An uplifting Australian documentary Happy Sad Man will screen in Newcastle on Sunday, at 4pm, at Event Cinemas in Kotara.
Genevieve Bailey, the film's director, shot footage on five Australian men beginning in 2011, that allows the viewer a window into not only their happiest moments, but their saddest times.
"The tagline is 'we all know one'," Bailey said. "Everyone has that person that has ups and downs, and we don't know what to do when they are down. The story tells how to support people who are down."
The Kotara screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Bailey and two of the men featured in the film, one of which is Grant Trebilco, founder of OneWave, a non-profit surf community raising awareness of mental health with a simple recipe - saltwater therapy, surfing and fluro. OneWave, which began on Bondi Beach, sponsors Fluoro Friday sessions at beaches throughout Australia, including here.
"We are all vulnerable in one way or another, through the loss of loved one, loss of a job," Bailey said. "The film tries to explain we all have mental health and need to look after it."
The 89-minute film first screened in film festivals in Australia in 2018, but it continues to find traction with audiences, particularly in regional areas.
For Bailey, a long-time documentary filmmaker, ownership of the project is long-term.
"Fifty per cent of my job is making the film," she said. "And 50 per cent is making sure people see the film."
Bailey reasons that her doco-style allows viewers to become deeply attached to the subjects, and as a consequence, the issues.
"When you see a news story or 60 Minutes, you might see a snapshot of a mental health journey," she said. "I wanted the audience to know these guys over years. They actually queue up to hug them. The film doesn't give you a tiny glimpse, it gives board perspective of highs and lows and everything in between..."
The stories in Happy Sad Man are personable, and accessible.
"The film tries to explain we all have mental health and need to look after it," Bailey said.
Bailey, from Melbourne, is most well-known for her documentary, I Am Eleven, which first screened in 2011 and has reached audiences worldwide.
Tickets for the Sunday screening can be booked through eventbrite.com.au