Nurses shine at film festival

Carolyn Guichard, RN, Midwife, First prize winner of film festival
Carolyn Guichard, RN, Midwife, First prize winner of film festival

The creative talents of NSWNA members shone brightly at the 2011 NSWNA Nurses’ Short Film Festival. Movie-goers were dazzled by the selection of thought-provoking and entertaining short films, created by NSWNA members, which showcase the many different aspects of nursing.There’s an abundance of creative flair among the NSWNA membership. The NSWNA Nurses’ Short Film Festival was an opportunity for members to harness and let loose their inner film-making talents – and, wow, didn’t you deliver!

Now in its third year, the 2011 festival featured eight finalist films, with themes and styles as varied as the NSWNA membership. The themes included portraying nursing as an art, a dystopic view into a future where nursing is illegal, finding purpose and meaning in nursing, the need for positive staff attitudes to students on placement, and an insight into the perspective of a patient’s relative.

Several finalists attended the advanced film-making workshop at NIDA, which was sponsored by the NSWNA.

The event – once again sponsored by First State Super, which provided the cash prizes for the winners – was held at the Association’s offices in Waterloo. Judges were ex-producer for RPA Patrick McInerney, Managing Director of The Shannon Company, Michael Daddo, and independent film producer Pearl Tan.

This year’s winner was Carolyn Guichard, Clinical Nurse Educator at Coffs Harbour Community Health, who succeeded in getting three of her films accepted as finalists in the competition.

My Name is Tasha and I’m a Nurse stars young Tasha, who is a wannabe nurse, and the film takes the viewer on a journey through a collage of images depicting nursing as a diverse and rewarding pro-fes-sion. Malleus Maleficarum is a silent film set in 1486 about a healer/midwife whose village and husband turned against her, branding her a witch and burning her at the stake. Strike Train captured the re-cent historic rally where 4,000 nurses and midwives gathered at Sydney Olympic Park to fight for nurse-to-patient ratios.

Carolyn won equal first prize ($7,000) for Malleus Maleficarum and Strike Train, while Barbara Marino took out third place for her film Compassionate Gestures and won $1,000.

‘I’m having the time of my life -at 53,’ Carolyn told the audience. ‘I want to thank the NSWNA for introducing me to film.’

Carolyn told The Lamp about her passion for filmmaking: ‘I love it so much because it’s creative. Being given the opportunity to attend the film-making workshops at NIDA has been fantastic and I’m really grateful to the Association for this opportunity.’

Carolyn also revealed that she planned to make a full-length feature film by the time she is 60. But when asked if she is tempted to change careers and become a full-time film-maker, she is adamant that nursing is her first passion. ‘I will nurse for the rest of my life,’ she said. ‘But I look forward to making more eclectic films in different genres.’