Logline: Sarj goes to six countries North of Australia to ask international students and their parents about their experiences and their lives now that they have returned. All filming was impromptu and unscripted. Some students lived with Sarj as Homestay guests and some elsewhere.
This is a multibillion dollar industry and this documentary should benefit the students, their parents and teachers by bridging cultural gaps that Sarj has witnessed need to be bridged.
Current Status: being edited and finessed to suit the many industries that this documentary can support.
Length: Six 30 minute to 1 Hour episodes
Directors: Sarj and Stephen McLinton
Producer: Sarj and Stephen McLinton
Looking for buyers, distributors and media interest
Where can I watch extracts? Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo
Why did you decide to make this film?
Their story needed to be told because after 18 years of experience as a host mother Sarj has identified many pitfalls made on both sides of the equation.
Why is the film called 6North?
Because the filming took place in six countries North of Australia, and showcased their people, their culture and their food.
Are there any other films that cover a similar topic?
Not to our knowledge in addressing the pitfalls.
What type of feedback have you received so far about the film?
Positive responses to the full length episode shown to closed sessions and positive responses to all extracts/clips so far. Many attendees at this year’s Australian International Documentary Conference said that “it will be an interesting topic to view”.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
‘Yes’, in that TV stations did not see the subject contentious enough to warrant their investment. However if Sarj exposed the contentiousness that she has witnessed it would seriously injure the industry and she has no intention of doing that. Instead she brings forward information that has the potential to quell these contentious issues before they are exacerbated by a continued lack of understanding.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on this platform?
Greater cultural understanding and tolerance, better preparation of students before travelling, interest by government education departments, high schools, universities and Sarj’s documentaries made available on international flights.
Who do you need to come on board?
Sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists.
What type of impact would you like this film to have?
To help people understand each other better, maybe even laugh and cry. Families on both sides can have deeper understanding of the differences between people and a greater appreciation of the many similarities between people and cultures.
Lastly, what’s a key question that will help spark a debate about this issue and film?
Sarj’s main concern is the current decline in racial tolerance which can lead to discord and regrettably violence. Many people do not understand student behaviour but this documentary will help parents on both sides to communicate and understand each other for the benefit of the student, teachers and the parents.