Hero child in war aftermath tale scoring wins

PREVIOUSLY dabbling in adult dramas, Bexley teacher and film-maker Dana-Lee Mierowsky Bennett thought she would try to produce a children’s drama focusing on the aftermath of war and how the young become the victims of adult decisions.

“I really wanted to create a film based on hope,” she said.
“My short film, ‘Sammy’, follows a 10-year-old girl displaced from war who struggles to build a hot air balloon so she and her little brother can find their parents.
“This 14-minute film addresses how the plight of children is often overlooked in war. It brings home the impact of war on children.”
With composer and Newtown resident Paul Dawkins and Croydon Park designer Brian Carlin, ‘Sammy’ has been brought to life thanks to the perfect setting in an underground air-conditioning room at Ryde TAFE.
“Being a teacher there, I was lucky to get access to the space which looks exactly like an underground tunnel,” Dana-Lee said.
“I’m really proud of it as there were lots of challenges but everyone did a wonderful job, especially actors Coco Jack Gillies, Heath Jelovic, Rob Flanagan, Harry Pavlidis and Tanika Douglas, and it’s now winning film festivals plus I’m developing it into a feature film.”
‘Sammy’ has been officially selected for The Silicon Beach Film Festival, winning Best Family Short. The short has also been officially selected for The Kids First! Film Festival and Indie Short Fest, Los Angeles International Film Festival, where it was nominated for Best Child Actress and Best Sci Fi Short, winning Best Child Actress.
‘Sammy’ has been acquired by French Distributor Gonella Productions for International Distribution. Watch Sammy at https://socialshorts.com.au where audiences are encouraged to vote, with the chance of winning a double pass to the 2019 AACTA Awards and Official After Party!
‘Sammy’ will be screening as part of the Australian Film Institute and The Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts’ ‘Social Shorts presented by Mini’.