AUSTRALIAN SHORT FILM SHINES LIGHT ON CHILDHOOD TRAUMA IN FAMILY SEPARATION
Tommy is among only 200 films selected from a pool of 3500 entries, these select films are now eligible for the Academy® qualifying and BAFTA recognised competitions for 2020.
Co-Produced by Darren Mort, as one of the Directors of To Be Loved, the enthralling film showcases the painful reality of a family custody battle – seen through the eyes of a child. Children are often forced in the middle of these disputes and the film pays homage to this.
Tommy follows the journey of a young boy who uses his imagination to escape the trauma of his parents’ separation. Raw, revealing and at times distressing, the film depicts the detrimental impact that toxic arguments and domestic violence can have on the children involved.
With 30 years’ experience as a Barrister in family court and a background in acting and producing, Mort had the rare expertise to capture the film through an authentic lens. Mort sought inspiration from a case he was involved in over a decade ago, whereby a young boy was severely distressed from the harmful relationship between his parents.
Mort made the very deliberate choice to have the lead character, Tommy, silent throughout the film – representing the voiceless position children have in these situations and within the family court. Of the nearly 1 in 2 divorces, 48% of those relationships have children and 65% of those children are exposed to family violence, Mort hopes that Tommy will shine light and give a voice to those who are not otherwise heard.
Alongside the short film, Mort has also written a children’s book named Tommy & Tiger Terry that echoes the film’s message with a softer tone. The book was produced to comfort children going through family separation, while simultaneously allowing parents to view the ramifications their actions can cause.
The two ventures by Mort showcase the vulnerable children in these predicaments and also serves as a reminder that they are not alone.
Flickerfest 2020: 10-19 January, Bondi Beach, Sydney
Screening: Saturday 11 January, 8:45pm
ABOUT TO BE LOVED:
To Be Loved is an Australian, not-for-profit charity that aims to promote the prevention of mental illness among children and young adults exposed to extreme physical, psychological or emotional distress as a result of family violence or family breakdown, separation or divorce.
Darren Mort is the Director at To Be Loved. He has been a Barrister in Family Law for nearly 30 years. He is the Chairman of Patterson’s Barrister List. Prior to being admitted to the Bar he was a County Court Judge’s Associate to Judge Hassett. During that time, he also performed research work with other County Court Judges for the Sentencing Manual. Darren practices in the areas of Family Law and DeFacto Property Law. He is an accredited Arbitrator on the List of Arbitrators kept by the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators. Darren was a Steering Committee Member on the Family Violence Taskforce headed by Chief Magistrate, Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. Darren is a current Committee Member of the AFCC (Australian Chapter). He is a Student Mentor for Melbourne University’s Law School, The University of Melbourne. Darren is also a professional actor and producer who has appeared in many stage, film and television productions.