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Award-winning student film explores challenges of ‘Triple J Adele’

The journey of an aspiring musician can be a rollercoaster of emotions.
Student with auburn hair

SAE Melbourne student, Charlotte White recently produced documentary – an in-depth look at up-and-coming Australian artist, Indy Angel, and how she went from writing her debut single in her bedroom, to being played on Triple J, and overcoming her own personal challenges along the way. The documentary to date has received four selections at film festivals around the world.

Charlotte, a final year Bachelor of Film student, explained why she chose Indy as the subject of her multi-award nominated documentary. “I knew of Indy’s story from a personal perspective having been friends, but I was really interested to delve deeper into her story as an artist, and I felt when we connected that piece it was a fully formed picture of what she’s been through and overcome,” Charlotte said.

“It was an emotional experience for both of us - we felt liberated through the process of creating the documentary.”

When Charlotte first came up with the thesis for her documentary the story looked slightly different, as she explained. “It was originally ‘how to get from pen and paper to commercial success’, but it turned into the struggles, trials and tribulations of being a 19 year-old creative.

“Indy was in a relationship with someone that dealt pretty heavily in substance abuse and had mental health problems, and she found that she just kept turning to her songwriting as a way of therapy.

“Through those feelings and emotions in her songwriting she gained a wide amount of support for her music through Triple J Unearthed.

“Since the release of the film, people have reached out to Indy and said that this was everything they needed – it was comforting, a weight off their shoulders. People have found solace in her music and her story.

Charlotte and Indy

The star of the documentary, Indy, who said during the film, ‘I’m not ashamed to say I’m in pain’, found the process invigorating for her own personal relationships. “I’m really proud of how far I’ve come, where I am now emotionally, and to have people witnessing this is really special,” Indy said.

 

“I'm quite a private person. Sharing my journey with the world has been both scary and wonderful at the same time.”

The story has a happy ending. Indy is using the COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne to write new music. “I’m working with some amazing producers across the world to produce some new songs, and hopefully release an album towards the end of the year, so that’s super exciting.”

The film achieved four official selections, which included Best Opera Prima Short Film at the South Film and Arts Academy Festival; nominations for Best Student Film, and Best Documentary at The Monthly Film Festival; one semi-finalist nomination at the Stockholm City Film Festival; and an official screening at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival on 14 September.

With a small crew of six SAE students and staff involved in the film, Charlotte added that the response to the film has been incredible.

“We’re all still in disbelief! We’ve received these wonderful messages from people sharing how the challenges Indy has had to overcome have really resonated with them,” Charlotte commented.

“People love to see you uncovering an artist and understanding where they’ve been from and how they make their art – it’s so absorbing for an audience.”

Film students working with a camera

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