Press release from QPIX

Breathless, a film raising swim safety awareness has finally been completed and submitted to the Cannes Film Festival by Screen Australia.

Breathless is a creative drama that forces the audience to empathise and connect with the tragedy of child drownings in a way that is more powerful than sheer statistics and news reports. The film is a personal reflection that Director Peter Ireland created due to his own experience of his Aunty loosing her son, Peter’s cousin to a backyard drowning. The script was co-written over a year ago by Ireland and Yianni Papamanolis.

Gold and Silver Logie Nominee, popular Dancing with the Stars contestant and better known for her current role in Home and Away, Esther Anderson plays lead role as ‘Jodie’ in the short film.

Breathless is a story of a mother, incapable of moving on with her life after the tragic drowning of her child. She clings desperately to the slowly fading memory of her lost son by submerging herself in their backyard swimming pool. Her dangerous obsession takes its toll on the family and her estranged ways are destroying the relationships around her.

Breathless was filmed in Brisbane under the direction of multi award winning young Film Director Peter Ireland and Produced by Sydney based Samantha Laidlaw who’s works include National television productions such as Australia’s Got Talent, XFactor, Undercover Boss, and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. The film is set to raise awareness about the important and current issue of backyard drownings; it is expected to impact on parents who loose their children through accidents and the guilt and personal tragedy they experience.

“We wanted the film to be an emotional representation rather than a factual documentation of backyard drownings because Australians already know about the dangers of young children around pools through Laurie Lawrence’s “Stay Alive do the 5” campaign and the like, but we thought not many people can get an understanding of the reality of such a tragic event. By filming a short drama like this, we want to establish an empathy towards the cause, but we also want people to be absorbed in the story” states Ireland and Laidlaw in a recent interview.

Esther plays alongside Andrew Buchanan who plays the role of ‘David’, Jodie’s concerned husband. With a young up and coming talented Meaganne West who plays Esthers daughter Lily. What made Esther choose to do the film Breathless? “I was drawn to the script. I felt it read really well. There wasn’t a huge amount of dialogue and that is sometimes harder so I knew I’d be in for a challenge. It’s a powerful story with an important message that unfortunately too many familes in Australia can relate too” explained Esther.

The film will be submitted to a number of film festivals worldwide with possible screenings around Easter in Brisbane and May with QPIX

In 2008 – 2009, 33 children under the age of 5 died from downing related preventable incidents in Australia alone. In 2009- to early Jan 2011 NSW paramedics responded to more than 637 drownings and near drownings. It’s estimated that for every 1 child that drowns 14 are taken to emergency rooms and 4 are admitted to hospital as a result of immersion. Research shows that up to 80% of backyard pools do not comply with current safety standards and drownings are increasing. Royal Life Saving's CEO Rob Bradley says the majority of toddler drowning deaths happen at the busiest times on weeknights between 4.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. and highlights that as much as 70% of drowning in children under five years stem from a lack of supervision.

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