2021 CinefestOZ | The Fort Australian premiere tackles domestic violence

Television presenter Shaynna Blaze has produced a film The Fort which highlights the issue of family and domestic violence. The film will have its Australian premiere at CinefestOZ in Busselton, WA. Image supplied.

Television presenter Shaynna Blaze has produced a film The Fort which highlights the issue of family and domestic violence. The film will have its Australian premiere at CinefestOZ in Busselton, WA. Image supplied.

An Australian film The Fort tackles the issue of family and domestic violence and will premiere nationally at CinefestOZ in Busselton on Saturday, August 28.

The film was produced by Australian television presenter and designer Shaynna Blaze, prompting a new charity Voice of Change during the production process.

The charity was established to use "the arts to amplify the voices of victim survivors and to change the cultural attitudes that underpin family violence."

While COVID-19 border closures prevented Blaze from being in Busselton for The Fort's Australian premiere she took time out to catch up up with the Mail to talk about the film ahead of its release.

"It is really exciting that the Australian premiere is being screened, we had an online screening at Monaco which was just for European audiences," she said.

"We created the movie after attending a candlelight vigil, we were looking at doing a movie about family violence.

"When we did the safe steps at the vigil they did a roll call of all the women and children who had died in just that 12 months, it was really confronting.

"We decided to go ahead with the movie, we were all independents with no experience on movies whatsoever."

When the team behind the movie were looking at impact marketing they were talking to police and family violence organisations and realised there was a big disconnect in communication around preventative measures.

Ms Blaze said they focused on that and decided they would become a charity.

"The movie really is a perfect platform to talk about family violence because it shows so many different elements around coercive control and relationships," she said.

"The charity came after the movie and goes through different ways to stop the violence happening and to stop it from happening in future generations."

Ms Blaze said the film centred around people's relationships which was initially set around the mother and son, and how she protects him but then he becomes the protector of her.

"That is where the fort comes into play, a little tent turns into their fort and it is their escape to the reality of world and who is protecting who in that environment in a very innocent way," she said.

"Then there is the relationship between the husband and wife, and the relationship between the father and son and how that all inter plays.

"There is also the relationship with the family who cannot reach out or help and don't know what to do.

"There are a lot of characters that people will connect with in either one of those situations of being part of it or seeing it happening and can't reach out and don't know what to do, or someone who sees themselves in this role of anger and cycle of violence and they don't know what to do about it."

The Fort will screen at Orana Cinemas in Busselton at 10am on Saturday, August 28, tickets may be purchased from tix.cinefestoz.com/Events/The-Fort-with-filmmaker-introduction.

Two of the filmmakers Jess Kenneally and Carly Anne have also started a podcast titled Produced! The Filmmaking Pod where they talk about why they got into the film business and is available on Spotify.

This story TV presenter Shaynna Blaze's film has its Australian premiere at CinefestOZ tackling family violence first appeared on Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.