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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!

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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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Arc Cinema, National Film and Sound Archive, Acton, ACT

In attendance His Excellency, General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd). And Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley.

Dan Sanguineti:

Good Evening!

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, the Traditional Custodians of this land. I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, extending that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that are here at tonight’s screening.

This year our wonderful students embarked on an incredible filmmaking journey, to learn what it takes to make a short film, collaboratively and inclusively. 

I am so proud of every single student, for what you have achieved this year. You are all amazing, kind and beautiful people and I am honored to have supported you to make this year’s film.

I am also grateful and humbled by all the talented people who have supported, guided and made this year’s film possible, being the entire cast and crew. My deepest gratitude to Ellen Britton who has been leading the charge in the classroom these last couple of months. She has done wonderful work with post production of our film.

I also want to express my gratitude to Lil Paterson. Lil was our incredible support worker, and a talented filmmaker, who midway through the year, after many dedicated years of service with Bus Stop Films, left Australia to move to England with their partner to take up a new opportunity.

We have definitely missed Lil, but we are very proud of everything they have contributed to our class. I would like to acknowledge Lil’s kindness, patience, creative spirit, love and care for our students and for everything they did to make our projects, over the last couple of years, amazing.

Tonight really is a celebration. Because - and I say this often to so many aspiring and emerging filmmakers - Filmmaking is not an easy thing to so. But it is so rewarding. To make a film inclusively - that means so much, to everyone involved in that production.

And because Filmmaking is not an easy thing to do, any form of it is an incredible achievement. The films we are watching tonight are worthy of our support, cheers, applause, celebrations and high fives. Through this we acknowledge not only the names in the credits, but the individuals that supports each person who works on the film - a support worker, a parent, a sibling, a partner and a friend. 

The core inclusive values that Bus Stop Films share with all of us, consistently drives us to be better filmmakers. 

What inclusion means to me, is about us valuing and acknowledging everyone, seeking consent and consulting diverse voices, supporting and mentoring all filmmakers, and accepting and loving - everything and everyone. Inclusion to me is about giving quiet voices a chance to be heard!

And thanks to everything that is Bus Stop Films - I am a better Filmmaker. 

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy our film - Dungeons, Goblins and Broccoli 


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