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The Show Must Go On

Spotlight on mental wellbeing in the entertainment industry

Year: 2019, 56 mins
Code: FAM-Show

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Shining a spotlight on mental wellbeing in the entertainment industry.

Filmed over three years, The Show Must Go On is an important and moving exploration of the mental health of the 42,000 people working in the Australian entertainment industry. While ‘show business’ is often seen as glamorous, fun, exciting, and well paid, recent and alarming world-first research from Entertainment Assist and Victoria University paints a darker picture for entertainment workers. Anxiety symptoms are 10 times higher, sleep disorders are 7 times higher and symptoms of depression are 5 times higher than the national average. Suicide attempts in the industry are double the national average.

This film is the debut documentary from filmmaker and former Home and Away actor, Ben Steel and is produced by award-winning feature film and documentary producer Sue Maslin (The Dressmaker).

In the film, Ben shares his intimate experiences living with depression and anxiety and along the way, we are witness to his intimate conversations with key creatives and crew, actors, dancers, musicians, performers - many of them household names - who have likewise struggled and how they have survived. Participants from all corners of the entertainment industry feature in the documentary including Sam Neill, Michala Banas, Jocelyn Moorhouse, David McAllister AM, Shane Jacobson, Dean Ray, Sarah Walker and many more.

Ben Steel’s soul-searching investigation into why are there so many entertainment workers developing and struggling with mental wellbeing issues, has been an all-consuming project for the past three years. He comments “It has been a huge labour of love completing this film, and I’m so grateful for the support of everyone who either featured in the documentary or played a role in bringing it to audiences. Overwhelmingly people felt connected to this issue and wanted to get behind the project, and that to me was an indicator that this story needed to be told. The fact that through the making of this film I was able to begin to heal myself, has made this a life-changing experience for me”

Producer Sue Maslin adds “I am enormously proud of Ben, the colleagues he interviewed and what we have all achieved in making this documentary. It has made me think deeply about how I might do things differently going forward as a producer and a teacher. If we can help people, particularly students entering this business, feel a little less alone and a little more prepared for the challenges ahead – and if we can help save one life - then we will have done our job.”

Ben Steel: Ben Steel is an international actor and filmmaker with over 30 years’ experience working on film and television projects in the USA, UK, Czech Republic, Aruba and Australia. He is best known to audiences for his role as Jude Lawson on Home and Away, a character he played from 2000-2002, appearing in over 160 episodes. His other credits cover a range of television series’ and feature films including Red Tails, Solomon Kane, Water Rats and Winners & Losers. He has also worked in production roles for international feature films including The Matrix, Moulin Rouge!, Babe: Pig in the City, Dark City, Doing Time For Patsy Cline, Oscar and Lucinda, Two Hands, Bootmen, Predestination, and I, Frankenstein. Ben’s lived experience with anxiety and depression, plus his intricate web of entertainment industry contacts, connections, and friendships make him the perfect conduit to channel the opinions and ideas of the whole industry into a cohesive documentary film.

Sue Maslin: Sue Maslin is one of Australia’s most successful film, television and digital content producers with a track record of creating award winning feature and documentary films including the smash hit The Dressmaker, starring Kate Winslet and Judy Davis. Feature credits include Road To Nhill, winner of 2003 Best Feature Film at Thessaloniki International Film Festival; Japanese Story, winner of 2003 AFI Award for Best Feature Film, IF Award for Best Feature Film, Film Critics Circle of Australia Best Feature Film; Celebrity: Dominick Dunne; and Hunt Angels, winner of the 2006 AFI Award for Best Feature Documentary Film.

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