A trio of Griffith filmmakers are off to the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival with their graduate documentary, Wolfe.
The film was motivated by her own encounter with mental illness as a teenager. It uses interviews and animation to explore a young man’s journey through adolescence with undiagnosed schizophrenia, and his relationship with an imaginary friend, Mister Wolfe.
“I was looking for someone who had a powerful story, and Nick and I were introduced by mutual friends and actually shared a flat together for a few months,” she said.
“I knew it was a big responsibility taking on his story, but I think we handled it respectfully.
“I believe these kinds of films can help other people who are struggling and encourage them to seek help.”
Lachlan Morton, Director of Photography / Animator, said the team had to draw out the intensely personal story.
“I guess the biggest risk was our subject, Nick,” he said.
“How much was he going to give, especially when the camera started rolling?
“It is a very intense, deep story, and I think it was a struggle for Nick, but he really laid everything on the line.”
Producer Shannen Tunnicliffe said the film’s selection for the Berlin International Film Festival was “overwhelming”.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” she said.
Griffith Film and Screen Media lecturer Dr Peter Hegedus said the film’s selection for the Berlin International Film Festival was “huge”.
“To be an undergrad filmmaker and be selected for a festival of this calibre is a massive achievement,” he said.
“It introduces you to the international film making community, it’s an excellent opportunity to make connections and perhaps pitch a new project.
“Claire is a very talented filmmaker. She took out the best director award at Griffith Film School last year, and she is obviously destined for big things.”
“This is a very popular course, and we have been successful at creating a pathway for the next generation of filmmakers,” he said.
“Our final year students produce phenomenal work that is wowing audiences around the world.”