Mirrabooka: John Septimus Roe students to screen short film Sunken Soil at Perth Festival

John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School student Kelsie Ahmat and Amber Lorenzi.
John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School student Kelsie Ahmat and Amber Lorenzi.

TWO young filmmakers at John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School in Mirrabooka have drawn inspiration from Indigenous culture to release a short film.

Last year, Year 11 students Kelsie Ahmat and Amber Lorenzi submitted a proposal for their short film, Sunken Soil, to the Perth Festival with just two days before the deadline.

They were chosen to have their film produced by a group of professionals.

Kelsie plays a young woman who finds connections with the land in order to acknowledge her ancestors’ past and find strength to step into the future.

The film had its premiere at The Backlot Perth earlier this month.

It will be screened as part of the Perth Festival at the University of WA from February 18 to 24 and Edith Cowan University from February 26 and March 3 before another feature film, Non-Fiction.

Kelsie said she could not believe that thousands of people would be seeing their film.

John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School student Kelsie Ahmat.

“We wanted to educate people about how hard and confronting it is for Indigenous people every day and that they are forced to adjust to the colonised, chaotic modern day life,” she said.

“The film shows that even though the Indigenous people’s past was very dark and fearful, their culture is still strong today and they will never forget what happened and who they are.”

Amber thanked their teacher Miss Egan for telling them about the festival.

“If it wasn’t for her, we would have never had known and wouldn’t have had the amazing experience that we had,” she said.

“Having people watch the film with no connection to Kelsie, the festival or myself judge with it and interpret in their own way nerve-racking.

“Though I’m really proud of the film and am eager to see the response it gets.”

Kelsie encouraged other students from other schools to apply for the festival next year as it was a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.

Kelsie aims to continue to produce films and act while Amber is working on a music video for the rock band, Baby Animals.

The film is expected to be available online later this year.

For information, visit www.perthfestival.com.au/event/non-fiction