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Last month’s viewing of the film TOMMY proved to be a powerful experience for guests attending the screening in St Kilda.

Read on for information on this film, plus photos of guests attending the evening.

Mr Tim Wilson MP with Co-producer of TOMMY - Darren Mort
Mr Tim Wilson MP with Co-Producer of  TOMMY – Darren Mort

New film TOMMY is set to be one of the most important Australian short films of 2018.

Today, family violence is a huge global problem all over the world, especially for children. As a result of Australia’s 260 daily divorce cases, threats involving children in family violence have increased by 76% in the past three years. In Victoria alone, two category one children (dead or almost dead) are reported to the Department of Human Services (DHHS) every day. The immense psychological impact of this on our children and young people is massively underrepresented.

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Producers Darren Mort (Barrister) and Karen Hodgkins (film maker) co-founded the To Be Loved Network because they saw that young people in the community needed a much stronger and much louder voice. As a group of legal, medical and political experts who deal firsthand with cases of family violence and child neglect, Darren & Karen are in a unique position to help effect lasting change in this area.

Co-Producers of TOMMY - Darren Mort & Karen Hodgkins
Co-Producers of TOMMY –
Darren Mort & Karen Hodgkins

Through the medium of film they are able to communicate powerful messages about the importance of treating our children properly: what people can do better, how people can recognise and adopt proper priorities, and how adults can help kids who are too afraid to speak out.

9 year old actor  Ari Newman plays 8 year old TOMMY
9 year old actor
Ari Newman plays 8 year old TOMMY

The To Be Loved Network has already resonated in a huge way: Degree of Separation, their debut film about family violence was accepted into 24 international film festivals and won 7 international film awards last year, including Best Foreign Film at the Hollywood Now Film Festival. It has since been picked up by a Hollywood Film Distributor.

With an equally powerful message, script, and team on board, To Be Loved Network intend to take TOMMY down a similar path. 

TOMMY is more than just a film – it is a crucial project with an important message behind it: that our children are our most precious gifts, and they must be cared for properly. 

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TOMMY: A synopsis

An eight-year-old boy.

A drug-fuelled domesticity.

A world split in two.

TOMMY is a 30-minute film depicting the world of an eight-year-old boy who is navigating his parent’s fiery separation.

TOMMY loves his parents. But his parents fall out of love with each other when Tommy’s father SAM becomes addicted to drugs.

Things get messy at home, as Tommy’s Mum ALLY runs away to find solace in the arms of a new companion, NICOLE.

NICOLE also has a child: SUMMER, 11 years old, who finds TOMMY more than a little curious – in the emotional storm of the separation, TOMMY has no-one to talk to about his feelings, only his imaginary friend TIGER TERRY, a great listener who supports TOMMY by transporting him to imaginary places.

SAM, meanwhile, enters drug rehab and falls in love with LUCY, another inpatient. SAM jumps the hoops and becomes drug free, despite LUCY’s attempts to lure him back down a path of addiction.

Amidst the war of separation, SAM and ALLY fail to prioritise their son’s best interests – they use TOMMY like fodder to advance their own battle objectives.

In the end they come close to destroying the one precious gift that they both created, as TOMMY’s world falls deeper and deeper into dissociation and despair.

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*Information Courtesy of Producers of TOMMY/Helen Reizer HRPR

*Images Supplied Courtesy of HRPR

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

theaustraliatimes.com/news

connie.lambeth@theaustraliatimes.com.au

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MORE PICS & INFO ON PRODUCERS OF TOMMY…

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About the Co-Producers

Darren Mort

Darren has practising as a Barrister in Family Law for nearly 27 years. He is also a trained actor having qualified in Film & Television at the College of the Arts. Darren also served on the Domestic Violence Taskforce Committee chaired by Chief Magistrate Lauretson and assisted with the compilation of a report on family violence to the Royal Commission.

  Karen Hodgkins

Karen is an independent filmmaker, soon to be author and humanitarian advocate, with 20 years of professional experience in the Film and Television industry. Her solo feature documentary ‘Dad’ was shown in Parliament, Canberra mid 2015 as part of a senate inquiry into our family law system. Currently she is documenting mother’s stories in a book titled ‘Mum’s the Word’ which will be used as a resource for families navigating the system

To Be Loved Network

The to be loved network is a group of legal, medical and political experts who bring their expertise and network together to educate us on the mental health repercussions family separation has on the development of children and young adults.

As well as Darren Mort and Karen Hodgkins, the To Be Loved team includes Naomi Halpern and Nancy Bassett. Naomi trained as a social worker in the UK, and has developed expertise in psychotherapy for complex trauma, providing clinical consultation for PTSD, dissociative disorders and survivors of sexual abuse, rape and gender based violence. She is also the founding member of the Australian Association of Trauma and Dissociation Inc. Nancy is head of Human Relations for To Be Loved, and is originally from New Zealand of Maori descent, an elder of Ngaruahine Iwi (tribe). Her strengths lie in events, research, sponsorship and financial management and strategic fundraising campaigns.