An RMIT alum is making a feature length film that follows independent MP Cathy McGowan’s journey to office in the 2013 federal election.
Indi: The Road to Canberra is the first feature project by 2010 graduate David Estcourt, who travelled to north east Victoria after McGowan’s grassroots campaign to unseat Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella gained notoriety.
But Estcourt initially thought he would be making a very different kind of film.
“I originally thought the project would be…reinforcing the idea that no matter how many people can be involved in something, no matter how much people believe in their ability to change things, ultimately, the political establishment has so much power…that they can ultimately defeat these challenges,” Estcourt said.
“I went up there, and the exact opposite happened. I saw an activation in politics that I had never seen before.”
McGowan won the seat with a margin of just 431 votes thanks to a unique campaign of intense community engagement, and events and programs primarily funded and organised by community members and families.
In a similar vein, Estcourt and his production company DARKHOUSE are crowdfunding production, licensing and promotion costs through a Pozible campaign, with hopes of entering it into film festivals and touring it around the electorate.
Estcourt hopes the film will be seen less as a ‘how-to’ on removing a conservative politician, and more about exploring the possibility for community backed change.
“What we’re trying to do is capture some kind of indefinable quality that characterises the community at that point in time because ultimately, it was…an event that was so unlikely to happen.”
The film is scheduled for screenings at the end of October in the major towns in the electorate of Indi, as well as a screening in Melbourne.