(An extract from the Daughter website Blog written by director Sarah Jayne. For more recent blogs see www.daughterstkilda.com)
It is a totally amazing feeling as a film maker to see your project and short film up on a screen in front of the Holmesglen Waverley Tafe students being used as an educational tool, and part of their assessments for the Justice course.
I can't even begin to tell you how content my heart and soul are right now. To have Daughter achieve so much already. To have this tough little film from St Kilda make changes to peoples thoughts and to educate these young minds on the affects of gendered violence and victim blaming in our communities is a very rare and special opportunity. I feel so grateful.
Today at Holmesglen I was so nervous before I was even in the auditorium, I had to tell myself that what I am doing is very important and that this is the start of something very big. I had been anticipating this screening for the last few months and like other screenings it went too quickly.
The students filled the auditorium around 10am and their teacher Tamie Cousins began by introducing Ivan and myself and talking a bit about Daughter and how the film fits into what the Diploma and Advanced Diploma students are currently learning in their Justice Course.
Stats on violence towards women and men from the Our Watch website were shown and the numbers are alarming. An explanation on what gendered violence is, how many women are currently reported as affected by gendered violence on the streets and most importantly the attitudes, norms, behaviours and practices that support violence was mentioned, all linking back to Daughter.
I then had my chance to speak about why I wrote Daughter and what my inspirations and goals were for the film before Daughter was shown to the class of around 90 students and teachers.
The Q and A that followed had the students asking the most wonderful and thought provoking questions such as "Did you go into the Gatehouse with any of your own prejudices?" and "Why was the film shown from the perspective of just the three women, why not the perpetrators view". Some of these questions really got me thinking about how I can expand the film into a feature, a thought I have had many times the last couple of months and also how I can show a different view on gendered violence.
I was blessed to have also received fantastic feedback on Daughter through the survey I handed out to the students as well as the teachers. They answered questions about how they believed Daughter was affective to their learning and if they felt Daughter should be used as a teacher's aid and part of the curriculum. A few of them said the film is good for secondary schools, they wanted to see more of the film and that they found sympathy with the character of Jemma.
There are 94 surveys to continue reading though and I will get to that perhaps tomorrow. NPG now have to work on the Daughter tour, but this test run really was worth doing. From here we also have a connection through Tamie, which will open more doors in education for Daughter and help me to work on a new School Press Kit to spread the word nationally.