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DOCUMENTARIES

Post-production   /  Ella Wright

Stage Changers

Breakthrough theatre company The Last Great Hunt chase the chance to take their award-winning storytelling to the world.

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Impact areas

ARTS

HEALTH & WELLBEING

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Ella Wight

  • PRODUCER Janelle Landers

Synopsis

DURATION: 60 MINUTES

The Last Great Hunt are a team of young, passionate theatre makers who have just been presented with an opportunity that could change their lives forever. UK theatre powerhouse Underbelly have invited them to pitch a large-scale work for investment. This group of aspirational artists have always been driven by hopes and dreams, but their dreams have never been this big.

The team take the idea for their new show, Le Nor (The Rain), to Edinburgh to pitch to Ed Bartlam, co-founder of Underbelly. Back at home, Perth Festival Artistic Director Wendy Martin is also interested in coming on board and a commission from her would see the team premiere at their first prestigious international arts festival. However, both major investors want to be clear on the narrative and story before signing off on the investment.

The team put all of their resources into Le Nor and won’t have any other work to perform for next season if this show doesn’t go ahead. In a race against time, they are forced to commit to Perth Festival without the Underbelly deal in place, and, when the Underbelly deal falls through, The Last Great Hunt are painted into a corner: having no choice but to make their biggest ever show, for their first ever major festival, for a fraction of what it should cost.

Rehearsals lead straight into the premiere season and it’s a 7-week, 17-person pressure cooker. Visually, the show is starting to look stunning, but as opening night draws closer the mismatch between their lofty ambitions and inadequate budget has created a cocktail for disaster. The team have worked for years on Le Nor, and the day before premiere, it doesn’t look like they are going to make it.

This is a film about a team of exceptionally creative artists pouring their whole hearts into their biggest and most daring project yet. Chaos ensues and friendships are tested as they wrestle the wildest dreams of their lives onto the stage.

Support this project

80.25% funded
  • $40,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
  • $32,100.00

    FUNDS RAISED
  • 18

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Donations

Donald Inglis $500.00
ROBERT BURNS $1,000.00
josh cheng $50.00
Nathalie Smalberger $100.00
Jennifer Nevard $100.00
Sandra Mcalpine $100.00
Sue Cousens $100.00
Ann Jones $500.00
Karin Tramp-Lutz $500.00
Tim Clifton $400.00
John and Chris Hedges $1,000.00
Sue Robertson $500.00
Maria Rymarski $100.00
Stuart & Suzanne Hicks $100.00
Pilar Mata Dupont $50.00
Erica Smyth $1,000.00
Jennifer Lesley Jones $25,000.00
Barry Jones $1,000.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Storytelling is essential in society as stories help us make sense to other people and of the world around us. It’s the stories of artists that push our thinking and our boundaries and find new ways of revealing essentially who we are. Stage Changers highlights the challenges faced by emerging creative artists who, despite accumulating accolades, still have to fight for their survival and for their chance to take Australian stories to the world.

As long as the arts remain under-valued in Australia, the pathway to professionalism for emerging artists remains fraught and Australian culture and storytelling risks stagnating and being overrun, ultimately threatening what it means to be Australian and the future of the country itself.

“The small to medium sector is the lifeblood of culture in this country – nothing can exist without them.” – Iain Grandage, Artistic Director, Perth Festival

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Filmed over 7 years, Stage Changers offers a window into the world of a young theatre company; eschewing the cliché of the ‘struggling artist’ blessed by genius to expose the reality of dedicated creators working through difficult circumstances to create something new and unique that ultimately belongs to everyone in the audience. The film showcases artistic brilliance alongside the costs of creativity, ultimately fostering a deeper appreciation of culture and just what it takes to make magic.

Outcomes

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

Reach an Australian and international audience of many thousands for a compelling, well-made film showcasing incredibly talented artists and their work.
The audience enjoying, sharing, and being inspired by the film.
Increased value and respect for artists and the arts among the audience.
Increased activism and advocacy from the audience in the ongoing conversation around arts policy and financial support for the arts in Australia (and further afield).
Increased and deeper engagement with and involvement in the arts and arts companies, including attendance at live and online performances; financial support; volunteering; professional support.

Stakeholders

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

Funding has been received from Screen Australia, Screenwest, and philanthropic partners who all provide significant support and advice alongside their financial contributions.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

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

Attend live shows – seek out independent arts performances/exhibitions/events – volunteer at events or with organisations – become patrons or financial supports of smaller arts companies – value the arts differently – lobby government for greater appreciation of and support for artists and arts organisations – consider a career in the arts – CREATE THEIR OWN ART

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Tangible positive change in arts funding - increased support for The Last Great Hunt - increased attendance at performances - increased support for other arts companies and events - increased engagement and changed arts rhetoric from government.

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