Filming in progress

"As a mental health nurse I think it's important that we tell stories." - Julie Millard
“As a mental health nurse I think it’s important that we tell stories.” – Julie Millard

Budding filmmakers are set to shine at the next NSWNMA Short Film Festival.

Filming has already begun for the next NSWNMA Short Film Festival, with the help of experts from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).

A NIDA filmmaking workshop was held earlier this month to assist nurses and midwives who are producing films for the 2013 International Nurses’ Day Short Film Competition.

The session gave NSWNMA members the chance to ask a NIDA expert about any issues they were struggling with during the film making process. Intensive beginner and advanced filmmaking workshops were also held in March, covering the importance of screen writing, camera angles, lighting and camera operation and the elements required to create a visual story.

Mental health nurse Julie Millard has been an avid contributor to the NSWNMA Short Film Festival since it’s inception in 2009.

“I did a documentary talking to a woman that lives with schizophrenia and it was a fantastic experience for me,” Julie recalled. “In 2009, I did a NIDA filmmaker’s workshop, where the NSWNMA subsidised, encouraged and supported us, and then I did another five day intensive this year.

“This time it will be slightly different because now there’s more of a focus on nursing for the film that I’m putting in for next year’s festival,” Julie said.

The RN told The Lamp her enthusiasm for filmmaking and entering the short film competition was about “having some fun”.

“It’s more about the experience of putting together the film and going from a creative idea to actually seeing it on film; it’s never going to be about winning,” Julie explained. “I’m just doing it myself, I’m not doing it with a cast of thousands or anything so it’s more about having some fun.”

For those looking to enter a film in next year’s competition, Julie recommends calling on family and friends for added support.

“Give it a go and call on all your friends and family to help you,” Julie advised. “Some friends will happily be in it and other friends will say ‘definitely not’, but then they’ll be very useful as a boom operator or to do props.

“Seek out people with their own skills who will help you in their own different ways,” Julie added.

The focus of Julie’s new film is once more mental health nursing, a field she works in and is passionate about.

“As a mental health nurse I think it’s important that we tell stories,” Julie explained. “Life is about sharing stories and I think film is a way to do that, which I think reaches more people.”

NIDA 2 day and 5 day workshops will be held in February. Dates to be advised.