A parody of Gotye’s 2011 hit Somebody I Used To Know has won the 2013 FilmLife Awards - an annual short film festival that encourages young people to “discover, decide and discuss” organ and tissue donation.
The winning film Somebody That I'll Never Know produced by Brooke Huuskes was voted Best Film in a field of 18 films at a ceremony held in Sydney. Comprising high production values and a remarkable resemblance to the original, the short film has even received the blessing of Wally De Backer (AKA Gotye) himself.
Brooke, a 28-year-old Monash University PhD student remade the music video to encourage others to discuss their organ and tissue donation wishes with their loved ones. Brooke herself is an organ recipient, having received a kidney from her father– a living donor – in 2010. This experience inspired her to enter FilmLife, - an annual film making competition that encourages young filmmakers to use their creativity to change lives by making compelling short films on the tricky topic.
Brooke’s first-hand knowledge of the importance of organ donation and the overwhelming gratitude she feels towards her father inspired her to make the film. She says “whenever I think of what my Dad did for me I get teary-eyed”.
Brooke’s film is particularly timely; coming at the climax of a week where the Organ and Tissue Authority announced that official organ donor rates are at record levels in the first quarter of 2013.
BBQ, Beer and a Bloody Brilliant Idea was another of my favourites.
And these were too.
I think, as well as getting young budding filmmakers involved in the film making process, the content and distributions of films will get young audiences talking about organ donations.
You can see all the videos here. It was a great experience watching all the videos - some of the film makers were at the Footscray Community Arts Centre screening in Melbourne and some others, including Brooke, were in Sydney. We spent the night watching the videos and crossing between the cities for announcements. We had a very excited audience, definitely team Melbourne!
The Groundswell Project, Matt Ross from Dad Down Under and I chose Alysha Hermann's One Life as the winner.
In deciding on a winner we were asked to consider whether a post inspired conversation about organ and tissue donation, whether it showed creativity, whether it was well written, whether it was presented creatively and whether it had any “x-factor” in capturing and using the theme in an unexpected way.
Alysha’s post scored high points against all criteria.
The all-important question mark in her title set the tone for a piece that engages directly with the reader in a complex and challenging conversation.
Alysha quickly draws us in to her musings about some of the mysteries that attend matters of life and death. Her use of repeated questioning holds the reader close, challenging us, asking us to delve into our own hearts and minds, and to travel in our imaginations to an uncomfortable place.
The piece adopted a poetic voice, mixed with a more conventional descriptive approach that demonstrated versatility and skill from the writer. Over three cleverly structured “acts”, each in a slightly different style, Alysha set out her case. We found her post beautifully written, and attractive on the page. Its compelling imagery and energy propelled us forward, and kept us involved to the end.
“Lives held suspended along the length of a siren’s light…”
Just one of many powerful moments, delivering us to a final message both clear and powerful, yet placing the onus very much upon the reader to make a choice.
Congratulations to all the entrants for their contributions. All of your posts asked questions of us, and all of them taught us something new or helped us think afresh about the topic of organ donation.
A reason I was a judge at the FilmLife festival was because my friend Camille received the call - she received a double lung transplant - and so she couldn't be a judge. It was her first night out - here we are with FilmLife judge Dr Sally Cockburn. Camille's presence certainly made FilmLife more poignant for me. She's living proof that organ donation saves lives, and we need to get more people talking and registering for organ donation.
For more information about the FilmLife Project, click here.
For information about organ donation, visit donatelife.gov.au