Logline: The story of a mobile, needle syringe program operating within Melbourne’s CBD, as told by ‘Chito’, one of its full-time employees.
Current Status: Completed.
Director: Anthony Vita & Luke Westbury
Producer: Anthony Vita & Luke Westbury
Looking for (ie buyer, distributor, sales agent, producer, media interestAny parties interested in screening or distributing the film.
Made in association with: Swinburne University of Technology
1. Why did you make this film?
This film was one of our projects in our first year of film school at Swinburne University. We were tasked with creating a short (5 - 8 minute) documentary on anything we wished. We began spit-balling some ideas and Luke eventually brought up the idea of needle exchanges.
We did some quick research and discovered ‘Foot Patrol’ in Melbourne’s CBD; a mobile version of the more common needle exchange. We both have an interest in exploring things on the fringes of society or subjects that are sometimes controversial, so we instantly latched on to the idea of exploring ‘Foot Patrol’ and their work.
2. Why is the film called Foot Patrol?
‘Foot Patrol’ is the name they have given themselves so we thought it a fitting title to the film.
3. How did you find the main character?
It was actually an incredibly happy accident! We pre-interviewed the Foot Patrol team as a group to see who we could focus our story on. One of them in particular was incredibly animated and happy in front of the camera so we instantly gravitated to him, hoping to have him carry the film’s narrative.
When we arrived for the formal day of shooting and interviewing, he was absent, so we just went through the motions of interviewing the two or three people we could fit within our time frame. We left that day with everything a blur, thinking we hadn’t gotten the ‘big’ story or hook we needed, but in the edit something amazing began to emerge in Chito.
His calm and loving demeanour, his sincere warmth and humility. It began to shine through and it gave us a person and a story we, and audiences since, connected with. He’s an incredible human being doing some amazing work, and he is no doubt the reason why this film is effective.
4. What type of feedback have you received so far about the film?
It’s all been incredibly positive. Everyone always tells us about how warm and loving Chito is so the success is all because of him. We’ve also picked up a few awards along the way which is great validation for the career paths we’ve both chosen.
5. Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
It’s always a surprise when you win something. Creating the film didn’t so much as challenge our views but rather illuminated a subject we didn’t know much about - the idea of needle exchange programs made sense to us but we definitely learnt a lot more though this process.
6. What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on this platform?
We hope that the film can serve to educate and inform people about the positives that come from harm minimisation programs like Foot Patrol. It would be great to incite a little more discussion on social issues like this.
7. Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message and audience?
We welcome any interest that leads to this film being screened or distributed more. The only way to get messages like this across is to make them more accessible.
8. What type of impact would you like this film to have in Broome, Australia and internationally?
It would be nice to hear of this film being part of the catalyst for discussion on topics around harm minimisation.
9. Lastly, what’s a key question that will help spark a debate about this issue and film?
Would you give a clean needle to someone about to inject themselves with a contaminated one?