Never Forget Australia documentary
Produced by Alan McGirvan and Vicki Bennett, screenplay by Vicki Bennett.
My journey in creating this documentary
Writing, co-producing and co-directing this documentary film was an exhilarating experience for me. Filming in France, working with camera crew, editors, designers and associated professionals stretched my creative spirit; I loved it. Finally, I had found my tribe.
When Executive Producer, Alan McGirvan asked if we could make a film about a book I had written, Two Pennies, I immediately said yes and a tingle of excitement ran up my spine. I knew I was in for a ride.
Two Pennies was just the starting point for the documentary Never Forget Australia. We discovered many amazing true stories about Australians in World War 1.
The Little French Digger the first story in the documentary is about an Australian Airman who smuggles a little French orphan in an oat sack and brings him to outback Australia from the war-torn battlefields of WW1.
I was so entranced by this story I have written an illustrated children's book, The Stowaway, published by Scholastic. I have also written a screenplay for a feature film about the remarkable tale of The Little French Digger.
Back to the documentary; this unique, one hour Anzac centenary film presents seven poignant stories from World War 1. It uncovers the story of Aboriginal Diggers who fought at the Western Front and never came home. We interviewed visitors to the Australian War Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux, many experiencing finding an ancestor's resting place for the very first time.
There are more poignant and little-known stories about the relationship between France and our Australian Soldiers in WW1. We use original lyrics and music by Melbourne musician Vin Healy to exemplify the emotional story between these countries which began the hundred-year love affair between Villers-Bretonneux and Australia.
Screening with SBS in 2018 (dates to be advised)