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Production   /  Jim Stevens

Meet the Wallers

Filmed over 20years, we are immersed in the love, passion, fireworks and tragedy of everyday life. Meet the Wallers!

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Impact areas

ARTS

HEALTH & WELLBEING

WOMEN & GIRLS

YOUTH & EDUCATION

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Jim Stevens

  • PRODUCER Gil Scrine

Synopsis

DURATION: 90 MINUTES

Mark Waller loves to paint the seascapes around beautiful Lennox Head. He is a dreamer who sees angels in the street. His obsessive belief that charity begins at home doesn’t jibe with his vivacious wife Nicole who wishes she were the charity. But Mark, the painter often can’t see what’s in front of him. Nicole suffers depression. Their
daughters, Jasmine and Emily - babies at the outset and graduates by the end of our story – negotiate their parents’ issues while juggling their own sibling rivalries.

When Mark is diagnosed with a deadly Melanoma the fault lines in the Waller family erupt with surprising results.
Filmed over 20 years, MEET THE WALLERS is a remarkable keyhole into family life, a meditation on art, mortality, philanthropy and happiness.

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43.04% funded
  • $120,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
  • $51,650.00

    FUNDS RAISED
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Donations

Offline Donations $50,000.00
Robert Dunn $100.00
$1,550.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

A seemingly happy, couple with two beautiful daughters living in Lennox Head, a sunny, coastal Australian town, what could possibly go wrong? Depression, artistic obsession, charity, money, sibling rivalry, the mortgage, mysticism, rapacious developers, the Solomon Islands, not to mention cancer. Issues abound in MEET THE WALLERS, yet nothing takes
centre stage for very long. Life goes on and we are left to ponder: what makes a healthy and enduring marriage?

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

What is the meaning of life? What stops us from being happy? Mark Waller is an artist who believes his beautiful paintings can touch the darkest of hearts and make them generous. His wife Nicole suffers depression and needs to understand why. Their daughters Emily and Jasmine are the future. Their happiness hangs on the environment. Mark's cancer throws all their concerns into stark relief and we ask ourselves: how can we change the world if we cannot change ourselves?

Outcomes

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

Short-term outcomes: Increased understanding of the struggles families go through including, in this case, creating a living as an artist, supporting the Solomon Islands and surviving cancer. Illustrating the impact of ripple effects, where helping others can have unexpected results.
Mid-term outcomes: Increased support to develop soft tourism infrastructure and education opportunities in the Solomon Islands. Awareness and response strategies for families living with cancer.
Long-term outcomes: Pop up regional community art collectives mirroring the Lennox experience. Further financial and volunteer support for Mark Waller’s Solomon Islands project. Securing a publishing deal for Nic Waller’s original how-to-cope book for families living with a cancer survivor. Adding "A" for Art to STEM - Science and Tech & Maths Education- to bring the power and meaning of Art to more educators and students.

Activities

How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

In contrast to TV, dominated as it is by highly manipulated ‘reality’ shows, the Wallers expose their lives in such an unpretentious and truthful way. Their family saga will gain a broad and universal audience simply because it is the real thing. Test screening feedback has shown conversations carry on for days after seeing it. Many people are encouraged by the film’s protagonists to keep pursuing their dreams while dealing with the inevitable challenges that art as a career, small business, children, health, philanthropy and financial stress puts on their lives. We will develop, with our partners as they emerge, tools that will engage audiences whose own needs are permitted to be expressed by our film. These could include: Marriage guidance (In partnership with Relationships Australia), living with a cancer (Cancer Council and other groups), the value of creativity (various creativity workshops and groups), and the value of philanthropy in everyday life (Philanthropy Australia).

Stakeholders

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

Due to its focus on family life and the vagaries of just where their story would go, MEET THE WALLERS was shot without consultation with any potential partner organisations but this doesn't preclude our partnering with such organisations as Relationships Australia, various creativity groups, Philanthropy Australia and others to allow the film's message/s to inform their work and create resources to achieve mutually aligned goals.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

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

Call to Action #1: Our relationship with Demand Film offers an immediate ability to encourage screenings wherever our community programme has not planned to go. However, we will respond to screening requests beyond Demand Film’s processes to enable all manner of interests to avail themselves of an opportunity to see the film including our own do-it-yourself screening kit.
Call to Action #2: Our ATOM study guide enables the film to be used as a teaching aid helping teachers explain that the “career” path any artist may choose has no signposts. Mark Waller’s own teaching materials, developed independently, can be included in this education outreach.
Call to Action #3. Our most ambitious call to action is around compassion. We work with any community group, local government, NGO or religiously affiliated groups to spread a message of caring for others. Marriage is a human unit designed to do this, yet it so often fails for many reasons, most of them contained within our story.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Our website and social media will be crucial indicators of short-term outcomes: Increased traffic in response to screenings; offers to create ways to help local artists continue and develop their talents and the practical help offered either directly post-screening, or via the website, to cancer sufferers and their families. The creation of ripples that start with an act of kindness and the narratives that surround them are also crucial indicators of success as are the creation of art collectives. The development of soft tourism alongside education in the Solomon Islands will be a major outcome from this film. It is a mid to long term goal which, using the example portrayed in the film, gives impetus to entrepreneurs whose success we amplify via the film's ongoing social media positioning. The push to add Art to the STEM subjects is joined as teachers use the study guide and the film's core message to help them push for these reforms.