Absent, a powerful and moving film about the impact of fathers on children and society, will screen in Australian cities as part of a National Premiere Film Tour 13-29 June 2013, accompanied by the film’s award-winning director Justin Hunt. I am very excited that I will be accompanying Justin Hunt on the tour and hopefully will catch up with you along the way.
The documentary is an emotional journey that reveals the universal impacts of fatherlessness while providing hope for a better future for men and women alike. The film draws on the heartfelt stories of Metallica front man, James Hetfield; the late world champion boxer, Johnny Tapia; Wild at Heart author John Eldredge; renowned author Richard Rohr, fitness model Robin Decker; prostitutes, vulnerable youth and many more.
ABSENT Official Movie Trailer (click the link)
Justin Hunt, the Director, said
“The film shows that fatherlessness and the father wound is a universal problem across our planet but, through stories from people such as James Hetfield and others, we begin to create understanding of the issue – and with understanding, you can begin to create change.”
Australian research papers show a strong association between the absence of a father and poor academic achievement, low self-esteem, criminal behaviour, delinquency, substance use and abuse, social, sexual and psychological problems, depression, and suicidal behaviour.
“So often it is difficult to know how to turn something around until you know what is at the core of the issue,” said Hunt. “I am so excited that I will have the chance to be there for the Australian premiere and share this film with people. It’s a great launching pad for talking about how people can heal their hurts and break the cycle of absent fatherhood that has gone unnoticed for far too long and has such a negative impact on individuals and society as whole.”
When Metallica’s James Hetfield poured out his heart and pain in the lyrics of the iconic heavy metal songs he and the band created, he connected with generations of people who carried the legacy of growing up without a father.
“The thing that hurt me most, when I look back at it … he left without saying goodbye,” says Hetfield in the movie. “He left a note, but it wasn’t even to me.”
Later reflecting on the experience of being involved in the movie and a number of American screenings, Hetfield said:
“This movie has done a lot more for me than I thought it would. Justin, the crew, the books, opened my eyes to the male role in the family – the father…”
Absent has been shown at 18 festivals in eight countries, winning six awards. It has screened in more than a dozen countries and DVDs have been shipped to 33 countries, highlighting the universality of the issue. As part of the National Premiere ‘Bring Back Fatherhood’ Tour, Absent will screen in capital cities and some regional centres across six states and the ACT from 13-29 June, 2013. Opportunity at the screenings will be given to support the tax deductible work of Dads4Kids.
The Dads4Kids charity is sponsoring the ‘Bring Back Fatherhood Tour’, including bringing Justin Hunt to Australia to promote the film and talk about the underlying messages. All screenings will be free entry (excepting some cinemas) to ensure maximum public attendance. Justin Hunt, the Director, will be available for Q & A at the end of each screening.
My own view of the film is that it is honest, raw and moving with a powerful message for all Australians – men and women – about the role of fathers, the future of our children and the health of our nation.
This film presents Australians with the best possible opportunity to prove the importance of fathers and impact the culture to help turn the tide of fatherlessness here in Australia. The bonus is that this movie also provides the very best fund raising opportunity Dads4Kids has ever had.
I encourage you as a father, and any future fathers you know, to come along to the special screenings in Sydney, Gosford, Tahmoor, Brisbane, Toowoomba, Townsville, Cairns, Wollongong, Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart, Adelaide or Perth. In both Melbourne and Sydney there is a choice of two or three locations so I hope you can come along to one of the screenings and at least shake my hand. After all, I love to shake hands with a man who is committed to being the best father possible for his children.
Hopefully we will catch up at one of the Absent screenings but if the movie is not coming to your area it is still possible for you to bring the film to your community and raise money for Dads4kids in the process.
All donations are tax deductible. What a great way to help our children and encourage other Australian dads all at the same time! Absent cannot be shown to groups of people without a proper certified screening license because of strict copyright requirements under federal law.
The good news is that for a short period of time between 21 June and 29 June inclusively, Dads4Kids has the license to screen the Absent movie on the basis that it is used to raise funds for Dads4Kids. After that time Koorong, the national distributor, will take over all rights. It is usual that an upfront fee will be required for all screenings through Koorong.
So this week we are asking you to consider coming along to one of the many Absent screenings between 13-29 June, or to organise one of your own if you are outside a screening area. Dads4Kids will even provide a personalised video message from Justin Hunt, the Director, to your screening audience. Together we can make difference!
Yours for our Children
PS. Applications to show the movie close on the 11 June 2013. If you wish to apply to show Absent in your own area please click here to make application.