Cathartic cut

• Sam Kerr-Phillips in a scene from a movie about his life.

SINCE the age of nine Sam Kerr-Phillips has been confined to a wheelchair.

He was in a motorcycle accident that took the life of his father and left him with debilitating brain and physical injuries.

These injuries have made it difficult for Mr Kerr-Phillips to speak and move freely, but they haven’t stopped him from adding filmmaker to his list of accomplishments.

Over the past two-and-a-half years, with the help of local filmmaker Lincoln MacKinnon, Mr Kerr-Phillips has been diligently writing, directing, and producing two films about the accident that changed his life.

Both films were funded through Fremantle-based DADAA, a leading arts and health organisation that provides access to cultural activities for people with disability or mental health issues.

“The first film was done over one year working together once a week with holiday breaks,” Mr MacKinnon said.

“The second film was done over one-and-a-half years. It’s a long process … as Sam had to work on all aspects of both films: camera, sound, lighting, writing, editing, etc.”

So It Begins is a haunting spoken word poem detailing the moments leading up to the devastating collision.

Viewers hear Mr Kerr-Phillips’ words against a black backdrop with plumes of smoke wafting across the screen.

The second film Accept The Road Ahead, dances between a visual personal diary and documentary as Mr Kerr-Phillips, his mother, friends and health care workers reveal his long road to recovery.

“This is a roller coaster of emotions,” Mr Kerr-Phillips told a packed room of friends and supporters at Mojos, where he premiered both films last Saturday.

Audiences are brought along on that roller coaster and experience sadness, laughter and hope.

Mr Kerr-Phillips and Mr MacKinnon are busy submitting the movies to festivals, so they aren’t available online yet.

However on October 2 the pair will be in Sydney to premier So It Begins at The Big Anxiety Festival, Australia’s largest mental health festival, where they will discuss the film in a long table discussion.

by KAVI GUPPTA

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