Awarded Best Documentary at the 2019 St. Kilda Film Festival

Synopsis / Documentary Short Film / Duration 13min:28sec

Directors Statement: Angus McDonald

"MANUS is a 13 minute film which shines a light on the plight of hundreds of asylum seekers still held captive by the Australian Government on Manus Island in PNG after 6 years. I created the film based around footage shot there by two-time Walkley award winning journalist Olivia Rousset when she secretly visited the men for a single night with two others (Jarrod McKenna and Father Dave Brown) at the end of 2017 when the Detention facility at Lombrum on Manus Island was closed. The men held on Manus were ordered to move to new centres nearby on Manus but hundreds refused to leave, resulting in a standoff that lasted several weeks. The film focuses entirely on the testimonials of the men, and includes at the end, a poem about Manus written by Kurdish journalist, award-winning writer, and asylum seeker on Manus, Behrouz Boochani, voiced by him specifically for the film in Farsi. 

I wanted the public to hear from the men themselves in this film, something that happens too rarely and suits the Federal government who has continually tried to keep those on Manus and Nauru invisible from the Australian public. I've attempted to create a carefully crafted film about innocent people in a long, brutal predicament, told in their own words, intended to provide powerful insights into their situation and humanise their plight for the public. The objective of all the films I'm making is to contribute towards the public rediscovering their compassion and contributing to a change in our collective approach of how we deal with those fleeing war and persecution. We need to recognise that those who arrive are not criminals or illegal. They are simply people running for their lives who seek our help and we need to begin helping them instead of adding further to their suffering. This is a film about humanity and solidarity. 


Producer Angus McDonald for Howling Eagle Productions

Director Angus McDonald 

Editing & Sound Design Nolan Verheij.

Original Footage & Field Production Olivia Rousset

Additional Editing Lisa Mulholland

Manus Island Poem written and voiced by Behrouz Boochani/Translated by Moones Mansoubi

Additional Translation Manhaz Alimardanian 

Special Thanks Behrouz Boochani, Abdul Aziz Adam, Jarrod McKenna, Father Dave Smith

Communications Catherine Lyn Scott (London Flair)


Greek Stavroula Tasia

Italian Anna Di Russo

Arabic Fidel Azizi

Dedicated to all the men detained on Manus Island.




MEDIA COVERAGE 1 July 2019 1 July 2019 1 July 2019

The Consulting Detective 23 June 2019 22 June 2019 Rohan Smith

Indie Activity 19 June 2019

Northern Start 14 August 2019





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