Interview with

Holly Winter

Writer/Director of

Holly Winter

What was the inspiration behind making this short film?

This was my film school project, inspired by my values of empathy and understanding where others are coming from. The idea of showing this through the accessible metaphor of family came from an article where a father was explaining the refugee crisis in Australia to their child – drawing simple parallels to fostering a sibling. I’m also very drawn to creating films centring on children and their experiences, which I think is important to be heard! And having the metaphor come from a conversation with a child is so interesting to me. Obviously it’s only a short film and can’t go into great detail all the ins and outs of this, but hopefully it’s at least enough to spark some reflection on how we treat one another.

Was there any particular challenges you had to go through to make the short film happen?

This was a micro to no budget film! So everyone was a volunteer (and I’m very grateful for those who gave up their time for my project!!), and no-one was a professional. So it took a while to find actors for each part. It’s also a completely different ball game working with kids – We had to break to run around outside often just to keep focus! But Alex and Jonny were absolute troopers and we came to an agreement that if they help me make my movie, I’d film and edit them an action trailer where they star as ninjas. Safe to say, that was adequate payment for them!

How has the short film been received?

‘New Brother’ has been entered in Australian and International film festivals; a finalist at the ‘Australian Inspirational Film Festival’ and a category winner at the ‘Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival’. Recently, it has becomee more decorated with a screening at the Florida branch of the Waco festival, an official selection for online ‘Festival Angaelica’, a commended award at ‘Spiritus Short Film Prize’ through Charles Sturt University and screened at multiple locations at the Adelaide Fringe ‘Underexposed’ event.

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

Since creating ‘New Brother’ in 2018/19, I’ve slowed down making short films for fun (although I’m definitely missing it!). But rather my time has been filled developing and delivering a filmmaking workshop for young teens in my area to learn to tell stories through film, and working on a variety of video projects through my nearly 2-year-old freelance filmmaking business.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to make their first short film?

DO IT! And don’t worry about whether it’s ‘good’ or not. I think it’s more valuable to just make things than decide to shelve it because you think it won’t be good enough. It’s in the continual making that you’ll learn what works for you. Connect with people who love telling stories too, and try it out! I’ve been making short films since age 11 – and my earlier films are obviously rough, but I think that’s part of the beautiful journey.

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Interview with

Holly Winter

Writer/Director of

Holly Winter

What was the inspiration behind making this short film?

This was my film school project, inspired by my values of empathy and understanding where others are coming from. The idea of showing this through the accessible metaphor of family came from an article where a father was explaining the refugee crisis in Australia to their child – drawing simple parallels to fostering a sibling. I’m also very drawn to creating films centring on children and their experiences, which I think is important to be heard! And having the metaphor come from a conversation with a child is so interesting to me. Obviously it’s only a short film and can’t go into great detail all the ins and outs of this, but hopefully it’s at least enough to spark some reflection on how we treat one another.

Was there any particular challenges you had to go through to make the short film happen?

This was a micro to no budget film! So everyone was a volunteer (and I’m very grateful for those who gave up their time for my project!!), and no-one was a professional. So it took a while to find actors for each part. It’s also a completely different ball game working with kids – We had to break to run around outside often just to keep focus! But Alex and Jonny were absolute troopers and we came to an agreement that if they help me make my movie, I’d film and edit them an action trailer where they star as ninjas. Safe to say, that was adequate payment for them!

How has the short film been received?

‘New Brother’ has been entered in Australian and International film festivals; a finalist at the ‘Australian Inspirational Film Festival’ and a category winner at the ‘Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival’. Recently, it has becomee more decorated with a screening at the Florida branch of the Waco festival, an official selection for online ‘Festival Angaelica’, a commended award at ‘Spiritus Short Film Prize’ through Charles Sturt University and screened at multiple locations at the Adelaide Fringe ‘Underexposed’ event.

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

Since creating ‘New Brother’ in 2018/19, I’ve slowed down making short films for fun (although I’m definitely missing it!). But rather my time has been filled developing and delivering a filmmaking workshop for young teens in my area to learn to tell stories through film, and working on a variety of video projects through my nearly 2-year-old freelance filmmaking business.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to make their first short film?

DO IT! And don’t worry about whether it’s ‘good’ or not. I think it’s more valuable to just make things than decide to shelve it because you think it won’t be good enough. It’s in the continual making that you’ll learn what works for you. Connect with people who love telling stories too, and try it out! I’ve been making short films since age 11 – and my earlier films are obviously rough, but I think that’s part of the beautiful journey.

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