On The Rocks is a cutting edge feature documentary that immerses us in the passionate and desperate fight of a small community trying to save their homes. Young filmmaker Blue Lucine gets behind the headlines of Australia's most controversial public housing sale, told through the eyes of those at the vanguard. An entire suburb in the heart of Sydney is up for sale, and the state government says the decision is final, but for this group of residents the battle is anything but over. On The Rocks shines a light on the Australian housing crisis, and investigates why the system is so broken. Compelling, bold and raw, On The Rocks will shake you to your core, and have you question why we call Australia fair.
How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?
We believe that human health and social well-being is inextricably linked to membership of a vibrant diverse community with a mix of private, affordable, public and aged care housing. Such a community has existed in Millers Point, a suburb on the verge of Sydney’s historic precinct for over 150 years. Arguably, it is not too late to save the area’s distinct identity, and targeted philanthropic support can only but contribute to putting these issues on the public agenda.
What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?
Aims & Objectives
Our aim is to draw attention to and instigate debate on the escalating national crisis of housing affordability and sustainability for people on low income. We want to shine a light on the very concept of Aussie egalitarianism. It is often said that a society is judged by how it treats its disadvantaged and its minorities. There is a dramatic undersupply of public housing in inner cities of Australia. There is a lack of transparency and no security of tenure for tenants. We want to advocate a charter for human rights for tenants of public housing to be applied across Australia.
The film will draw attention to the physical and mental health costs for relocated social housing tenants, particularly those who are elderly or with long histories in the area. It will also highlight the need for a sizeable stock of public housing to be based in well serviced, accessible and job-rich areas. The film’s impact will be measured by the amount of debate it stimulates in the wider community, and how it contributes to changing public policy.
What is your education and outreach strategy?
We want this film to play an important and incisive role in contributing to raise awareness about the issue of public housing, and how facilitating a mix of residents of different backgrounds and incomes within the city has valuable benefits both to society and the economy in general. We want to appeal to a wide range of organisations, foundations and individuals who may be able to assist us in ensuring a wide circulation of the film.
There is a growing demand for low cost housing in the inner city, where a high percentage of service industry jobs are found. If low cost housing is not sustained in these areas wage earners have to travel long distances to work, which in the long term is counter productive to families and the community. It will also be used as an education resource for Universities in teaching the importance of city planning and architecture, to inspire students to think of innovative ways to create more public housing and affordable housing.