Story & photo Eve Jeffery
Local activist Tony Barry is joining forces with filmmaker John Rado, Byron Bay solicitor Adam van Kempen, and activist/script-writer Daryl White, to produce a 90-minute action-comedy-adventure Who Unlocked The Gate?
Set in the ‘Magical Great Northern Rivers of Australia’, Who Unlocked The Gate? is a zany adventure with a cast of humane and beautiful characters set to challenge what they see as ‘rapaciously greedy and short-sighted corporations and corrupt politicians’.
The plot develops
The film centres around Lara and John who are dancers who also happen to have Down Syndrome. They are in their final week of preparation for a big production with a famous company called Sprung! when trouble in the form of illegal CSG mining rears its head.
Daryl and John came up with the plot idea soon after creating a production company and it wasn’t long before a synopsis was formed and a script written.
John, who is the general manager of Sprung! Integrated Dance Theatre for dancers with and without disability, says that the company has achieved some pretty amazing things. ‘We have produced some shows that have not just been where audiences come and say “Oh isn’t that nice, people with Down Syndrome dancing”, but have been real artistic achievements that people are actually blown away by. We are very proud of that.’
John says that people with disabilities are not usually seen as the heroes in our community. ‘In this film we are going to change that.’
The idea for the inclusion of a ‘one-legged, jaded activist’ arose simply because there was one close to hand who just happened to be a stellar performer, and Tony Barry became part of the team.
Looking for help
Tony says that at this stage the group is wanting news of the project to get out into the community and to keep interest bubbling along. ‘What we want people to know is that we’re gathering the necessary elements together to put this film on and we will be looking for community involvement in terms of funding but also for facilities, props, locations and extras.’
The next step on the path to opening night is to finance the project and for this, the group is looking for help from sponsors and the community. Anyone who is interested in being a part of this project can email:[email protected] for more information.