture.
“It’s very much about the stories … in sharing stories we connect hearts and show that we’re all not that different,” Mr Anderson says.
Brooke Woolcock and Bryn Davies, two interns working with FISH’s creative arm, are heavily involved in preparing the charity premiere and ey say the partnership with Three Summers has provided them with a number of new opportunities.
“To be a part of FISH, for me, is an incredible opportunity to pursue a career in media and screen production, whilst helping and obtaining a further education on my own culture,” Mr Davies said.
Ms Woolcock added: “It’s great to see FISH and Three Summers working together. I think it’s going to do a lot of good for [Indigenous] communities.”
Funds raised through the partnership will go towards FISH’s home ownership initiative, as well as developing the charity’s creative arm.
The gala premiere will be held Mandurah Performing Arts Centre on October 30. Tickets are $145. For more details visit https://goo.gl/P98LYh.