Amissa Anima is set in 1980’s St Kilda, Australia, when a network of paedophiles preyed on street kids as young as 10 years old.
The characters are fictional but based on true events and the writers’ personal experiences.
This occurred worldwide and took place before child protection laws and awareness were as strong as they are today. (See the 1981 German film Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo). It is still a major crime today, but manifests differently with technology.
David Markin and Tatiana Doroshenko grew up together in St Kilda, they are close to this story, witnessing the long-term effects of child-abuse and neglect across generations. This project is a voice for those silenced by shame, ignorance and pain.
We aimed to give a humanity and authenticity to these stories and crimes that is difficult to access via mainstream media. The historical content and sensitive subject matter called for a classical, black and white visual execution and who better to achieve this than the highly experience veteran cinematographer Ellery Ryan. Ellery and the more experienced amongst us mentored young and emerging crew and actors, many have since spring boarded their careers from this project.
Making this film has been a long emotional journey, an ordeal but greatly rewarding. It was difficult to make on many fronts not only due the production restrictions imposed by working with children on the difficult subject of the exploitation of vulnerable children living on the streets, but also the personal connection to the subject for the creators.
Thanks to a formidable team of committed, generous and wonderful people who believed in it and stuck with us to the end we 'made it'. A special mention to the City of Port Phillip who endorsed it. A lot of hearts went into its making so hopefully, some of that will reach our audiences.