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Development   /  Felicity Verdouw

Waterstreet

When a once celebrated barrister is accused of improper conduct, the world around him begins to crumble.

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Impact areas

HEALTH & WELLBEING

HUMAN RIGHTS & SOCIAL JUSTICE

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Ricardo Skaff

  • PRODUCER Ricardo Skaff and Felicity Verdouw

Synopsis

DURATION: 120 MINUTES

‘Waterstreet’ is a feature length documentary exploring the history and evolution of Australian culture and identity, through the rise and fall of one of Australia’s most prominant legal figures, Charles Waterstreet.

Five years in the making, the documentary captures in often shockingly intimate and confronting detail, Waterstreet’s decline from his place as one of Australia's most recognisable, celebrated and successful criminal barristers, precipitated by allegations of improper conduct, bankruptcy and the inevitable toll of a life lived to excess - and without consequence.

Through the exploration of Waterstreet's life and meteoric rise to prominence, the film also examines and investigates the systems, structures and characteristics that make up our unique Australian history and the fast-changing social and political climate of recent years, with the intention of examining who we are, where came from and where we are going.

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6.20% funded
  • $100,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
  • $6,200.00

    FUNDS RAISED
  • December 2021

    PROJECT ENDS
  • 33

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Donations

Walter Jarvis $200.00
John Hilton $200.00
Matthew Playfair $1,000.00
Anonymous $1,000.00
Tony Trochilas $50.00
Anonymous $50.00
Tim Gill $100.00
Jim Leahy $100.00
Zoe Hibbard $100.00
Jono Haycock $100.00
Drew Ambrose $100.00
Dov Kornits $300.00
Megan Riakos $50.00
Angela Ren $50.00
Adam williams $50.00
Jeremy Barrett-Lennard $50.00
Stephen Whalen $50.00
Lachlan Menzies $50.00
Gene Alberts $50.00
Ben Mathews $50.00
Glenn Tilbury $50.00
Shelley McLaren $50.00
Hannah Knowlton $50.00
Genevieve Scarf $200.00
Jack Nicholson $1,000.00
Glenn Tilbury $50.00
Emma Leslie $50.00
Hannah Knowlton $50.00
Alessandra Canilho $250.00
Sue-Maree Olsen $100.00
Anonymous $500.00
Anonymous $100.00
Anonymous $50.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

The primary issue explored in this documentary is mental-health specifically, ADDICTION.

Waterstreet explores the issue of addiction through the story of Charles Waterstreet. A once-celebrated criminal barrister whose significant contributions to Australian law and a 40 year career advocating for those without a voice, is overshadowed by bankruptcy and allegations of improper conduct that result in his disbarment from the legal profession and the alienation from those closest to him.

Waterstreet's significant mental health struggles, masked and managed by a lifetime of addiction, including drugs, alcohol, sex, and other vices, distract him from childhood trauma, ultimately preventing him from adapting to a changing cultural climate and navigating his own emotions and self-destructive tendencies.

Ultimately, Waterstreet is a cautionary tale, and by examining his downfall in such intimate detail, we reveal the emotional complexities behind these heavily-debated issues.

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Propelled by a massive shift in the current social climate precipitated by social media, the patriarchal system that has remained unchallenged for generations is now under significant and regular scrutiny.

Our goal is to shed a light on the 'other side' of these fiercely-debated gender wars that define the conflict of our times, using the lens of mental health, addiction and identity to discuss the complexities of these issues and hopefully bridge the gap to positive social change.

Outcomes

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

This documentary seeks a number of outcomes. Initially, to convey the complexities around addiction and promote discuss about the realities of of mental health, self-destruction, poverty and isolation.

Further, to understand the realities and complexities of the Me Too debate as seen through the experience of a man whose mental health struggles have prevented him from adapting to a changing world, ultimately causing his very sudden and quick demise.

Additionally, we also hope to shed a brighter light on the colourful and highly unique life and career of Charles Waterstreet. To display his legal achievements and significant contribution to minorities as a criminal barrister and advocate to those without a voice.

Activities

How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

Multi-platform activity across streaming, festivals, television interviews and free to air television, promoting and encouraging a wider social discussion.

Stakeholders

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

We are currently working on establishing partnerships to inform and assist the project development.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

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

1. Generate nation-wide discussion around the causes and impacts of mental health and addiction.

2. We hope that viewers are encouraged to engage in critical discussion with an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the issues, specifically from the perspective of the 'villain' character.

3. Entertain an alternative perspective to the current discussion around gender politics.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

1. A widely-attended media premier in Australia.

2. Submission into major national festivals including, and specifically, the Sydney Film Festival.

3. Limited theatrical run.

4. Inclusion on a streaming service (Netflix, Stan, Foxtel etc)