CALLING THE SHOTS @ ACMI

'Calling the Shots' is the result of a project managed by arts advocacy collective Phunktional, where filmmaking professionals worked with young people of various backgrounds from the Mildura region to create broadcast-quality short films over a 5 year period. First up... 'Ankle Breakers' (Phillip Murray, 19 mins, Australia, 2014)

17-year-old Jamal (Phillip Murray) aims to make the state basketball team but his goal won’t come easily. While some of his teammates are tempted by various vices, Jamal struggles with homelessness and a family that is largely absent. However, with support from elder Uncle Pete (Peter Petersen) and the coach (Joe Hurst), Jamal might just have a chance.

Secondly, 'For Stacey' (Oriel Guthrie, 20 mins, Australia, 2014)

Director, editor and DOP Oriel Guthrie turns her lens on the lives of three high school girls: recently bereaved Jax (Christy Smith), her best friend Elly (Jess Ellis) and newcomer to the close-knit group, refugee Mel (Winnie Ip). Jax is struggling with the death of her older sister Stacey and expresses her frustration and loss by graffiting the school at night. With the help of Elly and Mel, Jax confronts her grief head on, and is able to see a brighter future.

And lastly (My personal favourite!) 'Picking the Musical' (Simon Green, 20 mins, Australia, 2014)

With a nod to Jacques Demy, Picking the Musical is set in a picturesque, family-run vineyard where grape pickers and family members burst into song and dance of all genres - opera, rap, even hip hop with a hint of bhangra. In the background, Mum and Dad are having some problems of their own and when tuba-playing Nonno takes a turn for the worse, it is up to Dad to tune in and listen to what matters most to his family.

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