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Documenting conversations that empower survivors of child sex abuse to break the conspiracy of silence.
Documenting conversations that empower survivors of child sex abuse to break the conspiracy of silence.
217 backers pledged $25,317 to help bring this project to life.

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Is it possible to open up the conversation about the serious subject of child sex abuse?

What's more, could having these conversations help break the secrets that keeps victims living in fear and offenders in the clear?

We are developing a half hour broadcast documentary that is about you and me and everyone who has the power to tackle this issue by speaking up, asking the right questions, and lending an ear to those whose voices aren't being heard.

Together we can help stop child sexual abuse.

Alarmingly, 1 in 6 children have experienced abusive sexual experiences before age 18*. Aussie filmmaker Chas Fisher has a question:
Why do we let this happen? And why don't we talk about it more?

In our half hour documentary, we'll follow Chas, a happily married 28-year-old lawyer, soon-to-be Dad and a survivor of child sex abuse, as he takes us on his own personal journey and starts the difficult conversations.

Along the way we'll hear from other survivors and their loved ones, experts, community leaders, church officials and members of the general public as we attempt to open up the lines of conversation on a topic that, let's face it, most of us would rather not talk about.

'Our Little Secret’ will be provocative, honest and deeply human in tone. The documentary will handle a confronting issue with a compassion and maturity that makes viewers’ safe boundaries and easy answers fade away.

KEY LINKS

Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook: Facebook.com/casualconvofilm

Daily inspiration 140 characters at a time on Twitter:
Twitter.com/casualconvofilm

More on Chas:

From Lee, the Producer

When Chas first discussed the idea of making a documentary that would talk about talking about surviving child sex abuse, I squirmed... in a way that you might be squirming now. But it grabbed my attention, and I needed to find out more.

Mindful that that was something “that people just don’t talk about” I soon realised that that’s the exact reason why a documentary should be made.

Over the past two years of development, Chas and I have been collecting a team of filmmakers, friends, acquaintances, authorities and the socially-conscious who agree that this conversation needs to be had.  We were extremely lucky that award winning Director Monique Schafter attached to the project earlier this year, and that Australia's national broadcaster, the ABC are also supportive.

About the Director

MONIQUE SCHAFTER is a Walkley Award winning storyteller who co-hosted the ABC's ground-breaking current affairs program 'Hungry Beast'.

Over three series on 'Hungry Beast', Monique produced stories on a variety of issues such as mental illness, disability, aged care, bullying, sexuality and religion.

Monique now reports on Australia's nightly primetime current affairs show '7:30', and hopes to take a leave of absence to direct this film.

Monique says:

When Lee first approached me about directing a documentary about child sex abuse I wasn't sure what to say. It’s one of those topics that is so abhorrent you’d rather steer clear. Then I realised that was the point of the documentary. Lee and Chas are attempting to start a conversation about a subject most of us would rather not talk about.

My first impression of Chas was that he’s a very open, curious and likeable guy.  He certainly didn't present as “damaged goods”. Chas' willingness to talk about what he endured as a child as a way to make sense of it, shed light on it and raise awareness of the harsh realities of society is brave and admirable. He’s attempting to make the world more empathetic, not sympathetic, of people who've endured what he’s been through.

It didn't take long for me to feel confident that I could direct a story driven by Chas' experience as a survivor of child sex abuse and his willingness to get people talking. After all, avoiding difficult topics does not make them go away.

As this film is about encouraging and facilitating communication, we'll acknowledge the many ways in which people talk, online and offline.  Well also invite the general public to join the conversation out on the streets and on social media.

* "1 in 6..." from a 2005 study of 27,000 in California See www.1in6.org 

KEY LINKS:

Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook: Facebook.com/casualconvofilm

Daily inspiration 140 characters at a time on Twitter:
Twitter.com/casualconvofilm

THE FINER DETAIL

Our documentary the OUR LITTLE SECRET (AKA Conspiracy of Silence) is being developed in partnership with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation by Lee Matthews of Matthewswood Productions, and supported by Jeannette Arrowood of Pleased Productions USA.

All donations made via Kickstarter will go directly towards the production overheads of the proposed documentary.  As the documentary is hoped to be screened on the national public broadcaster, all income sources must be declared, so a list of names, even if you indicate to be known as 'anonymous' on the public Kickstarter page, will be compiled and presented to the ABC on commissioning.  Donations must only be made because of a general personal interest in supporting the project.  Donations must not be made from organisations or those lobbying in the documentary's subject area of Sex Abuse.

On completion of the campaign, all donators will be sent a quick survey asking them to declare a reason for supporting the project.  Please be aware that donations are limited to $1,000.

In addition to airing on the ABC, the documentary will enter the film festival circuit and hopefully be distributed for sale, along with being available for use by child sex abuse support professionals.  We are currently in search of broadcasting partners in the U.S.A., Canada and the European Union. 

We have an incredible team of professionals listed below ready to start rolling, but we need YOU to help ensure we get the documentary made.

PRODUCTION SCHEDULE:

Final development: November 2012
Broadcaster decision: December 2012
Production: February/March 2013
Post Production: March/June 2013
Broadcast: Late 2013
Festivals and online: 2014

CREATIVE TEAM:

Producer: Lee Matthews
Director: Monique Schafter
Writer/Presenter: Chas Fisher
Line Producer: Roslyn Walker
Cinematographer: Jenni Meaney
Social Media Producer: C. Jeannette Arrowood
Director’s Mentor: Andrew Denton.

Risks and challenges

Putting together a documentary is never an easy task, and Chas and I (Lee) have had this concept in development for the past two years.

Attracting award winning director Monique and securing the interest of Australia’s national broadcaster (the ABC) means that we enter this final stage of development with a strong confidence that our documentary will be made.

As part of the ABC and Screen Australia’s Opening Shot series, the documentary attracts a licence fee, and a government grant, that will cover a significant percentage of production costs. As an emerging-filmmaker program though, not all production costs are covered, and there is a gap of some $40,000 between what it takes to make a full half hour broadcast documentary and what funds are secured.

We are running this crowd funding campaign to help fulfil that gap, and if we do not achieve this, then compromises will be made on the amount we can film, edit, and pay filmmakers.

As long as the ABC and Screen Australia still supports the project, we will be able to create it. We will achieve a broadcast, and can then present it on the world stage.

"Some succeed because they are destined. Some succeed because they are determined." –Unknown. And "The road to success runs uphill." - Willie Davis

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    Official Supporter Status! All of the above plus inclusion in the credits section of the web release. (name not included in ABC broadcast version) (and did we mention that warm fuzzy feeling you get knowing your supporting opening up this important conversation!?)

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Funding period

- (30 days)