Australia filmmaker and actress Maha Wilson was recently awarded an official selection for her feature length film Damaged which was selected out of over 1500 global entrants, to screen at the prestigious Sydney Lift-Off Film Festival this November.
Damaged is a coming of age drama inspired by Wilson’s experiences growing up in Sydney’s Western Suburbs with underlying themes of bullying and violence which often plague teen populations in the area. The film follows troubled teen Brendan (Nicholas Burton), who during his last month in prison, forges a remarkable friendship with cellmate Umer (Kabir Singh). It is largely flash-back based with Brendan’s life played out on screen and ultimately permeating the counsel he provides Umer of which changes the course of his life.
“I have been honoured by the people who have walked into my life and helped my dream come true,” said Wilson. To have the opportunity to screen Damaged at Lift-off is truly a blessing and feel the success of this festival selection is a way in which I can show other up and coming independent filmmakers, particularly women in this industry that we can be unstoppable!”
At the event, all of the films will be scored by the attending audience, where the winners are potentially screened at the ten proceeding Lift-Off global events, with the ultimate aim to give filmmakers like Maha the best exposure possible as they embark on their continued artistic journeys within the film industry. Lift-Off currently has festivals in London, Manchester, New York, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Paris, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Los Angeles.
“The strength of entrants this year was truly remarkable,” says James Bradley, Co-Director and Co-Founder of Lift-Off. “Not just from the Australian filmmakers but filmmakers from all over the world. Getting into any Lift-Off is a big deal; our judges are ruthless, so expect exceptional work at the screenings. We believe this programme is the best we have ever had in our 6-year history of screening films around the world. This is not to be missed!”
Damaged will screen on Tuesday 8th November at Dendy Cinema Newtown at 8:45pm. Maha, along with lead actor Nicholas Burton will be in attendance.