The Stranger is the AFTRS masters project of Writer / Director Jenny Hicks and Producer Nathaniel Heinz. The film is a 10 minute suspense drama with themes of rural drought and mental ill-health.
To me, it is important that films have something to say about the world we live in. That they entertain first and foremost but are also thought provoking. Mental ill-health and its ramifications are very personal to me. It has affected my friends and family and yet remains a tricky to negotiate subject with a lot of stigma attached. When I wrote this script, I decided not to focus on the character with schizophrenia but to write about a couple who encounter him and how they respond and react.
The story recognises our uncertainty when confronted with someone behaving strangely and delves into the fear of the unknown that we project. Our instinct is to turn away, to disengage. We resort to well-known stereotypes and pop culture caricatures – People with mental illness are unpredictable, frightening and potentially dangerous.
The Stranger is a sensitive and powerful film that counters negative portrayals of mental ill-health and helps demystify negative stereotypes. It has a complex and delicate balance of tone that encompasses unsettling drama, dry humour and traverses a razor’s edge between entertainment and social critique.
Pre-production: March – April 2020
Shoot: May 2020
Completion: October 2020
The Stranger is a small film with a big heart. We have half the budget and your additional contributions will go towards location fees, actors fees and cast & crew accommodation.
All donations through the ACF are tax deductible.
Your generosity in donating to The Stranger will help launch the careers of a number of screen creatives. We hope that it is the first of many entertaining and socially conscious films we make together.
Donors to the campaign will be acknowledged in the film’s credits. The film will be submitted to national and international film festivals and have further Impact Distribution. Using popular culture to stimulate the conversation about mental health – We can change the world one story at a time.
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