Making Emmaus

The project

This documentary in production tells the remarkable story of one man’s journey to change the way we look at an deal with mental illness. After time spent in theatre and music and signed up to the same record label as INXS, Al Archer had a transformational experience in a church where he began his journey to eventually form Emmaus Community – a great example of successful independent community living for adults with mental health and homelessness challenges.

Emmaus Community is something quite unique – possibly the only one of its kind in Australia. Psychiatrists and community nurses have spoken about how Emmaus is able to reduce hospitalisation and dependency on the mental health system. Residents who live at Emmaus speak about how it’s changed their lives completely, and family members of those who live there have painted pictures of just how much Emmaus has had a positive effect on their sons, brothers, daughters and friends

The brief

After meeting Al Archer and visiting Emmaus Community in 2014, Lara was inspired to turn his story into a film as a way of highlighting mental health and homelessness – two social issues which governments around Australia are struggling to adequately deal with. ABC Compass have expressed interest in broadcasting this story in early 2019. Currently looking for additional funding partners. Support for the project is fully tax deductible and more information can be found here.

The team

Director/Producer: Lara Damiani
Story Consultant: Tania Nehme
Sound Design
: Carlos Manrique Clavijo
Editor/Colourist: Danny Phillips
Photography and videography: Claudio Raschella
Cinematographer: Pete Gleeson
Location Sound: Glenn Martin, Leo Guardo, Sasha Zastankovic, Lara Damiani