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Post-production   /  Jeff Bird

Kombi Man

Life is like driving a Kombi, it’s about trusting in the journey.


Impact areas



  • DIRECTOR Jeff Bird

  • PRODUCER Jeff Bird



Afflicted with a serious blood cancer, former psychologist Paul Mutimer hits the road on a fun filled and hilarious adventure to buy a Kombi and explore the meaning of life. Joined by his mate Mark, who suffers from a chronic back condition, he soon realizes that Kombis are big business and out of his financial reach. From bush paddocks to secret garages, the search for an affordable Kombi brings them into contact with a colourful array of collectors, restorers and opportunists. They even find a mythical Kombi ‘farm’, where Kombis graze like buffalo. Faced with his own mortality, Paul also embarks on a spiritual journey, where he revisits his hippie youth, searches out alternative approaches to healing and meets a range of spiritual leaders reminiscent of the 1960’s counter culture. Empowered by a sense of urgency and the preciousness of life, Paul sets off on one last adventure – a road trip along the spectacular Great Ocean Road. But will his clapped out Kombi go the distance?

Support this project

87.57% funded
  • $35,000.00

  • $30,650.00

  • 8

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Anonymous $2,000.00
David McDonald $3,000.00
Henry Prince $10,000.00
Wayne Crowley $50.00
Anonymous $2,500.00
Sandy Kouroupidis $3,000.00
Gaudry Gift $10,000.00
Anonymous $100.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Over 140,000 Australians are diagnosed with cancer every year and 1 in 2 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes. Many more Australians will be afflicted by other life-threatening medical conditions that impact on their lives. This film will explore the emotional, spiritual and psychological impact of cancer and serious illness and seek to help sufferers and their families better manage confronting life changing events. With the 5 year cancer survivorship rate now over 70%, the film also seeks to empower survivors to restart their lives with a sense of purpose and embrace the preciousness of life – a message relevant to us all.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

The film’s fun and light hearted search for a Kombi disarmingly opens the door to a discussion of the psychological impact of cancer and serious illness. The film seeks to create an awareness in the medical profession and the general community of the importance of mental health and support for people with serious illness. The film seeks to encourage sufferers and survivors to, where possible, regain their sense of purpose through family, friendship, adventure, self-awareness or spirituality.


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

The film aims to achieve a broad range of outcomes across personal, professional, institutional and national levels. On a personal and immediate level, sharing the Kombi Man journey seeks to give those afflicted with cancer and serious illness renewed hope, a sense of purpose and an awareness of mental health strategies and support. This intention extends to cancer survivors struggling with restarting their lives, as well as families of loved ones afflicted with serious illness. The longer term goal is an attitude shift in the health professions and related institutions in which the focus is predominately on the physical treatment of disease. It is hoped that the film can raise awareness and understanding of the importance of mental health and wellbeing in treating serious illness, promote discussion of strategies and influence national health policy, which may result in better support and infrastructure for mental health during and after illness.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

We hope the film will achieve its outcomes through broad community viewing and targeted screenings to those afflicted with cancer and serious illness. We want to open the door to the potential benefits of a mind/body approach to healing and recovery and encourage viewers and their families to consider mental health strategies as a coping mechanism through illness. To that end we hope to connect these people with various support organisations by providing an educational guide. We will also distribute a book written by the main character in the film. Titled The Simple Man, it consists of simple drawings with written thoughts, highlighting the importance of mental health through daily reflection and an appreciation of the simple.
We hope to create an awareness of patient mental health in the medical profession, as well with health policy makers, achieved through targeted screenings in conjunction with mental health and wellbeing support organisations.


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

The project has important relationships with a range of organisations and individuals in the health care and mind/body community. Many of these individuals and organisations are featured in the film, such as Professor Miles Prince, an internationally renowned blood cancer specialist, or Bob Sharples, a psychologist with extensive experience assisting cancer patients through mindfulness and meditation. The central character in the film is also a psychologist himself and has extensive knowledge and professional contacts.

We have also established a relationship with the Snowdome Foundation, a charity dedicated to raising funds for medical research into blood cancers. Our message will also extend into the general community through our relationship with the VW Club of Victoria, where we can raise awareness and support for change. In conjunction with the Snowdome Foundation and the VW Club of Victoria, we are planning to hold a premiere public screening in which stakeholders are invited.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

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

The call to action is for people suffering from cancer and serious illness, or trying to restart their lives after illness, to become aware of the potential benefits of a mind-body approach in assisting in the treatment of serious illness and to consider activities and that may provide mental support and wellbeing, such as counselling, participation in illness support groups, meditation and mindfulness training, the support of family and friends, a renewed sense of adventure based on personal dreams, or a more spiritual outlook on life.

In the health sector, our call to action is for medical practitioners, institutions and policy makers to consider the importance of psychological wellbeing in assisting in the medical treatment process. We would like to see this sector take onboard the film’s message and lobby policy makers to increase wellbeing support services. We plan to do this through screenings in the medical community facilitated by our partnerships.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

In the broadest sense, our success will be measured by raising awareness of the importance of mental health, wellbeing and support for those afflicted with serious illness in both the general community and among the medical professional and policy makers. This will be measured by the number of public screenings that take place at film festivals, cinemas, community screenings and targeted screening for patients, medical profession and policy makers. We will also measure the number of patient organisations we can reach out to and seek qualitative data on the impact that this film has made after viewing.