For Constance, having escaped conflict in Sudan for a new life in Australia, the recent postponement of a film premiere depicting her story would have seemed a minor irritation.
In fact , the interruption wrought by ex cyclone Debbie was a blessing in disguise as Marina Chand from World Wellness Group (WWG) points out, ‘while many supporters agreed with our decision to delay the event and only a few people needed refunds, it actually gave us a few extra weeks to sell more tickets and in the end, every seat was occupied!’
WWG – a Brisbane based NGO who provides health services to refugees and asylum seekers – , came across the film prior to release and immediately recognised that it cleverly captures all the issues and challenges that many of their clients experience. According to Marina,
‘The documentary does not focus on the first year of refugee settlement, but on five years down the track when the realities of life in another country have become apparent. The film beautifully shows how one family seeks belonging and community in regional Australia.”
As a result of the clear parallels between the movie and the vision at the heart of WWG’s work, the project was given the opportunity to premiere the film to coincide with their ‘Don’t Stand By’ campaign to and raise funds to continue to deliver health and hope to Australia’s newest additions.
The film was by and large very well received by those who attended. Described as thought provoking and educational, even the catering (which was supplied by volunteers and WWG themselves) was remarked upon! “Best finger food I’ve ever had at an event’ was one facebook reply, oh and the film was good also.”
Overwhelmed with having sold out the event, we asked Marina what she thought was the key to its success,
“try to have a long lead-in time so that you can keep advertising and promoting through your networks – but not to expect to sell most of the tickets until just a week out. So don’t panic – just keep promoting. Sometimes bad weather can work in your favour!”