By Michael Doran
The second film in the That Girl trilogy, That Girl Yarra Ranges, premiered on Thursday 29 November at the Memo Cinema in Healesville.
The series is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Sarah Mandie, who started with an idea of a song to challenge violence against women and girls.
“It was conceived out of my emotions and a bit of despair about girls and women around the world and the sorts of violence they were facing,” she said. “It made me think I want to do something about this.”
“I write songs so I wanted to write a song that will somehow send that message. And then when I had the song I felt that it had to have a video because people won’t really listen to the message if they don’t see the images.
“I wanted community people to be in it and to make it with the community. So it turned into a community project in three places, where we can talk about it, do a workshop and film a dance.”
“Then it started to make sense to me that if I did it in different places, which turned out to be Wodonga, Healesville and Boroondara, we could edit those together and make a Victoria wide project.”
The Yarra ranges project involved her collaborating with Healesville High
School, Healesville Indigenous Community Services Association and Wurundjeri elder Aunty Joy Murphy.
“Because my husband teaches at Healesville High School I got talking to him about maybe we could do it with girls at the school and make Healesville part of the project.
“The Yarra Ranges is where the Wurundjeri people are from so to give it an indigenous foundation we decided to translate the chorus into the traditional woiwurrung language. Aunty Joy translated the chorus and we re-recorded the chorus so each film has a different chorus that is relative to its own region.
“They had a different dance so they had a chance to learn that, they had a workshop where we talked about the issues of gender equality and what issues they have faced.
“And the next day we did a film shoot on site at the school and at Maroondah Dam because we wanted to capture the essence of Healesville and the Yarra Ranges.
“Making the series has been an amazing journey. I feel that it is genuine because it really involves people from the community and people’s responses are so grateful that they could be part of it.”
To find out more on the project go to www.thatgirlsong.com.