The film ‘Music From Manus’ has been released to raise awareness of the situation on Manus Island, which appears to be getting worse rather than better.
Dawn Barrington (musician) and Tim Maisey (filmmaker) went to Manus Island to play music and listen to stories from their friends on Manus Island. Their friends are refugees.
Dawn and Tim didn't know whether they would get a visa, get onto Manus Island, be arrested, have their equipment taken or stolen, or whether any refugees would even come and see them. They stayed mainly in their hotel room as they were not allowed into the camps and it was generally not safe to be outside especially at weekends. The film was captured as it happened depending on who visited on the day. They ventured outside only occasionally - they visited one of the camps to try and get in, talked to the guards, but were turned away. Some of their friends saw them and then they played music nearby in the shade of a local's stall.
Three weeks after returning from Manus Island, the project was featured on the front page of the local newspaper, together with the first public screening of the film which included live music from Dawn and a question and answer session.
Many thanks to our friends on Manus Island and Port Moresby who came to see use, welcomed us, shared with us and fed us. Many thanks for their personal stories and personal film. It takes courage.
Any money generated from this film will go towards supporting refugees on Manus Island and Port Moresby.
The original trailer was re-edited in collaboration with a Sydney-based producer who had seen the film when it was on tour. The film was pitched to Netflix, SBS and ABC.
The full 40 minute short film is below and has been shown across Australia in cinemas, and community venues sometimes with music from Dawn followed by Question and Answer sessions:
The film has been entered into Sundance, New Orleans, LA Shorts International, Chicago International, British Film Institute, Edmondton, New Renaissance, British Documentary and Barcelona Human Rights film festivals.
The following re-edited version was entered into the New York mobile phone film competition using only the iPhone film segments.