Disney+ Announces April 19 Streaming Debut Of Searchlight Pictures’ “Empire Of Light”

Disney+ recently announced the April 19 streaming debut of Searchlight Pictures’ BAFTA and Oscar-nominated film “Empire of Light,” directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes and starring Academy Award winner Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Toby Jones, and Academy Award winner Colin Firth. Set in and around a faded old cinema in an English coastal town in the early 1980s, “Empire of Light” follows Hilary (Olivia Colman), a cinema manager struggling with her mental health, and Stephen (Micheal Ward), a new employee who longs to escape this provincial town in which he faces daily adversity. Hilary and Stephen find a sense of belonging through their unlikely and tender relationship and experience the healing power of music, cinema, and community. Robust parental controls ensure that Disney+ remains a suitable viewing experience for everyone in the family. Subscribers can set access limits on mature content and create PIN-protected profiles alongside the already existing Kids Profiles to give parents and guardians peace of mind.

Here’s How Intimacy Coordinators Are Making Sex Scenes Safe For Actors

Intimacy coordinators are becoming more and more common in the entertainment industry. They are trained professionals who work with actors to choreograph intimate scenes safely and respectfully. Intimacy coordinators have become essential to production, especially when filming sex scenes.

Sex scenes can be tricky to film. They require a lot of trust and vulnerability from the actors involved, and creating a safe and respectful environment is crucial. Intimacy coordinators ensure that everyone involved feels comfortable and supported throughout the process.

The role of an intimacy coordinator starts long before the actual filming occurs. They work with the production team to understand the script and any intimate scenes that may be involved. They then work with the actors to create a choreography for the scene. This includes discussing boundaries and comfort levels and creating specific movements and actions that will be performed during the scene.

One of the critical aspects of an intimacy coordinator’s role is to ensure that actors feel empowered to speak up if they are uncomfortable at any point during filming. This can include stopping the scene if needed or adjusting the choreography to suit the actors’ needs better. Intimacy coordinators create a safe environment where actors feel supported and can communicate their needs.

Another critical role of an intimacy coordinator is to ensure that everyone involved in the scene is fully informed of what will happen. This includes the actors, directors, and camera crew. Everyone needs to be aware of the choreography and any potential risks involved. Intimacy coordinators ensure everyone understands and feels comfortable with the plan before filming begins.

During filming, intimacy coordinators are on set to oversee the scene and ensure that everything goes smoothly. They communicate with the actors and crew, making adjustments to ensure the scene is performed safely and effectively. They may also work with the director to ensure that the scene is captured in the way that it was intended.

After filming, intimacy coordinators work with the actors to debrief and provide support. They may discuss any issues that arose during filming and provide resources for further help if necessary.

Some specific examples of scenes that may require the assistance of an intimacy coordinator include:Sex scenes: Scenes that involve simulated sex or nudity between characters may require an intimacy coordinator to ensure that the actors are comfortable and safe and that the scene is choreographed in a way that reflects the story and characters.Romantic scenes: Scenes that involve kissing, hugging, or other physical contacts between characters may also require the assistance of an intimacy coordinator to establish boundaries and guidelines for the actors.Violent scenes: Scenes that involve physical violence or trauma, such as rape or assault, may require an intimacy coordinator to ensure that the actors are safe and that the scene is handled with sensitivity and respect.Ultimately, the decision to bring in an intimacy coordinator will depend on the nature of the production and the specific scenes involved. However, in general, intimacy coordinators can play a critical role in ensuring that sensitive content is handled with care, respect, and professionalism.

In conclusion, intimacy coordinators are crucial in keeping actors safe during sex scenes. They work with actors to create safe and respectful choreography, ensuring everyone involved is fully informed and comfortable with the scene. During filming, intimacy coordinators are on set to oversee the scene and make adjustments as needed. After filming is complete, they provide support and resources for the actors. Intimacy coordinators are an essential part of the production process and are helping to create a safer and more respectful environment for intimate scenes in the entertainment industry.


The Verdict On “Shazam! Fury of the Gods:” Is It Worth Your Time And Money??

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is a 2023 DC film directed by David F. Sandberg and a sequel to the 2019 film “Shazam!”. The film follows Billy Batson (Asher Angel) and his comical superhero alter ego, Shazam (Zachary Levi), as they face off against a new villain, Hespera (Helen Mirren), and her brother Kalypso (Lucy Liu), who seek to take over the world using their godly powers.

The movie begins with an action-packed sequence that introduces Hespera and Kalypso, who are shown to be immensely powerful beings with control over various elements of nature. The opening sets the tone for the rest of the movie, as it promises a high-stakes battle between Shazam and these formidable foes.

As the story unfolds, we see that Billy struggles with his dual identity and superhero responsibilities. He is still figuring out how to control his powers and feels the world’s weight on his shoulders. However, he is not alone, as his foster siblings and his best friend Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) are there to support him.

The movie strikes a perfect balance between action and comedy, with several laugh-out-loud moments that are sure to delight audiences of all ages. The chemistry between the cast members is excellent, and the witty banter between Billy and Freddy is particularly enjoyable. The film also has several heartfelt moments as it explores the theme of family and the importance of standing by the people you love.

One of the movie’s strengths is its stunning visual effects, which truly bring the world of Shazam to life. The fight scenes are expertly orchestrated, and slow-motion and other special effects add to the spectacle.

Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu deliver standout performances as Hespera and Kalypso, respectively. They are menacing and captivating, and their characters’ motivations are well-developed. The movie also features several surprise appearances from other DC Comics characters, which are sure to excite fans of the franchise.

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is definitely a fantastic sequel that lives up to the high bar set by its predecessor. It is a fun, action-packed, and heartwarming movie that will appeal to both casual moviegoers and die-hard comic book fans. David F. Sandberg has done an excellent job of balancing the story’s various elements, and the result is a film that is sure to be a hit. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys superhero movies and is looking for a good time at the cinema.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Editorial credit: Hamara / Shutterstock.com

Production Begins On Repeater Productions’ “Puzzle Box”

Cameras are rolling on the new Australian horror film “Puzzle Box” from writer-director Jack Dignan (“After She Died”). The film stars Kaitlyn Boyé (“The Furies,” “Home & Away”), Laneikka Denne (“Mud Crab,” “Feminazi”), Cassandre Girard (“After She Died”), Janelle McMenamin (“Interceptor”), and Matias Klaver (“After She Died,” “Risen”).

The found-footage horror film, shot in the same handheld-POV style as “The Blair Witch Project” and the recent international hit “Skinamarink,” follows the story of a struggling drug addict, Kait (Kaitlyn Boyé), and her younger sister, Olivia (Laneikka Denne). Running from a recent violent incident in her past and not wanting to go back to rehab, Kait flees to a remote house in the woods to self-rehabilitate, where Olivia joins her to document the process. But they quickly find that the house isn’t what it seems and the internal layout is constantly changing, trapping them in an inescapable puzzle box of a house. As they attempt to solve the mystery and find a way out, they discover there are far worse things in this house to be afraid of…

“Puzzle Box” is produced by Jack Dignan and Morgan Wright through Wright’s production company Repeater Productions. Dignan directed last year’s award-winning horror film “After She Died,” which is now out on VOD, DVD/Blu-Ray, and streaming on Tubi in select countries. Wright recently produced Ben Golotta’s debut short film “Lean” and Conor Mercury’s “The Fritz”, ” which premiered at this year’s Academy Award-qualifying Flickerfest Short Film Festival in Bondi. This is Wright’s and Repeater’s first feature film.

Production is expected to last until the end of the month in Sydney, with post-production continuing locally through to the latter half of the year.

It’s Official: Brendan Fraser Wins Best Actor For ‘The Whale’ At Oscars 2023

Brendan Fraser has just won the best actor Oscar for his role in the critically acclaimed movie, The Whale. The film tells the story of a morbidly obese man, Charlie, struggling to reconnect with his teenage daughter after his partner dies. Fraser’s performance as Charlie is powerful, emotional, and nuanced, and it has been praised by both audiences and critics alike.

Fraser’s win has been a long time coming. Despite being in the industry for over three decades, he has never received the recognition he deserved. However, with The Whale, he has proved he is back on top. His ability to transform into a character as complex and vulnerable as Charlie is a testament to his acting talent.

The Whale is not an easy movie to watch. It tackles complex issues such as grief, addiction, and body image, and it does so in a raw and sensitive way. However, Fraser’s performance as Charlie makes the film a must-watch. He captures the essence of the character with precision, portraying his pain, anguish, and vulnerability in a heart-wrenching and inspiring way.

Fraser’s win is also significant because it marks a turning point in his career. Despite his talent, he has faced personal struggles and health issues that have impacted his career. However, with his win, he has proved that hard work, perseverance, and talent can overcome any obstacle.

In his acceptance speech, Fraser thanked the cast and crew of The Whale for their support, and he dedicated the award to his fans who have stood by him throughout his journey. He also spoke about the importance of telling stories that matter and portraying characters who are often overlooked.

Fraser’s win is also significant because it is a win for representation. The Whale is a movie that tackles issues often ignored in mainstream media, and Fraser’s win shines a spotlight on the importance of diversity in storytelling. It shows that stories about marginalized communities and characters can be as powerful and impactful as conventional stories.

Fraser’s win for The Whale is a momentous occasion. It marks a turning point in his career and conveys to the industry that hard work, perseverance, and talent can overcome any obstacle. It also shows the importance of telling stories that matter and portraying characters who are often overlooked. Fraser’s win is a win for representation, highlighting the importance of diversity in storytelling. Congratulations to Brendan Fraser on his well-deserved win.

Editorial credit: Sam Aronov / Shutterstock.com

The Verdict On Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania: Is It Worth Your Time & Money?

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania happens to be the latest installment in the Ant-Man franchise, and it certainly did not disappoint. Directed by Peyton Reed, the film brings back the beloved characters of Ant-Man and The Wasp while also introducing new characters and storylines.

The film starts with Scott Lang, played by Paul Rudd, trying to balance his life as a superhero with his responsibilities as a father. However, things quickly take a turn when he gets sucked into the quantum realm and encounters new threats and challenges.

One of the film’s highlights is the introduction of Kang the Conqueror, played by Jonathan Majors. Kang is a complex and intriguing villain who adds a new layer of depth to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Majors delivers a standout performance, capturing the nuances of the character’s motivations and personality.

Another standout performance comes from Evangeline Lilly as The Wasp. Her character is given more screen time and development in this film, and Lilly rises to the occasion with a powerful and emotional performance. The chemistry between her and Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man is also a highlight, as their banter and teamwork are a pleasure to watch onscreen.

The film also explores the concept of the multiverse, which is sure to be a significant plot point in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Using the quantum realm to access the multiverse is an interesting and clever plot device, and it opens up endless possibilities for future stories and crossovers.

The action sequences in the film are top-notch, with creative use of the characters’ powers and abilities. The shrinking and growing abilities of Ant-Man and The Wasp are used in new and exciting ways, and the visual effects are stunning. The film also has a great sense of humour, with many laugh-out-loud moments that balance out the more serious aspects of the story.

Overall, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is a highly entertaining and satisfying addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The characters are well-developed, the performances are strong, and the action is exciting. The film also sets up exciting possibilities for the future of the franchise. Whether you’re a die-hard Marvel fan or a casual moviegoer, this film is sure to leave you satisfied and eager for more.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

One On One With Award-Winning Actor & Filmmaker Maria Tran

Maria Tran is an award-winning US-based, Vietnamese-Australian actor, filmmaker, and martial artist working across film & TV, stage & performance, and fight action choreography. She is the founder of female-led Phoenix Eye Films (In the US and Australia).

Her international film credits include “Fist of the Dragon,” “Death Mist,” and “Tracer/Truy Sat.” In 2013, she won the Breakout Female Performer award at the International Action on Film Festival, and in 2016, she was awarded Female Action Performer of the Year at MartialCon. She is also the director and producer of “Hit Girls,” a female-led action comedy. In Australia, she has appeared on several TV shows, including “My Place,” “Maximum Choppage,” “Street Smart” and “Fat Pizza.”

Maria has also worked as a stunt performer in movies such as Jackie Chan’s “Bleeding Steel” and “MEG” in New Zealand. In 2022, five months after moving to the United States, she landed her breakthrough role as Madame Tien on the 10-episode crime drama Paramount series “Last King of the Cross” starring Tim Roth.

Maria has also been involved in stage productions, including as a fight director and performer for Bell Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” and her own theater production “Action Star,” which premiered at the OzAsia Festival in Adelaide in 2022. She has received the prestigious $50,000 Create NSW Western Sydney Arts Fellowship award and established Phoenix Eye Films, a female-led film and art collective based in Western Sydney.

Maria is also known for her documentary filmmaking work, including “Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta” and “My Mother, The Action Star,” which won the award for Best Film at the WIFT-V Fest Film Festival. Occasionally, she works as an action fight director for films such as “Ayotti” and “Terror Zone.” Her feature action thriller ‘Echo 8’; Australia’s first female-led action movie, has currently won several awards, including the Tokyo Film Awards for Best Film, Winner for Best Feature Film – Women’s Film at the World Carnival-Singapore Film Festival and will be scheduled for a screening at the Art Gallery of NSW this year. Maria is a trailblazer known for her community, cultural, and development practices in the film, TV, and entertainment industry.

FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Maria to discuss her journey in the film industry, and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself?

I’m a triple threat; an award-winning actor, producer, and director working across film & TV, stage & performance, & fight action choreography. I’m the founder of female-led Phoenix Eye Films (AUS & US) and co-facilitator of Acting for Mindfulness (AFM).

How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

I started on an independent Kung Fu comedy titled “Maximum Choppage” around 20 years ago while studying for a Bachelor of Psychology. I would dabble in a range of creative arts projects that put me both in front and behind the camera, and my transition into my first job was as a Youth Digital Cultures Coordinator and Information & Cultural Exchange (ICE), where I led the development and implementation of screen cultures across Western Sydney’s culturally diverse.

What do you like most about acting?

Acting is a tool of empowerment for the individual self as we strive to explore our body, voice, and imagination. I’m very fascinated by human psychology, the choices people from diverse walks of life make, and the opportunity to embark on the creative process of developing a character, bringing it to life on stage or screen and exploring new stories and worlds. It is also a form of self-expression, a way to communicate emotions, ideas, and perspectives to people around us. As an actor, I can bring joy and entertainment to others. On stage and screen, I love the challenge and reward of taking on new characters and taking them on a journey that impacts the audiences that view them.

How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a TV series? And which one do you prefer?

Both movies and TV series offer unique and rewarding experiences for actors. The choice between the two depends on the project; the role offered, and the actor’s personal preferences and goals. Movies tend to have shorter and more intense shooting schedules that are more immersive, and I get a chance to really dive into their characters and the story. TV series, on the other hand, often have a more extended production schedule and a more serialized format. This allows for deeper character development and more opportunities for actors to explore different aspects of their characters over time.

What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them?

My conventional trajectory as an actor originated in creating my independent films over the past 15 years. It has its benefits of wearing multiple hats of director, producer, fight action choreography, etc. however, when I transition into mainstream films and television, I tend to be hyperaware of the film production set. Sometimes I enjoy immersing myself and appreciating the other roles that make a film set seamless that I forget that I should only be fulfilling the role as a performer. Also, because I’ve had no formal training and am self-taught, I find it challenging to explain how I get into character, and other actors might find me professionally unrelatable. Ways that I’ve tried to improve this to reverse engineer the field of acting practices, study different techniques, and merge acting into psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience. Ultimately, the key to improving as an actor is a combination of hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn and grow continuously. Actors who are open to feedback, willing to take risks, and committed to their craft often make the greatest progress and achieve the most success.

What are your strong points as an actor?

Authenticity, depth, and nuance to performances and creating a connection with the audience. I thrive on connecting with my characters on a deep emotional level. Years of training in martial arts and movement have allowed me the physicality, being able to use my body to bring the characters to life. Having a vivid imagination and strong collaboration skills is, perhaps, my biggest asset as an actor. I don’t believe in minor roles. Every role an actor breathes life into is a chance for audiences to be moved by something new.

What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

I’ve worked with many amazing directors, including Antony Szeto (‘Fist of the Dragon,’ ‘Death Mist’), Jane Eakin (‘Street Smart’), Karen Therese (‘Action Star’), Kieran Darcy Smith (‘Last King of the Cross’), Adrian Castro (‘Tiger Cops’) and I have also turned into one myself, and I’ve learned that they have varied styles, but all have a clear vision. They know how and what scenes look, sound, and feel. I’ve learned to be able to interpret this for my own performances. Directors offer character insight, motivations, and relationships with other characters. technical aspects of filmmaking, such as lighting, sound, camera angles, and editing. Directing is a collaborative process, and directors work closely with actors, writers, and other members of the production team to bring their vision to life

What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

Many actors compete for a limited number of roles, and the competition can be intense. Actors may face a lot of rejection before finding success. Actors need to have thick skin and handle disappointment and setbacks. You may also face stereotypes and typecast based on your looks, accent, or previous roles. Internal challenges include facing insecurities and self-doubt, as the craft is a personal and vulnerable process. In addition, acting is a volatile and unpredictable career with the instability of constantly moving from one project to another, which can be frustrating to someone who can’t handle the constant change.

What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

The production process can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more for a small, low-budget film. This can include pre-production activities such as writing the script, securing funding, casting actors, and scouting locations, as well as production activities such as filming and post-production activities such as editing and sound design. Making an independent film is often a long and challenging process that requires patience, persistence, and a deep passion for filmmaking.

What do you do when you’re not filming?

I stay relatively busy maintaining my creative skills such as self-study, networking, self-care, getting involved in other people’s projects, and travelling between my two residencies, Australia and the United States. Going on road trips with my husband/ creative partner is something I look forward to in my downtime and spending time with my family.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

I’ve had an incredible unconventional journey so far as a performer and filmmaker. I’ve been able to work with the impressive Jackie Chan on “Bleeding Steel” and can world premiere my theatre production “Action Star” at the OzAsia Festival. A defining moment is completing Australia’s first female-led independent action movie, “Echo 8,” on such a tight budget. And now, moving to the United States and landing a major role in the upcoming series “Last King of the Cross” has been an enormous accomplishment.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Jackie Chan, Nancy Valentine Smith, and Tim Roth.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I see the rest of my career trajectory as becoming the next generation of low-budget independent filmmaker ‘slashies’ that will garner the attention of the mainstream. Eventually, I’ll be able to sustain myself in the industry through the creative endeavours I choose. Since the release of ‘Echo 8’ and its positive reception, I’m currently working with screenwriter Elizabeth H. Vu in penning together the next two movie cinematic universe installments of ‘ Echo 8 Beyond’ and ‘Five By Five’ to be shot back-to-back in 2025. I aim to build a strong reputation around this, the female action forte that will make me and my film colleagues stand out internationally. I also hope to diversify my range of projects in different genres and styles to showcase my versatility, collaborate with filmmakers in the United States, build networks, gain new skills and experiences, and adapt to new technologies and market trends.

The Trailer For “Rye Lane” Starring Vivian Oparah & David Jonsson Has Just Dropped

The trailer and teaser artwork for Searchlight Picture’s Sundance hit “Rye Lane” are available now. The film will be launching exclusively on Disney+ in Australia on 31 March, 2023.From director Raine Allen-Miller, “Rye Lane” is a romantic comedy that stars David Jonsson (“Industry,” “Deep State”) and Vivian Oparah (“Class,” “The Rebel”), as Dom and Yas, two twenty-somethings both reeling from bad break-ups, who connect over the course of an eventful day in South London – helping each other deal with their nightmare exes, and potentially restoring their faith in romance.Searchlight Pictures, BBC Film, and BFI present “Rye Lane”, a DJ Films and Turnover Films production. Written by Nathan Bryon and Tom Melia, and directed by Raine Allen-Miller, the film is produced by Yvonne Isimeme Ibazebo and Damian Jones. Kharmel Cochrane is the casting director, Olan Collardy is the director of photography, Victoria Boydell is the editor, Anna Rhodes is the production designer, with costume design by Cynthia Lawrence-John, hair and make-up by Bianca Simone Scott, and an original score by Kwes. The film was developed with the assistance of BBC Film, and funded by Searchlight Pictures, BBC Film and the BFI (awarding National Lottery funding). Executive Producers are Eva Yates and Rose Garnett for BBC Films, Kristin Irving for the BFI, Sophie Meyer, Paul Grindey and Charles Moore.

Make Way For AACTAs 2022 On The Cover Of The February 2023 Issue Of FilmCentral Magazine

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The AACTA Awards (formerly the AFI Awards) has honoured screen excellence in Australia since the first AFI Awards were held in 1958.

Held annually in Sydney in recognition and celebration of Australia’s highest achievements in film and television, the AACTA Awards present over 55 awards across two major ceremonies.

The peer-assessed AACTA Awards are the only Australian industry body to honour practitioners across all crafts and industry sectors, including feature film, documentary, short film, television, online, visual effects, and animation.

The Awards have grown to become a world-class marker of screen excellence alongside the Oscars® and the BAFTAs. Many of Australia’s most iconic and successful screen talent, both in front of and behind the camera – from actors such as Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Deborah Mailman, and Hugo Weaving, to directors such as Bruce Beresford, Gillian Armstrong, Dr. George Miller, and Warwick Thornton, to craftspeople such as Jill Bilcock, Catherine Martin and John Seale – have come through the ranks and been recognised among their peers at the AFI and AACTA Awards before going on to achieve international accolades and become household names.

Sonia Kruger, Mark Coles Smith, and the cast of Heartbreak High were among the stars to walk the carpet at the star-studded ceremony last year as the industry came together to honour Australia’s best and brightest screen talent.

Elvis and Mystery Road: Origin led the winners at the 2022 AACTA Awards Ceremony. Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis was the biggest winner of the night, taking home four additional Awards, including the coveted award for Best Film, Best Direction in Film presented by Filmology Finance (Baz Luhrmann), Best Lead Actor (Austin Butler), and Best Supporting Actress in Film (Olivia DeJonge). Elvis dominated the AACTA Industry Awards with 7 wins, bringing the total AACTA Award count to 11.

In television, Mystery Road: Origin received an additional 3 AACTA Awards, including Best Drama Series, as well as Best Lead Actor (Mark Coles Smith) and Actress (Tuuli Narkle) in a Drama presented by Foxtel. After receiving 4 AACTA Awards during the Industry Awards, Mystery Road: Origin lead the TV Award categories with a total of 7 AACTA Awards.

Another big winner was internet-sensation Heartbreak High. The teen drama swept all 3 of their eligible public-voted Audience Choice Award categories, including Best TV Show, Best Actor (Bryn Chapman), and Best Actress (Chloe Hayden). The Audience Choice Awards continued with Kat Clark crowned Best Digital Creator and Abbie Chatfield given the title of Australia’s Best TV Personality.

Chris Hemsworth was the recipient of the Trailblazer Award. The AACTA Trailblazer Award highlights the achievements, abilities, and success of an Australian screen practitioner who inspires others in the industry. Hemsworth was honoured for his outstanding career and contribution to the Australian screen industry as one of the most famous residents of the NSW North Coast; Hemsworth has used his position and status to attract global productions to Australia, creating jobs and opportunities for hundreds of local screen practitioners and championing the Australian film industry.

Local artists launch web series on youth mental health

Canberrans will be the first to enjoy a sneak preview of an award-winning Canberra web series on youth mental health when it launches at the National Film and Sound Archives on 23 February.

Fragments thrust viewers into the world of eight teenagers navigating anxiety, depression, bullying, family dysfunction, gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, neurodivergence, and more. Written by Maura Pierlot, the series aims to encourage candid discussions about mental health and well-being, chip away at the stigma, and encourage young people to check in with each other on a regular basis.

Supported by the ACT Government through artsACT, Fragments was awarded the Best TV/Web Series and Best Screenplay awards (Canberra category) at the 2022 Canberra Short Film Festival.

Pierlot, who is also Executive Producer, believes there is still work to do. “We’re getting better at talking about mental health and wellbeing, but there’s often a disconnect between words and action,” she said.

“I sometimes worry that we’re talking about the need to talk about mental health without really tackling the nitty-gritty issues. Fragments aim to help bridge that gap.”

The 8-episode web series will be launched by ACT Arts Minister, Tara Cheyne. The free event includes a film screening, followed by a Q&A with the Fragments production team. Award-winning documentary director-producer and Canberran, Michael Lawrence-Taylor, will emcee the event.

Producer Dan Sanguineti, who was a 2022 Finalist in the ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Awards for his work supporting Canberra filmmakers, devised an ambitious production approach to bring Fragments to life on the screen, involving many talents that showcase the diversity of Canberra’s film community.

“We selected eight different Canberra film creatives, each directing an episode,” said Sanguineti. “Coupled with eight young performers, each director brought their own visual style and experience to the project.”

The Fragments web series is adapted from Pierlot’s stage play of the same name, which enjoyed a sell-out debut season at The Street Theatre in 2019 and was published in script format in 2021 by Big Ideas Press. Boasting new material, the second edition of the book will be available at the launch, ahead of its 1 March release.

Praised as brilliant and riveting, the novel is aimed at high school students but is also an eye-opening read for families and carers.

For Pierlot, the six-year Fragments journey has inspired changes in herself, her art practice, and her personal and professional goals.

“Like the characters in Fragments, I’ve had to dig deep to adapt, transform and stay connected, while carving a path forward in an ever-changing world,” Pierlot said.

Sanguineti agrees, citing the biggest challenges to bringing the web series to screens, “Producing with eight different styles and approaches was a mammoth challenge, particularly as we started pre-production just before Canberra’s last pandemic lockdown, which added complexities to getting the episodes shot. However, the finished series shows how rewarding it can be as a producer to see the successes when an entire team comes together.”

Fragments is written and executive produced by Maura Pierlot. It is produced by Dan Sanguineti. The Production Designer is John Silvestro and the Director of Photography is Miguel Gallagher. The episodes were directed by Joshua Koske, Carl Emmerson, Matthew J. Thompson, Julia Faragher, Declan Shrubb, Denai Gracie, Anthea Staats, and Shelly Higgs. The series cast includes performances by Tom Bryson, Linda Chen, Ankush Khanchi, Jade Breen, Rahel Alemseged, Brendan Kelly, Erin Pierlot, and Zane Menegazzo.

You can view the trailer here:  Fragments

The launch is 6 pm for a 7 pm screening. Register to attend via Eventbrite