Catching Dragonflies Documentary
Catching Dragonflies is a social impact film that exposes the silent disease ripping the heart from the oldest culture on earth. The film explores gross inadequacies in detection and protection of those suffering and the toll it is taking on our nation. The rates of Ear Disease in Indigenous Australians are at fourth world statistics. Children are loosing their hearing from an avoidable disease and it’s setting their lives on an inequitable trajectory.
Please support us in making this a feature film for international audiences so the world takes notice.
What if your child was born with all senses but by the age of three will almost certainly suffer hearing damage if not hearing loss? Within Australia’s Indigenous community, ear disease (Otitis Media or OM) is at fourth-world statistics.
Otitis Media and its effects raise complex issues, but the disease itself can be prevented.
We are a small family-owned and run production company based in Newcastle NSW. We were lucky enough to recently work on a project where we learned a lot about the OM problem within the Australian Aboriginal community. This experience inspired us to create the documentary Catching Dragonflies which will educate and build awareness about what Indigenous Australians (and their culture) are suffering, what OM is and how it can be prevented.
The effects of OM are far-reaching. 85% of incarcerated Aboriginals are hearing impaired or deaf, and there is almost certainly a point in their earlier lives where they suffered Otitis Media which caused hearing loss.
Help us reveal the truth and educate all Australians about what needs to be done to change the trajectory of thousands of lives.
A national task force is being established so that experts across the spectrum can work more efficiently towards their common goal; eradicating Otitis Media from the community. This film is committed to them and anyone who is working to combat this debilitating yet preventable disease.
Working with key stakeholders in indigenous health in Australia such as Professor Harvey Coates (Order of Australia) and Dr Kelvin Kong (Australia’s only indigenous surgeon) Catching Dragonflies highlights the epidemic of poor indigenous ear health throughout Australia and the massive flow on effect this has for the sufferers of the disease, their families, their communities, their culture and their language, as well as the financial and social effect on Australia as a whole.
Extensive research and communication with community leaders, clinical practitioners, and health workers specialising in the field of chronic sufferative otitis media (CSOM) has revealed that this disease demands to be treated like any other chronic illness or disease, like cardiovascular disease or cancer. The simple fact is, it is not.
The world health organisation states that if 4% of the population suffers from CSOM it’s a massive health problem. In Australia’s indigenous communities rates are far beyond 4%. Current statistics show rates vary from 45% through to 90% of CSOM.
On our extensive journey across Australia we will talk to and follow clinical practitioners, researchers, and health workers specialising in CSOM as well as Aboriginals working within their own community. We will see first hand the effect CSOM has on unemployment, behavioural disorders, and incarceration in indigenous Australia as well as the wider effect it is having on the world’s oldest culture and their ability to learn and preserve their culture and language.
3% of the Australian population is indigenous.
30% of all incarcerated people in Australia are indigenous.
85% of those incarcerated aboriginals are hearing impaired or deaf!
CSOM costs the Australian people over $600 million a year in Medicare, over $300 million per year in social welfare and a staggering $850 million per year in incarceration. Yet still Indigenous Australians continue to have the worst ear health in the world.
Fables and other stories, performed by our ‘Elder’ David Gulpilil and spoken in an Aboriginal dialect form a metaphorical connection with the reality of the disease in Australia. His story of the dragonflies and connection with nature symbolises the simple right of all Indigenous children to hear - so they can develop language to inherit their culture, gain education and employment and achieve prosperous lives.
On this journey we will be shocked, saddened, disturbed by the facts and the situations presented to us. But we will also be inspired as we hear stories and see first-hand jubilation from small children and imprisoned adults as the sense of hearing in part returns!
If one person’s story can inspire, then countless stories will surely create a monumental change.
This is a documentary that has to be put in front of our Health Ministers. This is a documentary that our Prime Minister must see and can’t ignore!
We hope that with your support Catching Dragonflies will be the catalyst that finally focuses due attention on this chronic and socially destructive epidemic.
We must look after each other.
How can you help?
We are seeking funding to turn this trailer into a feature-length documentary.
Through our research and early development, many critical stories and threads have emerged. To do this issue justice and understand what is really going on, we need to follow personal stories and speak with the experts in this country and abroad.
With your help we could make real change in Australia. The aim of the film is to assist in the prevention of a disease which has a lasting effect on the lives of countless Aboriginal Australians. We will be forever grateful for your help.
Feature Documentary Credits:
Producers: April Howard, Paul Donnelly, Tommy Donnelly
Director: Paul Donnelly
Writer: Paul Donnelly
Production Company: Rollingball Pictures Pty Ltd
Trailer Documentary Credits:
Executive Producers: Paul Donnelly and Tommy Donnelly
Producer: April Howard
Director: Steve Pasvolsky
Writers: Paul Donnelly and Steve Pasvolsky
DP: Paul Donnelly
Production Company: Rollingball Pictures Pty Ltd
Thank you very much to all the amazing people who have donated and supported our ‘Catching Dragonflies Documentary’ campaign so far.
Thanks to your donations, the crew have been able to conduct their first medical outpatient tour in remote Australia. This week, the crew has been following one of the country’s leading experts on Otitis Media in an area where the issue is rampant and discover the local stories at a grassroots level.
We aim to reach the $50,000 mark by January to ensure the crew can continue to follow the stories of the Northern Territory and other parts of Australia.
Please help by donating to and sharing our campaign. Your support is greatly appreciated and is what’s keeping the production going!
WE MUST LOOK AFTER EACH OTHER!
Thank you again.
Absolutely brilliant clip and message your actions are fabulous. One to add would be the enormous impact breastfeeding has with the Aboriginal community in avoiding otitis media. Education and support makes a huge difference in health outcomes. Adding this aspect to the clip will also help reduce the incidence of breast, ovarian, endometrial and thyroid cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Not only in this but future generations. Great job everyone.