Hi, My name is Lev Jutsen and I’m the director and screenwriter for ‘Erwin.’ A short film based on my dearly beloved grandfather who passed away two years ago. The creation of this film has been one of self examination and lethargy, a return to my grandfathers life and the confusion and pain he must have suffered in his final years. A wonderful man, full of heart and a lust for life, this is ‘Erwin.’
I’m proud to say, that we have a wonderfully talented and diverse crew bringing this story to screen. ‘Erwin’ will be the second instalment of a trilogy of films that will serve as a cross section of Australian society – with diversity being at the forefront. The first instalment, “Rosamine” is about a Philippino mother of two, “Erwin” a Jewish grandfather with a Senegalese caretaker, and the third instalment will take the perspective of teenagers.
My grandfather was an intelligent man who suffered from deteriorating dementia in his final years. For a man who took so much pride in his intellect it was incredibly hard on him to face his own mental decay. This hardship was worn with equal weight by those who loved him, as is always the case in dementia. This extended beyond family to the wonderful caretakers who gave so much in return for far less then they often deserved. This narrative is a love letter to the selfless caretakers whom quietly better our society, and a love letter to the diverse make up of the nation that took in my grandfather so many years ago. ‘Erwin’ will be a quirky, somber and unique examination into dementia, the immigrant story and the role of caretakers in our society.
Donations will be used to help pay for the talented actors who will bring this narrative to life. To support the hiring of additional equipment required by our design and photography department to make the film beautiful to look at. It will allow us access to post production facilities, musicians and composers required to bring an original jazz score to backdrop the film.
It’s important that we bring stories of dementia to the screen, to better empathise with our fellow humans who suffer. It is equally important to this project that the discussion of immigration remain in the dialogue of our local communities. My grandfather was once the immigrant to Australia, and those seeking peace, opportunity and freedom ought to be afforded the same love and care that my grandfather discovered in this land. Bineta, an immigrant from Senegal, and Erwin an immigrant from Poland. However different their origins, their shared story of the pursuit of happiness is universal.
Shooting September for distribution in Festivals this December.