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A girl with Down Syndrome is happy and is mid laugh! She has red lipstick and an orange dress, with a matching orange dressing in her hair.

On Sunday 3rd December, I will be appearing on the Inclusive Filmmaking in action panel for International Day of People with Disability at the National Museum of Australia, to share about my experiences working in the film industry as an Inclusive Filmmaker and what it’s been like navigating a later life diagnosis of ADHD and Autism.

My latest short film that I made with Bus Stop Films ‘Dungeons, Goblins and Broccoli’ will also screen following the panel!

The panel is part of a whole range of free events and activities happening at NMA for #idpwd2023!

Centre Stage: Celebrating storytelling, creativity and advocacy

Sunday 3 December 2023

10.30am – 3.00pm

Join us at the National Museum to celebrate diverse and inclusive storytelling this International Day of People with Disability.

Experience a range of short films and hear from some of the creative talent behind Bus Stop Films, or immerse yourself in the Great Southern Land exhibition during our free, curator-led access tours.

Families can join us for a unique range of activities including creative mask-making and an enchanted trail of discovery. Visit the Tim and Gina Fairfax Discovery Centre Play Space* for a free play session or for Auslan storytime.

This event will be live captioned and Auslan-interpreted. The NMA is wheelchair accessible. Please visit our website for further information

*Places in the Tim and Gina Fairfax Discovery Centre are limited, bookings essential.

For more information visit:

Text on image Centre Stage: Celebrating storytelling, creativity and advocacy. Logos included are National Museum of Australia, TIme and Gina Fairfax Discovery Centre, International Day of People with Disability and Bus Stop Films. The image features a girl with Down Syndrome looking very happy, mid laugh!

Sam Chapman and Dan Sanguineti at the 10th Joyhouse Film Festival

Last night in Sydney, Sam and I attended the Joy House Film Festival to watch the Top 10 finalist films!

Both Sam and I were absolutely humbled and thrilled to have had our film 'The Way Sam Sees It' was annouced as the Best Diversity winner during the awards presentation.

Sam's excitement to hear the film's name being called saw him charging into a near run across the cinema, to collect the award from Festival Director Joy Hopwood!

A massive thank you to Joy for a fantastic event and to the Chinese Community Council of Australia who were the award sponsors!


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 thrusts 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 wellbeing, to chip away at stigma and to 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 aims 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 arts 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 bring 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 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:

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

Fragments web series media release (23 Jan)
Download PDF • 129KB

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