Beyond The Cinema
Brendan’s films are usually about something. At their heart, personal films like 900 Neighbours and Mad Bastards deal with social issues that affect us all. These films give voice to communities who often struggle to have their voice heard by mainstream media. Brendan’s process is to work in close collaboration with the community, and create educational/outreach programs to empower the communities and build hope. No easy feat.
900 Neighbours explores theme of social justice and public housing - it features an embattled community taking action to make their home a safer place to be. Brendan worked closely with social change production company Big hArt over a three-year period to build capacity within this community and create resources that empower and offer hope.
Mad Bastards looked closely at the life of a violent Aboriginal man. It tracks his journey back to family life, and his commitment to change. Indigenous Health professionals jumped on this film because it connected so powerfully with indigenous men and women – and even with non-indigenous people.
Brendan and lead actor Dean Daley-Jones worked closely with leading Indigenous Men’s Health organizations Mibbinbah and Gamarada to develop a package called Mad Bastards: Be The Best You Can Be – which uses the film to help Indigenous men and women effect change on their lives. The program has been run in communities all over Australia – from Cape York in Queensland, Redfern in Sydney to prisons in Perth.
Mad Bastards has had a major life beyond the cinema due to this outreach program. Our team was even awarded a National NAPCAN Award by Minister Jenny Collins to acknowledge how important our work was in protecting children from violence.
ABC TV profiled the success of our Mad Bastards men's health program. Click below to watch.
Below are some photos that give a sense of the powerful life that Mad Bastards has had beyond the cinema.
More recently, Brendan has been invited by Government to make films that do a similar job. His work for the Human Rights Commission, Tourism Australia’s Indigenous Department and Menzies Institute for Indigenous Health speak of his commitment to making films that have a reason to be.