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Filmmaker reveals few choices for Homeless

19 May 2008

Wellington Filmmaker reveals few choices for Homeless

Free film screening at City Gallery Wellington, Friday May 30th

Charlie Bleakley has directed a documentary on homelessness in New Zealand, Putting Homelessness in Focus that he and producer Kate Amore hope will challenge stereotypes and bring the reality of homelessness to policymakers and the public. The film will screen at City Gallery Cinema, 6pm on Friday May 30th.

Bleakley, who is also an actor (Second Hand Wedding, Snakeskin, Scarfies), became involved in the project through friend Dr Kate Amore. Kate was researching homelessness for her public health studies and found a widespread lack of understanding of the issue and a lack of information about it. The inspiration for a documentary was born. With funding from local councils and Housing New Zealand Corporation, Charlie and a cameraman then travelled the country interviewing people with heart-wrenching stories of rejection, abuse and transience. For a taste, see Homelessness

“The people we see sleeping rough are just a fraction of the problem….Homelessness is largely hidden –in night shelters, refuges, hostels, cars, caravans. It affects women and children escaping domestic violence, young people, families, the elderly, couples, single men and women…” Kate Amore told Capital Times, July 2006.

The documentary also includes interviews with social and youth workers and touches on the issue internationally. Million Dollar Murray lived rough in New York where local authorities had invested over US$1million in his care, enough for his own apartment and a nurse, yet he remained homeless until his early death.

“The issue can be confronted from a purely economic perspective or out of sense of social responsibility. In either case it needs acknowledgement and to be addressed with consistent policy”, says Charlie Bleakley.

Charlie Bleakley is currently on the big screen in Paul Murphy’s Second Hand Wedding and has appeared in the feature films Snakeskin and Scarfies. He directed the award-winning Fringe Festival hit Office Boy, and short films including A&E and A Three Dollar Day. He lives in Aro Valley. Kate Amore is a doctor and homelessness researcher with He Kainga Oranga/Housing & Health Research Programme at University of Otago Wellington. Her doctorate work will investigate the size and nature of New Zealand’s homeless population. Kate currently lives in Hawkes Bay.

Putting Homelessness in Focus
Friday 30 May at 6pm, City Gallery Wellington Cinema
Civic Square, Wellington
E: citygalleryevents@wmt.org.nz

Admission: FREE


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