After years of filming and almost nine months of editing, a documentary about a family of Merimbula oyster farmers is ready to hit the big screen.
Oyster is now complete and is set to premiere at the Canberra International Film Festival on Saturday, October 28.
Director Kim Beamish - who has been a film maker for around 15 years and won numerous awards nationally and internationally - said his film tells the story of climate change from the perspective of the people who are most affected.
His subjects are Dom and Pip Boyton, second-generation owners of Merimbula Gourmet Oysters, whose family farm Beamish spent many of his school holidays with as a child.
“Rather than bombarding the audience with facts and figures, Oyster will present its audience with a story, a landscape, an environment and will follow the Boytons as they face practical, ethical and personal decisions about things that matter to them,” Mr Beamish said.
“They are on the frontline of climate change, they are always having to deal with the big and small things that are thrown at them.
Dom Boyton said it took a while for the family to get used to having a camera follow them around.
“Initially we were all very conscious of the camera but then we got use to it being there,” Mr Boyton said.
“At first we were also a bit worried about how we would be portrayed and how it would affect the family but we trusted Kim wouldn’t put any of the bad stuff in,” Mr Boyton laughed.
But Mr Boyton said it was all worth it for the message the film aims to get across.
“Hopefully people will watch the film and think a bit more about what they are doing, where they are dumping their rubbish and how they treat the environment,” he said.
For almost two years Mr Beamish travelled from Canberra to Merimbula on a fortnightly basis to capture the footage for the observational documentary.
But the work didn’t end there, a lot of effort went into fundraising to ensure the film would go ahead.
“We did everything from buck a shuck oysters, through to raising funds in kickstarter, it was a long fundraising campaign and in fact the fundraising is still going,” Mr Beamish said.
Only a few hours after the world premiere of Oyster in Canberra the film will be screened in Chesapeake, a big oyster growing area in the USA.
From there Mr Beamish hopes to have the film screened at festivals all around the world.
“I want the film to start a campaign to get people to look into their backyards and notice the changes that are happening because the more people that notice the change, the more chance there is that they will band together and ensure our environment is in good hands in the future.”