Dialog Box

Community | Health & Wellbeing | History | Human Rights
After the Swill
After the Swill is a social history documentary exploring one hundred years of drinking practices in Australia. Pub and bar owners, politicians, academics and pub rock musicians analyse how the tension between alcohol regulation and historical forces shape an important part of Australia's social culture and wellbeing.

How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?

Instead of blanket-blaming licensed venues for today's problems with alcohol related violence, our documentary presents a holistic, deeply focussed discussion of the socio-historical factors shaping Australia’s binge drinking culture that can be understood by everyone. 

Foundations and interested parties dealing with alcohol related issues, the health and wellbeing of this generation and future generations can use the documentary to provide insight on the 100 year old forces contributing to this Australian issue. We have a shared vision to contribute to attitudinal shifts regarding binge drinking. 

For us, our online social impact campaign will promote interactive discussion and storytelling to ‘evolve our idea of a good night out’. Understanding what’s in our cultural DNA can help us move into the future. 

And whilst academics, lawmakers, the hospitality and the health sector know and share their respective perspectives on alcohol related violence, the documentary presents them together in one place. 

It produces an argument that’s larger than any one industry. 

The emotive power of film can confront us to make more informed decisions about health and well being issues, by framing this issue in a new and robust way.

Aims & Objectives

What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?

Our main goal with the documentary is to bring the truth behind the institutionalisation of binge drinking in Australia over the last 100 years into public consciousness. We hope to enable a deeper, more informed discussion of the issues surrounding our drinking culture and alcohol related violence.

We also want a more contextualised awareness of the role that venues, media, the health sector and the government play in shaping the future of Australian culture and importantly, how they perpetuate very narrow notions of freedom through over-regulation.

Apart from the film’s direct reach (viewership), measuring public consciousness would largely come in the form of social media metrics, for instance conversation, amplification and applause rate, and on platform engagement. We are currently canvassing the best mix of analytic tools for us to do this.

We also hope to amplify this awareness through partnerships with organisations who have similar goals. In fact, the online proliferation of short form stories, articles and participatory media can encourage longer term collaborations that can be tailored to mutual interests. Measurements of impact will be a combination of online analytics, surveys (on platform and at screenings), inclusion of the film or any of the online constituents in an organisation’s event or materials, and observing changes in organisations or groups of people.

If impact is large enough, we’ll be able to observe an increase in resources (private or governmental) allocated to the issue.

Media coverage and increased conversation in the press regarding the issues we cover is another way we can measure the film’s impact, but an ultimate outcome would be getting politicians who can influence policy reform to see the film and move into action because of it.

What is your education and outreach strategy?

Collaborating with partners to achieve their outreach strategy is our ideal for maximising impact. Integrating with select players in this space will be more effective in contributing to the collective impact, as we understand that one film won’t necessarily change the world, but it can help to create a groundswell. 

We would firstly draw and then expand upon the existing networks of the collaborators and partnering organisations as their databases would likely comprise our audience.We will launch the film as a big event via festival/broadcast/event screenings that can draw attention to the online proliferation of the documentary. We will also hold event screenings in partnership with pubs or venues – starting with our interviewees’ venues. 

The other tenet to our strategy would be to arrange screenings so that influential figures in state government and local councils can view the film. Our goal here is to find an authentic solution to reduce alcohol related violence rather than the bandaid we currently have.

The toolkit we produce would be available online as a download, and focuses on actions that everyone can do for themselves.  

In terms of online presence we envision our content as a series of streams that aggregate to two main websites – one that focuses on issues within the film, and one that promotes the importance of social freedom, the positive role of the hospitality industry in shaping our culture, and  'evolving our idea of a good night out'.

James Ward Breen
Natalie Palomo
Total budget
90 Minutes