Rites of Passage

Phillip Crawford. 80m. Australia.


Rites of Passage is a feature-length drama film made collaboratively with a group of young people who dive below their often tough exteriors to reveal what’s going on inside.

Filmed over three years by community arts organisation Beyond Empathy (BE), six interwoven stories show the risk taking, disappointment, joys and love that come with growing up. While their stories might be raw and brutal, they are also full of irreverence and humour.

The stories are based on their own experiences. They might battle homelessness or addictions. They might live in public housing or come from families who have known hardship. But their performances on screen and behind the camera prove that disadvantage needn’t dictate your future.

For these young people making the film became a rite of passage. The authenticity that these non-actors bring to the screen blurs the line between fact and fiction.

The film is an innovative collage of colour and texture, shot in glorious mayhem on cameras ranging from 16mm, Super 8, Digital SLR’s, Handycams, Infrared Black and White and iPhones. It is directed by award winning film-maker Phillip Crawford and funded by BE, aided by a highly successful crowd funding campaign.

BE is a not for profit organisation with the catch cry ‘We love art and we hate disadvantage!’

Rites of Passage was shot in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia.


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