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Production   /  Ivo Correia

Following Mandy

Comedian Mandy Nolan challenges both the Left and the Right on behalf of the Left Right Out!

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Impact areas

ENVIRONMENT

HUMAN RIGHTS & SOCIAL JUSTICE

WOMEN & GIRLS

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Brett Stephens

  • PRODUCER Ivo Correia

Synopsis

DURATION: 90 MINUTES

Following Mandy is an inspiring observational documentary about charismatic comedian and fierce community activist Mandy Nolan’s colourful tilt at one of Australia's greyest institutions, the Federal House of Representatives.

Mandy takes us on a journey from her childhood deep in the heartland of Joh Bjelke-Peterson's Queensland to her rise as a local celebrity in the Byron Bay region, an Australian beacon of counterculture and activism.

Along the way Mandy connects with everyday people and experts in open and honest discussions about how rising inequality, domestic violence, and a sense of impending environmental catastrophe are impacting their lives. But it’s not all doom and gloom! In her uniquely warm and engaging way, Mandy explores the creative solutions available to decision makers right now.

The natural and social environment we enjoy today exists because of the tireless and selfless dedication of dozens of politically engaged citizens, activists, artists, journalists and politicians. Mandy is has been all of these except a politician...until now. 

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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Australia’s political machine is broken, unduly influenced by vested interests, big donors, corporations and career politicians with little accountability or transparency.

The world needs decision makers who are serious about tackling the issues facing communities in a time of climate change and skyrocketing economic inequality before it’s too late.

This film seeks to inspire community activism and diversity in the citizens who represent us. 

We will meet local community activists who have inspired Mandy, both those who have had an impact in the past and those who are seek to have an impact today. Along the way, we will explore the issues facing regional citizens struggling to maintain their sense of place and community and a belief in a world that makes space for people who don’t share mainstream values.

For 30 years Mandy has fought to give a voice to the voiceless in her community, now she is taking that fight to Canberra and she is taking us with her - win, lose or hung parliam

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Following Mandy aims to encourage and inspire a greater diversity of citizens to get involved in community activism and potentially run for office to create the change the world needs.

Outcomes

What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Short term outcomes:

- Audience awareness of how political systems work.

- Highlighting issues facing regional Australia now and into the future.

- Highlighting community activism success stories, both small and large scale.

- Understanding different forms and outcomes of community activism and roles people can take.

- Inspiring and engaging the next generation of citizen activists.


Medium term outcomes:

- Take-up of educational programs highlighting community activism in schools.

- Increase in volunteering and opportunities for volunteerism.

- Increase in understanding, participation and engagement in community decision making processes.


Long term outcomes:

- Increase diversity, inclusion and active participation in our democracy.

- Mentoring aspiring political candidates.

- Higher rates of volunteering & community engagement.

- Increase representation and protection of vulnerable groups.

- Encourage people to exercise their democratic rights by advocating for causes

Activities

How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

- Inspire individuals  to seek real connections within their community to facilitate real and positive social, economic and political change.
- Increase awareness of how our democracy functions and how to improve diversity and inclusion in our political parties and in the decisions they make.
- Bring positive community activism into mainstream politics.
- Increase transparency and accountability in our democracy.

Stakeholders

How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

Mandy Nolan is the primary focus of the film. We have established a working relationship with Mandy. Issues we cover will be informed by Mandy's advocacy for local community groups - for example, as ambassador for the Ballina Women and Children's Refuge. Mandy is independently consulting various local organisations on issues relevant to the local community (for example, North Coast Community Housing) and these will be represented and perhaps also shape the documentary itself. We have the support of The Australian Greens in making the documentary and naturally many Greens' issues will feature as part of Mandy's political platform. We intend to explore what it means to be a progressive politician with those who have trod the path before Mandy. Mandy also has many interactions with the arts and entertainment community, locally and nationally, and these may inform the making of the documentary.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

The film will cover a wide range of issues relevant to regional communities and in particular those facing the Northern Rivers region. We intend to highlight success stories and ‘local heros’ who have made a difference in the past and who are making a difference now.

We hope that after seeing our film, audiences will be inspired to volunteer their time - and possibly money - for a local community cause close to their hearts. We hope that screening nights will give viewers an opportunity to meet Mandy (hopefully as a successful candidate!) and be inspired to think about the difference they can make in public life. Screening nights will also be an opportunity for us to promote learning materials around civic engagement and political careers to be taken up by schools.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Attendance at screening nights will be a measure of audience interest.
In the medium term, downloads and take up of learning materials by schools will provide a measure of impact.
In the longer term, interest in representing our region at a political level by a more diverse group of candidates could be seen as a measure of success.
Anecdotal evidence from local community organisations around increased volunteering will provide an indication of success.