Nurses focus on 2013 film festival

Nurse educator at Concord Repatriation Hospital, Distan Bach
Nurse educator at Concord Repatriation Hospital, Distan Bach

Nurses are already gearing up for the 2013 International Nurses’ Day Film Festival by taking part in a series of filmmaking workshops offered through NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art) and the NSWNA.

Beginner and advanced workshops were held last month, for budding filmmakers looking to further their skills in the art of visual story telling. The workshops were so popular that more are being planned for later this year. The second, two-day course, scheduled for 8 March, sold out within weeks of its announcement.

In the workshops nurses learn about the entire film production process, from screen writing through to camera angles, lighting, camera operation and all the elements required to create a visual story.

Nurse educator at Concord Repatriation Hospital, Distan Bach, teamed up with his mental health colleagues at the NIDA workshops and is hoping to make a submission to the film festival next year.

“The course the Association ran for us was fantastic,” Distan said. “I was really impressed and that was the sentiment from all of us at the end of a couple of days. We were all keen to get out and do something.”

As president of the mental health branch of the NSW Nurses’ Association, Distan plans to use the skills he learned in the NIDA workshops to create e-Learning materials for the mental health unit at Concord hospital.

Distan has already started working on videos that can be used as supplementary material by mental health nurses who are still in training.”

Part of our 12-month transition program has an online component,” Distan explained. “We could put videos online so that they appear on the website and stream across from Vimeo or YouTube.”

With a Masters degree in e-Learning, Distan also hopes to create a video library for nurses who are new to the mental health department.

“I’ve been wanting to build up a collection of videos that might help people to understand the psychotic experience,” Distan said. “It’s very important that nurses identify quickly and understand what the experience to be psychotic is like.”

Distan believes there is also potential to create videos for friends and families of patients who may need more detailed information or other forms of support.

“I certainly see the opportunity to do things that would be directed towards them,” he said.

Distan told The Lamp he joined the NIDA workshops not only to advance his video skills, but also to find new ways to construct a compelling narrative while learning new interviewing techniques. He said his main priority was to apply the interviewing, escalation, engagement and questioning techniques that he learned to create videos of about 10 minutes in length.

“I shot a video with some colleagues here last week, just some interview pieces,” Distan said. “The bigger library of media you have, the more opportunity you have to assemble something or re-film something for different audiences.”