Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

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Haunted Witness

About the film

Trauma suffered by crime reporters is an under-reported and stigmatised issue. It is often forgotten or widely unacknowledged that like policeman and paramedics, journalists are first responders to daily scenes of horror. Admitting to experiencing trauma to newsroom colleagues, however, is widely denounced within the industry. 
The overwhelming majority of news people whose lives and careers are touched by traumatic stress are not covering brutal wars or natural disasters in distant lands. They are mostly domestic journalists who witness car accidents, murder scenes, suicides and plane crashes. 
Jeremy Hainsworth is a Vancouver-based freelance journalist who writes for the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and a variety of civil rights news outlets. During his illustrious career he covered Canada’s worst serial murder trial; that of pig farmer Robert Pickton. Hainsworth experienced horrendous nightmares during the trial, self-medicated with illegal drugs and later suffered a mental breakdown. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of covering the Pickton case and years of crime reporting where he attended scenes of murder, suicide and fatal car accidents. 
Haunted Witness reveals how Hainsworth suffered in silence while management showed a shocking lack of support for his mental health and wellbeing. His story shines a light on the failure of media organisations to properly monitor and manage the mental health of their staff.

Runtime 10 mins 10 secs
Premiere Melbourne Premiere

Director(s) Daniel Clarke

Venue Cinema Nova

Address 380 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia

Date July 21, 2019

Time 11:00 am

GenresAustralian, Shorts, Alumni

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Reasons to Submit

1

The Hottest Postcode

 Melbourne, Australia has consistently been voted one of the worlds happiest and most livable cities. Our competition represents a great opportunity and reason to visit Australia. This year we had 41 guests to our festival from overseas and across Australia. Which was a combination of the festival paying for the filmmakers to attend, filmmakers paying for themselves to attend, consulates, embassies and film commissions paying for filmmakers to attend and people crowd funding to attend. The festival is a great networking opportunity.

2

The Coolest Cinema

 Our documentary competition will be held at Cinema Nova, one of Australia's best cinemas. All feature, shorts, video essays and documentary web series in competition will be played in DCP on a 4k projector at 24 FPS in Dolby surround sound. The cinema's we will be utilizing for the competition will be 147 to 240 seat capacity. All Q&A's will be conducted by a Film Critics Circle of Australia or Australian Film Critics Association member. We even have curated cocktails at the cinema bar and unmissable parties and networking events.

3

The Toughest Competition
Go head-to-head in Melbourne, Australia and test your mettle with the worlds best, and most prestigious documentary film schools and film festivals like Tribecca, Sundance, Sydney Film Festival, TIFF, Venice Film Festival, American Documentary Film Festival, Raindance, Slamdance, Sheffield Doc Fest, Hot Docs, New Zealand International Film Festival, Traverse City Film Festival Doc NYC, SXSW, CPH:Dox, IDFA and many more. You're in it to win it.

4

Make it Australian

The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival is an encouraging and supportive platform for local filmmakers and commits to playing at least 40% Australian content in our 2020 fest to support the local industry. Screen Australia, Film Victoria, Create NSW, Screen West, Screen QLD, Screen NT, Screen Tasmania, Documentary Australia Foundation, AIDC, Goodpitch Australia productions are encouraged to apply. MDFF wants to have the very best Australian competition we can from local industry and indie talent. SBS, NITV and ABC productions are also eligible to apply to compete, provided that the production submitted contains new material and is effectively a directors cut.

5

A Fantastic Prize Pool

 Total prize pool for 2020 in cash and prizes will be over 10k. With one documentary session that will be used to raise money for a specific cause or charity TBD. As well as winning Melbourne's top honors.

Get in touch

info@mdff.org.au Melbourne Documentary Film Festival GBO Box 4007 Melbourne 3000