Homelessness, domestic violence, aspiration – Datu Bethke references them all in his seven-minute short film which was selected to screen with the best HSC Drama individual projects of 2015.
The St Mary’s Cathedral College Sydney graduate’s film, Hidden in Plain Sight, tells the story of a young German man remembering his past love while trying to build a life in Australia – working for a minimum wage at a garage, sleeping rough, and training to become a professional boxer.
It will be screened to thousands of Year 11 and 12 students at the OnStage showcase from February 6.
“It’s a major privilege to get recognition for a film that had some meaning to me,” Datu said.
“Getting the letter felt like winning the teenage Oscars, maybe. I feel honoured that they are going to screen it in front of thousands of other students.”
View Datu’s short film below.
Datu developed an interest in film in late primary school and has produced several short films since 2011 including two Tropfest entries. He started production on his HSC drama offering in mid March last year, casting 16 year old Daniel Kostavikov in the lead role, and Elise Crowley as Hanna. Narration, in German, was done by Eddy Prokapolov.
“Production was the most difficult period,” Datu said. “Finding the right person for the role took a while because I had originally planned for the main character to be a lot older.
“I wanted to express the real-life individual struggles that not the average person would go through.
“I started with a longer story and had to cut it down a lot. There were a few clichés when I first wrote the script, but I kept rewriting it and stuck with a more ambiguous ending.”
Datu has an interest in design and graphics, but is now focused on cinematography and experimental film. His next project is an homage to Quentin Tarantino with his younger brother.
“There were a lot of considerations when I was about to start the individual project but film is basically my forte. It is definitely something I want to pursue as a career.”
Datu said seeing the films screened at previous OnStage showcases drove him to create a high quality work.
“There were interesting films that I thought were pretty enthralling last year,” he said. “They were simple ideas and had a kind of twist in the end. I think that really influenced me to try to do something that would screen.”
OnStage is at the Seymour Centre from February 6 to 12.