Maha Wilson calls for more women in film as she releases her debut, Damaged

Four years after a dedicated group of 150 crew members converged on Sydney’s Western Suburbs to create Australian independent film, Damaged, this coming-of-age feature is finally near completion at Spectrum Films, Fox Studios.

For first time director, actress and producer, Maha Wilson, Damaged has been both a challenging and rewarding experience, especially for a female in a male-dominated industry. Despite this, 27-year-old Wilson believes it is her love of the art form that has provided motivation. “it has been a wild ride for our dedicated cast and crew. We shot this on a micro-budget and one thing has kept this film going and that’s passion”.

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Damaged is a coming of age drama based on Wilson’s experiences growing up in Sydney’s Western Suburbs and aims to tackle issues of bullying and violence which often plague teen populations in the area. The film follows troubled teen Brandon, who during his last week in prison, forges a remarkable friendship with cellmate Umer. Damaged is largely flash-back based, Brandon’s life played out on screen, and ultimately permeating the counsel he provides Umer.

Wilson believes that at the core of Damaged lies an important message. “You could be at the wrong place at the wrong time and one moment can change everything – the next thing you know you’re locked up or you’ve lost a loved one, and if I can prevent that from happening, then my job as a filmmaker has been done’.

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Damaged brings together a remarkable team of filmmakers from around the globe with its production team boasting a string of international film credits. In addition to this, the featured cast are a collective of up-and-coming stars on the Australian film scene including Matthew Clarke (The Horizon, Bush Boys), Nicholas Burton (I’ve Got No Legs, Animadverto) and Maha Wilson herself (Unindian, Friendship, Love and Loyalty).

While Wilson admits that acting, producing and directing Damaged has been a considerable challenge, the real obstacle for the first-time filmmaker has been the film’s current crowd funding campaign. The team has just a few days left to reach their target of $35,000 for urgently needed post-production funds. Despite this, Wilson remains confident and wants to cement her place in the Australian film industry. ‘Ultimately I want to overcome any challenge thrown at me and show other women in this industry that we can be great leaders’.

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Damaged is set for release in March 2015.

You can contribute to the film’s Pozible campaign here.

You can follow the film on Facebook here.

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