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Nowhere Line: Voices From Manus Island


​Two asylum-seeking men detained in Australia’s Manus Island, recount the dangerous journeys that brought them to the island.

After being featured on our Crowdfunding Picks and getting a must-see mention in our Top 5 trailers of 2015, we are not surprised to see the glorious detailing in this animated doc land on our Featured Shorts. The animation is narrated by two asylum-seeking men detained in Australia’s Manus Island Offshore Processing Centre, recounting the dangerous journeys that brought them to the island and their memories of the riot that erupted in 2014.

The film is based on 3.5 hours of phone calls that I recorded with the men in October 2014. Journalists are not allowed near the compound, and there are very few existing interviews with detainees. It took almost 5 months of research and planning before I was able to make contact with the men and record the interviews.

With a strong attachment to our current political slew, the film has gathered tampered attention at international film festivals, gaining several nominations and winning the award for Best Short Documentary at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

Nowhere Line began production as a graphic novel. As the scope of the project increased it took on the form of a short film. Some aesthetic elements of the graphic novel have been retained in the film – the style of illustration, and the expressive use of light and shadow.

Lukas Schrank’s extensive and obscure animation style certainly gives the documentary genre an extra layer of attention seeking details through the immersive and disturbing content.

Conditions in the Manus Island detention centre have come under fire from international human rights groups. In October 2014, 24-year-old Hamid Khazaei, died after contracting a treatable infection while detained on Manus Island.

The film was crowd-funded, and an additional $4700 was raised which went into sending donations of clothes, DVD players, books, and much needed items to men on detained on Manus Island and families detained on Nauru.

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