Ronan’s Escape official film release

What an incredible roller coaster the past year has been! Ronan’s Escape went above and beyond what any of us could have ever imagined, and January 2012 marks the close of the film’s festival circuit. While the public screenings draw to a close, the ride is only just beginning as we will officially release the film worldwide on YouTube for everyone to view.

The film encourages the audience to subconsciously delve into, and reflect on their individual experiences and sometimes sensitive memories, in order to convey its powerful messages. Its worldwide release will no doubt stir up some emotion and controversy, and we expect it to draw opinions from both ends of the critique spectrum.

Some will love it, while others will hate it, and we welcome the comments and debates which the public release will evoke. In celebration of its viral release campaign, I wanted to share the epic journey we undertook to bring this film to the screen, highlight a few of the accolades we earned along the way and extend my gratitude and appreciation to each and every crew member and organization who made the film possible.

Ronan’s Escape has featured in numerous USA publications and blogs and key crew members have engaged in discussions with various related media forums including print articles and radio interviews. The film was openly denied screenings in several film festivals because of the controversial nature of its content, and was encouragingly featured at others where it went on to win both director and people’s choice awards. We’ve had hundreds of heart wrenching emails from students, families, school teachers and adults from all over the world who were transported back to their childhoods after watching the film triggering them to share their personal stories to us.

**The full length film is now available below. Please click ‘360p’ and change to an [HD] setting and view full screen. Please also click the ‘YouTube’ button and share your comments and stories after the film.

**Please support the film and purchase your copy of the DVD at The DVD contains some great behind the scenes information, the script, behind the scenes photo gallery and more.

Director A.J. Carter wins award

Ronan’s Escape was screened at a total of 17 film festivals world wide and earned a total of 12 international film nominations of which it won 9 of them. Some of the accolades achieved include ‘Best Short Film’ at the prestigious 16th Annual Sedona International Film Festival, the 2010 Director’s Choice Awards for ‘Best International Film’ at the 6th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival in Hollywood, ‘Gold Winner’ at the 2011 Australian Cinematographer’s Society Awards for Best Short Narrative, both the People’s choice and overall ‘Best Short Film’ awards at the 2011 Peace on Earth Film Festival, and the Van Gogh / World Cinema award for “Best Director” at the 2011 Amsterdam International Film Festival, just to name a few.

Ronan’s Escape, albeit only a short film, was a mammoth collaborative effort to say the least and was only made possible because of more than 170 crew members who donated their time to work on this film. The nature of the script and its unique screenplay which somewhat defies traditional storytelling techniques, was the catalyst for securing many of the crew involved in this film however it was also the sheer relentless drive inherent in W.A film makers which was the real key to putting the script onto the big screen.

Director A.J. Carter on set of Ronan's Escape with Kirstie Francis - Perth, Western AustraliaAfter the script was passed around, the array of professional talent who volunteered to work on this film astounds me. From university students who had never stepped foot on a real film set before, to industry professionals such as Director of Photography David Lemay, Academy Award nominee Martin Mhando, Special Effects & props maker Jeremy Shaw who’s past works includes Lord of The Rings and King Kong, and post production sound designer Frank Lipson from Romeo & Juliet and Happy Feet.. just to name a few.

Ronan’s Escape was not made purely to convey an important message, or just to provoke discussion about the devastating effects of bullying and youth suicide, it was also made to test ourselves as film makers under one of the harshest filming climates in the world and with extremely limited resources. To throw ourselves in the deep end and either sink or swim. Perth is by definition, the most remote capital city in the world, then, travel a further 2.5 hours out of the city and into the hot and dusty wheat belt of Boddington where more than half of the film was shot on location. Take with you more than 40 teenage school kids as extras and throw into the mix a few eskis full of ice to keep the film stock cool in 38 degree weather and you have the makings of Ronan’s Escape.

Director A.J Carter  works with actor David Lazarus on set of Ronan's EscapeThis film enabled more than 170 Western Australian film makers the chance to work on a traditional film set, shoot real film and be a part of a production that wasn’t graced by the luxury of HD cameras, replay monitors & hard drives. In this new world of High Definition cameras which are slowly but surely replacing the traditions of film, it’s becoming less and less often that film makers, especially in Western Australia can experience the gentle sounding flicker of film passing through a camera gate on set. While shooting on film is typically more expensive and slightly more complicated, the traditional nature of the script cried for the warm feel and gentle grain you naturally get from film, so it was always going to be the right medium to capture Ronan’s Escape on. It was also a chance (and probably one of our last) to get back to the traditions of shooting on film for our established crew, whilst providing an invaluable opportunity for up and coming local W.A. film makers to work on a real film project.

Director A.J. CarterI am proud and privileged to have been at the creative forefront of this film and to be surrounded by so many talented people who believed in this story and who donated their time to make the film possible.

In particular, producers Brad Major, Kate Separovich, Jennifer Carter & Martin Mhando, Director of Photography David LeMay (who won GOLD for Ronan’s Escape at the Australian Cinematographer’s Society awards for ‘Best Short Narrative’), my entire cast who worked so hard; David Lazarus, Kirstie Francis, Ashleigh Zinko, Ryan Cammiade and Matt Hennighan just to name a few.
Thanks also must go to our investors, Giancarlo Trettel, Frank Tomasi and Santino Castelli, and to Screen West, Murdoch University & Local Community Partnership Hotham, Pallinup Lakes for your generous support.

This film belongs to each and every one of you. It would not have touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world without your time, talent, and support. Thanks to you, many audiences from around the world will reflect on the images they see in Ronans Escape with an open mind and allow for their own personal interpretations of the film whilst being reminded of the devastating affects which bullying has on all of us.

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-A.J. Carter
Writer / Director

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  1. Pingback: ‘My own worst Critic’ – Promo shoot with Perth photographer Luke Martin | A.J. Carter

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