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Production   /  Studio Gilay

Un-Locked: From the creators of the irreverent adult animation COOKED, comes a brand new project.

A coming of age story set in the 80s in Sydney, following the experiences that lead two young people to be locked up.


Impact areas





  • DIRECTOR Jake Duczynski James Hackett

  • PRODUCER Michaela Perske Margee Brown



Animation can tell powerful and sensitive stories without revealing the identity of the people sharing their truth.

We follow two young people trying to fit into society. We hear about their lives, and the joys of being free to roam and explore the natural world. Through various experiences, each characters innocence is being quickly dissolved into a tainted and violent city. This is a fully animated documentary, allowing for raw recollections of their experiences, of being locked up.

Sydney in the 80s is a place where young men might easily be swept into trouble and potentially taken away to confined spaces. The audience is immersed in memories re-constructured with animation of the two youths, learning about their formative experiences during those times. A loss of freedom is something not everyone experiences first hand. These stories are uncomfortable and at times heartbreaking. Their stories speak to the very heart of how society treats our young people, who are still finding their identity and navigating a challenging world. Hearing these experiences decades after has the power to give deeper understanding and perspective to a conversation that is ongoing today.

Hindsight allows for reflection, wisdom and humour. There is also deep sadness for the loss of innocence they suffered. But remarkably our story tellers reveal their hope for a better future where there will be more responsibility, care and empathy for young people who are navigating their own trauma and mental illness.

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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

The two people we are following are very different but there are parallels in their stories.

We’ll explore the role institutionalised racism plays in the future and well being of our characters.

We question whether or not juvenile detention should put a young person on a pathway to prison? And discover what it’s like to lose your freedom, when there is no-choice or way out of impending institutionalisation and a compulsory treatment order.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

This is an asset for ongoing conversations about young people in detention. Told by two men who experienced being locked up as young boys. What they re-call decades later will provide all of us with an important record of their harrowing experiences.

What the film sets out to achieve is more empathy and understanding for young people navigating their mental health.


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

Meaningful change and conversation amongst young people, the greater justice system workforce and mental health workers around the issues our story tellers reveal in the documentary.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

An impact website for the film will be built with supporting resources and community screening kits.

We hope to seek endorsement and support from organisations working with young people. With further funding support and partners we will hold screenings of the film with Q&A sessions with the creative team and invited expert guests.


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

We're talking to key mental health organisations, especially those working with young people. We value the input and support of these future partnerships and the ability to work with them and reach more people via their networks. We will work closely with them to co- design student resources for schools to enable safe and meaningful conversations. We will also build a community screening kit that enables groups, not for profits and even government institutions to show the film to their staff and engage in conversation after the screening.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

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

We want the audience to second guess their values beliefs on these issues and engage in meaningful change.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Awareness, media coverage, access to class rooms and forums where young people can speak and share their concerns and hopes on the issues.