Sydney's Mint Films set to release short doco, shining light on local homeless community

PUTB Poster_FINAL_SMALL.jpgIt's estimated that on any given night approximately 105,000 people will be homeless across Australia. This is a statistic that is easy to read, but for most of us, it's something quite hard to fully comprehend. The homelessness epidemic is often dehumanised by overwhelming statistics just like this, but at the heart of the matter it is still a very human issue. The People Under the Bridge, a short documentary produced by Mint Films, endeavours to show just that.

Mint Films, who this year celebrates its ten-year anniversary, is best known for producing commercials, however they also produce short films that have received international acclaim. Its previous films Manos Arriba and The Kindness of Strangers played at festivals both in Australia and internationally.

The People Under the Bridge shines a light on the plight of the community of homeless who began to erect tents and other structures under the historic Wentworth Park viaduct in Glebe, back in 2016.

Says director Andrew Seaton: "In just a few short months we saw the community of homeless grow from a couple to over a dozen. When we heard the council was going to remove the tents we thought there was a good opportunity to document it."

The story follows the lives of these homeless for two weeks before the council, along with a cohort of armed police, plan to remove the tent structures. But the community won't give up their homes without a fight, and plans surface to protest the removal.

One of the homeless, Leonie, comments in the film that "We are not camping, we're living here".

The film's executive producer and cinematographer, Matt Samperi says: "These people have so little, so it's just a strange thought to take even more away from them."

The homeless issue is a grey one. There is no right or wrong answer to how to manage it and this is something that the film explores. As the story unfolds, the audience is forced to ask themselves where they stand on the matter, and whether the actions of the council were just or not.

The People Under the Bridge commences its festival circuit later this month.


there before the grace of god... said:

Great work mint. The homeless situation is out of control in this city, and all the government seem to want to do is re-house our sporting teams by rebuilding stadiums. I sincerely hope that this film gets people thinking. Skip W

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