Made with a message of hope, Rites of Passage is a raw, uncensored and honest
film inspired by the life experiences of the young people involved in the making
of this powerful feature-length drama. Six interwoven stories show these
teenagers negotiating the dangers and discoveries of their age and because the
cast were also the crew what emerges is a self portrait of resilient kids responding
to the challenges surrounding them.

They might live in public housing and come from families that have seen
disadvantage and hardship.  But with frankness and courage, these young
people have dipped below the surface of their often tough exteriors to reveal
what’s going on inside their lives.

Rites of Passage was made according to 10 principles:

1. The making of the film should help people living with hardship to build new futures

2. All key actors must be amateurs and live in the community where the film is shot

3. There can be no traditional script and there must be more than one story line

4. The story lines must be developed with the actors, drawing on their life experiences

5. If an actor fails to turn up, the shoot continues, creating a new direction for the film

6. The film must be shot in real locations in the community

7. Key actors and the production team should all operate the filming equipment

8. Every scene should be shot with different types of cameras and styles

9. All the credits must be in alphabetical order, with no one credited as writer or creator

10. The first screening must be held in the community where the film was made


The film is an innovative collage of colour and texture, shot in glorious mayhem on cameras ranging from 16mm, Super 8, Digital SLRs, Handycams, Infrared B&W and iPhones. It was produced by community arts organisation Beyond Empathy.

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