Australian production industry comes together for indie short film celebrating gender inclusivity

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BesideNotBehind crewlr.jpgAn independent short film by a majority-female crew is turning gender stereotyping on its head, celebrating the inclusive message of #BesideNotBehind.

Written, shot, edited and released all within two weeks in time for International Women’s Day today, Beside Not Behind plays on the old saying that “Behind every great man is a great woman” and promotes the message that support can, and should, go both ways. It follows three women in everyday situations where gender bias, presumption and misconception exist in sometimes the most subtle ways.

The film is also hosted on the Beside Not Behind Facebook page.

Its portrayal of women excelling in fields perceived to be male-dominated takes its cue from this year’s IWD theme of #PressforProgress – a strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 6.34.45 am.jpgScreen Shot 2018-03-08 at 6.34.34 am.jpgOlivia Cheung (far left), integrated producer at The Royals, and Cassie De Colling (left), award-winning director with The Otto Empire, came together after hearing too many stories about discrimination and gender bias in the film and advertising workplace. They wrote the script over a weekend with three weeks lead-time in order to make the film in time for International Women’s Day.

In the Australian film industry, women make up 32% of producers and just 16% of directors and 23% of writers.

Says Cheung: “It was an ambitious goal to begin with; typically a social campaign of this size would be planned for at least six months, and we managed to get this together from concept to delivery in three weeks, with the support of so many people willing to donate their time and skills.


“It just goes to show how many people connected with the #BesideNotBehind message – to make things truly equal and not about gender, it’s about supporting each other. There’s a lot of mixed feelings around the gender equality and feminist movement that can divide men and women, and that’s why we felt it was important to share a message that it’s about supporting each other, which I think is the unique thing about our campaign.”


Says De Colling: “We’ve made a lot of progress in removing gender bias, differences in pay gap, creating more opportunities for women and men to stand shoulder to shoulder. I was keen to make a piece people would watch and feel like they could acknowledge the subtle differences of the current gender divide but more so be a part of the message of acknowledging and supporting each other.

“The thing that made this job so magic for me was looking around on set and seeing such a passionate crew of women and men championing the message #BesideNotBehind – it was incredibly fulfilling. Everyone involved has worked around the clock to create the best film possible given the resources and time. #BesideNotBehind gave us all an opportunity to expand our networks, learn from each other and have a truly iconic piece to show at the end.”

Written by Cassie De Colling & Olivia Cheung

Directed by Cassie De Colling

Produced by Olivia Cheung




Mum: Rebecca Bastiaensz

Dad: Carey Carter

Daughter: Lara Darwish



Female AFL Player: Siobhan Barnes

Male AFL Player: Chad O’Brien

Physio: Madeleine French



Politician: Sally Cheng

Male Secretary: Jamie Hansen



Girlfriend: Heather Burridge

Boyfriend: Andrew Eggleton

P-Plater: Dean Smyth



Director: Cassie De Colling

Producer: Olivia Cheung

Director of Photography: Ashley Barron

Production Managers: Olivia Cheung, Justine Pitcher, Ema Thornell

Associate Producer: Michelle Lloyd

Location Scout: Francesca D’Orazio and Michelle Jones

Location Manager (Melb Water): Peter Kissonergis

Casting Agency: 2 Divas

Casting & Production Coordinator: Jessica To

Casting Support: Lauren Bailey & Jenna Eriksen

1st Assistant Director: Astrid Dominguez

1st Assistant Camera (Day 1): Karina Davies

1st Assistant Camera (Day 2): Vanessa Cox

2nd Assistant Camera: Felicia Smith

Gaffer: Daniel Carr

Best Boy: Tommi Hacker

Electrics: Markus Hilgert

Production Designer: Oosah Kerr

Art Dept Assistant: Lauren Bailey

Art Dept Assistant: Kerri Mould

Wardrobe: Lenna Boord

MUA (Day 1): Eve Flight

MUA (Day 2): Kate Radford

Production Assistant: Kean Szczur

Production Assistant: Lauren Merritt

BTS Videographer: Amelia Mullooly

BTS Stills Photographer (Day 1): Jackson Gallagher

BTS Stills Photographer (Day 2): Dijana Risteska

Catering: Gail Bailey

PR & Marketing: Michelle Lloyd and Andrea Sophocleous

Post Production

Offline Editors: Grace Eyre and Max Miller

Online Editors: Wilfred Patriarca

Colour Grade: Edel Rafferty

Sound Design: Kathleen Burros

Music Composer: Ned Beckley

Voice Over: Natalie Bond

Recording Studio: Gusto Studio

Content Producer: Hossein Khodabandehloo


Support from:

The Royals

The Otto Empire


2 Divas

The Editors

The Refinery

Studio Pancho

Equate Studios

Noise International

Australian Cinematographers Society

Melbourne Water

Film Victoria


Special thanks to:

Nic Godoy and Greg Lloyd, Steve O’Farrell, Andrew Siwka, Dave King, Jo Jo De Fina, Gareth Sweet, Stu
art Nightingale, Haley Kriksic, Claire Ambrosio, Andrea Sophocleous, Mika Tran Justine Pitcher, Kate Merrin, Alice Grant, Francesca D’Orazio, Ema Thornell, Amy Fong, Daniel Kim, Qiao Li, Hossein Khodabandehloo, Antuong Nguyen, Paul Bloomfield, Peter Kissonergis, Colin Simkins and Sean Calleja Ben Bickford, Leon the builder, Ben Tumney, Joe Loh, Warwick Field, Gail Bailey.