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Completion   /  HELEN GAYNOR


An up close and personal story of electoral politics…where truth is stranger than fiction...


Impact areas



  • DIRECTOR Helen Gaynor

  • PRODUCER Helen Gaynor and Fiona Cochrane



THE CANDIDATE follows Greens candidate Alex Bhathal in the final three weeks of her campaign to win a seat in the federal parliament in 2018. In this, her sixth attempt in fifteen years, and with a 1% margin between her and victory, she has good reason to believe that history is on her side. Since 2001, over sixteen years and five elections, Alex has represented the the Greens in the electorate where she has also raised her family. For her two teenage sons, their social worker mum has been the Greens candidate for the area their entire lives. This is no ordinary election campaign. The seat of Batman has been a Labor Party stronghold since its creation over eighty years ago. When Alex first ran in 2001, the Greens vote commanded just 4% of the vote. But Alex’s team has managed to build support to the point to the point where the margin between the parties is now only 1%. If Alex wins in this byelection, it will be a game changer for herself, her family, and her party.

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Brian Sanaghan $1,000.00
elizabeth gayor $1,500.00
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Previous donations $8,855.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

This project aims to contribute to the public discourse on the system of parliamentary democracy in this country. As stated in the synopsis, democratic institutions and systems of government are under pressure the world over (1). As also stated, the electorate increasingly hold politicians in contempt (2). The Candidate provides some hope in this bleak landscape in providing an insight into the inner working of this system and the often admirable motivations of the politicians, party members and volunteers that are essential to our democratic system of government. This project will be suitable for philanthropic foundations that support public discourse and a greater awareness of public, government and democratic institutions.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

The major outcome of this project is to add to an informed public discourse about our parliamentary democracy. It can do this because of the unusually ‘inner sanctum access’ that the filmmakers have achieved, which provides a human face to the political process. The impact will be measured by the success of the exhibition and distribution strategy. This is aimed as television, on-line, film festivals and educational institutions.


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

WE aim to contribute to discourse on the democratic system in Australia


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

The Candidate will has been selected to screen at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival and will be entered into other appropriate local and overseas festivals. Other screenings will be organised through Cinema on demand distributor Fan Force. The producers will also be looking to establish a relationship with a distributor who is in the education market.


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


Audience Engagement and Social Impact

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


Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Screenings, distributors