TAKE A BOW: Burnett State College students Lucinda Schmidt, Mackailee Appo and Shae Baxter enjoy the launch of their short films for the Stepping Black project at the Gayndah Town Hall on Wednesday December 5.
TAKE A BOW: Burnett State College students Lucinda Schmidt, Mackailee Appo and Shae Baxter enjoy the launch of their short films for the Stepping Black project at the Gayndah Town Hall on Wednesday December 5. Jessica McGrath

Burnett film makers challenge peers with health message

BURNETT'S budding film makers took on a challenge to share positive health messages with their peers.

The Burnett State College indigenous students had their chance in the spotlight at the Gayndah launch of the Indigenous student led film project on Wednesday December 5 in the town hall.

Program manager Zona Hussey-Smith said she was very impressed by the 12 films created in the Stepping Black project.

"When you see the videos, you know that our future is in good hands,” she said.

"Our young people have a lot of confidence in being able to bring forward their ideas about the future and about the things that are affecting it and their place in the world.”

The project funded by Queensland Health's TRAIC program was designed by students from Burnett State College and Bundaberg-based school groups at Kepnock State High School, Kepnock Girl's Academy and T@Y Bundaberg.

The films were designed to allow the students to create solutions to some of the issues they may face.

Each group created a selection of short films on a topic of their choice, ranging from loneliness, responsibility, mental health, alcohol abuse, deadly choices and education.

"It's all about positive health messages, and so this helps them overcome some of the adversities they might face in their life,” Mrs Hussey-Smith said.

Burnett State College principal Theo Bellas said he plans to show the films to the students at the school next week, and pass the videos onto Education Queensland so they can be shown in other schools.

"The important thing is the power of peer teaching,” he said.

"It's a project we are trying to see how far it can go.”

The school originally got on board to give the indigenous students an opportunity to try a range of different skills.

"To have access to a professional film maker, that would give an indigenous kids some exposure to that world, it was too good an opportunity to miss,” Mr Bellas said.

He said the students were excited to see the film making process, seeing the development of their ideas, storyboarding, script-writing, filming and editing.

Regional documentary makers Pluggas visited Gayndah to create the five short films over three school days at Burnett State College.

Filmmaker Fisch Rasy said the students did an amazing job, since the Gayndah students created five films together in a similar time frame people create one film in a 48-hour film festival.

"Most of the kids have never acted before, they are obviously not the kind of kids that are film students, they are just whoever wanted to participate and I think they did a really good job,” he said.

Mr Rasy said all of the films were much better than what they had envisioned for the project.

"I think all of the kids did really well, particularly the kids in Gayndah to sit down and just smash it out,” he said.

"Everything is their concepts and their ideas and their scripts and their acting and we helped them tie it all together so it would at least come out like a short film,” he said.


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