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The Fort

A Mother builds a fort for her son to escape domestic violence, upon entering they are transported into the son's imagination, giving them the determination to get out of their abusive home life.

  • Carly Anne Kenneally
  • Jess Kenneally
  • Jess Kenneally
  • Shaynna Blaze
    Deadline Design, World of Design, Buying Blind
  • Carly Anne Kenneally
  • Jess Kenneally
  • Eliza Charley
    Key Cast
    Time Apart
  • Dean Bills
    Key Cast
  • Liza Dennis
    Key Cast
    The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee, Five Bedrooms, You Can Say Vagina
  • Jess Kenneally
    Key Cast
    The Escape Hatch
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Fantasy, Drama
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 17 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    500,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • CinefestOz
    Busselton, WA
    August 28, 2021
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • Mind Blowing Films
    Country: Australia
    Rights: Theatrical
Director Biography - Carly Anne Kenneally, Jess Kenneally

Carly Anne Kenneally is a director and editor that crafts stories with the intent to challenge how people look at the world. Jess Kenneally is a writer, actor and director, graduating from NIDA’s Actor Studio in 2013.

Carly’s career highlights include production managing, 2017’s SXSW audience favourite, The Light of the Moon, assisting on 2015 Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominated documentary Kiki and winner of ASE’s Edit Royalle in 2020. Carly Anne has edited multiple shorts and documentaries that have premiered in film festivals around the world.

Jess Kenneally produced and acted in the Australian theatre premiere of ‘Good Egg’ and was in the award winning short “The Escape Hatch”. Jess works in the audio department for large scale productions such as The Block and Survivor.

The brother and sister duo Co-Directed their debut feature film, The Fort, as a way to create discussion and action in ending domestic violence around the world. They are filmmakers who focus on collaboration to tell stories that matter.

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Director Statement

Jess wrote The Fort, after attending a candlelight vigil in Melbourne’s Federation Square for victims of family violence. This showed us the glaring issue that is endemic in not only Australian culture, but worldwide; that women and children are so often not safe in their own home, from those who supposedly love them.

Research shows that escaping through fantasy is a common way for a child to deal with trauma, re-occurring nightmares for both adults and children is also one of the many results of family violence. These traits reveal themselves throughout the film in multiple characters and ways. Often those who suffer at the hands of family violence are reduced to headlines and statistics and their stories are hidden away. The Fort brings the audience into the world where a mother and son are trying to cope with and protect each other from their abusive husband and father.

As a brother and sister tandem, collaborating as co-directors for a subject matter that The Fort confronts, it gave us extra reverence for the roles we were taking on. With Jess’ writing and acting background and Carly’s editing and production skills, it allowed us to be able to look and the micro and macro elements of every scene and decision that goes into making the film. Challenging each other on what are the best decisions for The Fort has allowed us to create what we believe to be a special movie and continue our film making journey.

Since production of The Fort our Executive Producer and Mother, Shaynna Blaze, has started the charity, Voice of Change, that will fund survivors of domestic violence stories told through the arts.