Mitchell & Co

Screen & Photography

The Boy Soldier

In the final days of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during WWII, a 13 year-old Japanese Army conscript befriends a family of Filipino children prior to the devastating Battle of Manila.

Days Left

The Boy Soldier is a unique story from the Asia-Pacific that will provide a new perspective on the impact of war on children.

This stop motion animated short film promises to haunt film festival audiences both within Australia and abroad.

As ‘The Boy Soldier’ is already being tracked by prominent film festival programmers, I am optimistic that there will be many opportunities for supporters to see the film during its Australian festival run.

Stop motion is an animated film making technique involving manipulating objects in tiny increments add photographing individual frames. Prominent examples include ‘Wallace and Gromit’; the original ‘King Kong’; sequences in the classic ‘Star Wars’ trilogy and Ray Harryhausen’s skeleton sequence in ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ which is often considered the high point of the art form.

While this technique is time consuming and expensive, I have chosen this method as the humanity it captures will ensure that ‘The Boy Soldier’ will provide an audience experience much more emotionally profound than computer powered 2D animation.

The Boy Soldier is a very personal story exploring Filipino history from a Filipino-Australian perspective that needs to be told. The Philippines has traditionally been colonised by Imperial powers and its territories are again the subject of territorial claims and counterclaims.

For donors, this represents a chance to help bring an untold story of historical significance from a country whose history has often been written by its conquerors.

Funds will primarily be devoted to the production, for example character design, construction and set builds.

Remunerating Australian and Filipino voice actors is another budget consideration.

Music, sound design and colour correction will also incur fees.

Finally, as some top tier festivals charge in excess of $100 for submission fees (I’m looking at you Sundance and Cannes) funds will also be allocated for festivals, marketing and publicity.

Any support is much appreciated and will be matched dollar for dollar until May 31.

To check out the ‘Smashed’ teaser from the Berlinale website:

To read a 5 star review of ‘Smashed’ from UK film blog ‘Back to the Movies’:

A 4 1/2 star review for ‘Too Dark’:


Michael Clarkin

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Manila-born Adelaide-raised filmmaker Michael Clarkin is an award-winning creative producer described by the Australian daily online trade publication Screen Hub as “a producer with a sharp eye for process and possibilities.”

Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Adelaide. A Churchill Fellow, in 2007 Michael worked at New York independent film production company This is That Corp (‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, ‘21 Grams’) with legendary producer Ted Hope.

Michael’s latest short film production Smashed starred Harrison Gilbertson and Toby Wallace and was directed by Sean Lahiff. ‘Smashed’ premiered at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival; had its Spanish premiere at 2017 Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival and had its New York premiere at the opening night of the 2018 Philip Dick international Film Festival. Smashed screened at Australian festivals including Sydney, Adelaide, Flickerfest and St Kilda.

During its international festival run, ‘Smashed’ earned several awards winning an unprecedented five South Australian Screen Awards including the South Australian Film Corporation Award for ‘Best Short’ and ‘Best Director’ for Sean Lahiff. ‘Smashed’ was also judged ‘Best Film’ at the inaugural 2018 Stellar Film Festival in Melbourne, Victoria by a panel including noted Australia director Nadia Tass.

Michael’s previous collaboration with Sean Lahiff ‘Too Dark’ was a Grand Jury Prize nominee at the 2016 Seattle International Shorts Festival.

Michael believes believes that ‘The Boy Soldier’ will leave a profound impact on festival audiences around the globe and the project is already being tracked by numerous festival programmers of note.

Brigid O'Loughlin




Shannen Tunnicliffe


Greg Mackie