The Hunting Ground Film Pitches to Aus Universities
25 February 2016 at 8:00 am
A film outreach project supported by GoodPitch Australia is bringing internationally acclaimed documentary The Hunting Ground to Australia to engage local universities in a unified campaign against sexual violence on campuses.
The feature documentary, produced with philanthropic funding, launched in the US in 2015 and chronicles the personal stories of students who have been sexually assaulted on American university campuses.
Interweaving observational footage, expert insights and first-person testimonies, the film follows survivors pursuing both their education and justice in the face of institutional failure to respond effectively and appropriately to their reports.
Described as a confronting exposé of sexual assault on American university campuses, the film has sparked a national debate in the United States about rape culture, sexual consent and victim support.
Millwood Consulting’s Director Allison Henry is leading the impact campaign for The Hunting Ground Australia Project.
“While there are significant cultural, financial and structural differences between American and Australian universities and student life, consultation has confirmed that there are issues raised by the film that are relevant in an Australian context,” Henry said.
“A campus screening program of The Hunting Ground launched in universities this week in the ACT, with universities in all states planning screenings in the next months using an international version of the film.
“Philanthropic funding raised at Good Pitch gives universities the opportunity to provide supported screenings to students with support staff from campus and community groups and university and student leaders taking part in discussions following the film.
“The Hunting Ground Australia Project has engaged the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Australian Human Rights Centre to develop the Australian Universities’ Sexual Assault and Harassment Survey – an independent survey on the prevalence, reporting experiences and responses to sexual assault and sexual harassment in university settings.”
Henry said despite anecdotal evidence, there is currently no comprehensive independent statistical information about the incidence of sexual assault, sexual threats and sexual harassment on Australian university campuses.
“The survey will fill the current information gap and provide Australian universities with the knowledge required to better understand and respond to this issue,” she said.
“The Hunting Ground Australia Project has engaged very experienced national experts in sexual assault prevention education, in partnership with the leading national sexual assault and domestic violence service, to adapt existing training programs around healthy relationships, sexual ethics, consent and bystander strategies that can be employed in an Australian university context for staff and students.
“By educating young people, their educators and carers about respectful relationships, consent laws and ethical choices, Australian students will have a framework to take into their future workplaces and families.”
She said The Hunting Ground Australia Project would document and assess the impact of the campaign.
The Hunting Ground documentary will initially be available for university-based and community screenings from 22 February 2016. Screenings can be booked with the project’s Impact Producers via the website. The film can be seen in Melbourne on 2 March, at Australian Centre of the Moving Image at 6.15pm, and in Canberra on 3 March at the National Film and Sound Archive at 6.30pm hosted by Women’s Centre for Health Matters and Canberra Rape Crisis Centre.
Pro Bono Australia is a Good Pitch2 Australia community partner.