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What to know: HIGHWATER offers a glimmer of hope of what tomorrow could bring.
HIGHWATER is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 12-18
48 minutes
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HIGHWATER cover image
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Highwater opens graphically showing the young people against a beautiful background of nature, trees and water and sharing statistics about the 22,000 children of school age not enrolled in any form of education. We are asked "So, where are they"? Next, we are introduced to the characters who tell us their stories. It makes sense and is very watchable.

Overall, Highwater uses great visual techniques as it shows the backgrounds of these young people and we watch them from making their mistakes to their determination to move forward and achieve success.

I recommend Highwater for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals because it has several messages and lessons for not only young people but also adults who are looking for ways to help children struggling with life issues. This film can be used to encourage and inspire ways to create alternative education programs for students unsuited for mainstream educational situations. It exemplies a "creative led education program for young people who can't do "mainstream" school. While it is based on students in Australia, the message applies to any community. As a special interest topic, this film can be used to encourage and inspire ways to create alternative education programs. The production value is high enough to meet big screen standards. The imagery and sounds are very good.

Since the film is based on a true story, the vocabulary and concepts are suitable for ages 12 to 18. What is most appealing to me about this title is the stories of a few young people who represent thousands who are struggling with the events of life - drugs, abuse, prostitution and hopelessness.

Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! Juror

HIGHWATER is a drama based on true events. Six at- risk teenagers, two ex-prisoners - cum trainee artists and three passionate, na�ve community artists have the daunting task of establishing an alternative school in a conservative border town of Australia. All of these kids' lives are predicated on poverty, drugs and crime. All are heading to become yet another teenage statistic; a juvenile justice case, a young mother, junkie - dead. These are the kids society doesn't want to know about, the smelly kids who don't fit into a neat box, won't do as they are told, are labeled 'drop kicks' 'ferals' or in funding terms: 'units.' Creativity is their equal meeting ground. A performance is booked... Can this unruly bunch of misfits rise to the challenge of staging a theatre performance for the wider community? HIGHWATER offers a glimmer of hope of what tomorrow could bring.
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