Private Project

Things Will Be Different

Things Will Be Different documents two neighbours’ experiences of displacement as they are forced to relocate from the Walker Street public housing estate in Northcote, Melbourne when it is sold for private redevelopment. The film explores the impact of losing one’s home and the important role public housing plays in our communities. The film is made by local filmmakers Celeste De Clario Davis and Lucie McMahon.

  • Lucie McMahon
  • Celeste De Clario Davis
  • Emmett Aldred
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  • Runtime:
    50 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    40,000 AUD
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Director Biography - Lucie McMahon

Lucie McMahon is a film practitioner and scholar based in Melbourne. Lucie teaches, researches and studies media and communications at RMIT University, Collarts and the University of Melbourne. Lucie is currently working on a documentary about queer history in Melbourne through a masters by creative practice research. Lucie is the director and producer of Things Will Be Different, a feature film about tenants living at the now demolished Walker Street Public Housing Estate in Northcote. Lucie recently completed a role working as the programming coordinator at the Australian International Documentary Conference. Lucie is currently working as the distribution coordinator for Arena Media's Cinemaplus, on two exciting new Australian feature films made by young women, Petrol by Alena Lodkina and Because We Have Each Other by Sari Braithwaite.

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Director Statement

Lucie McMahon grew up in public housing in Collingwood which allowed her an inner city education and upward mobility that was not afforded to the rest of my family. When she heard that the state government was knocking down and selling public housing she felt personally impacted and decided to join the Save Public Housing Collective where she met Celeste De Clario who is the director of photography. Celeste lived at the Walker Street Public Housing Estate in Northcote, Melbourne, where the film is set. Celeste introduced Lucie to ‘The Things Will Be Different’ families who In 2019 were told they would have to reallocate as their estate was getting knocked down to build private dwellings.

Things Will Be Different is finding its feet amidst one of the growing challenges of our time; that housing functions to generate profit. By 2025 an estimated one-third of the world’s city dwellers will struggle to secure affordable housing. Amid this housing crisis, 11 public housing estates in Melbourne have been sold to the private sector. The redevelopment plans for these estates will create smaller dwellings that, despite boastful titles like the ‘big housing build’, ultimately result in fewer people being securely housed. These redevelopments displace current public housing tenants, causing strain on people’s mental and physical health, and do nothing to increase accessible or affordable housing for those in greatest need.

Things Will Be Different, aims to reduce stigma toward public housing and humanise those who rely on it, so that public housing and its tenants are seen as valuable to our communities. We want showcases how public housing plays a vital role in housing security for all, and inspire a social movement to raise awareness about housing justice issues and resolutions.

Things Will Be Different combines observational, participatory and reflexive modes of documentary storytelling to provide a unique and humanising insight into the rich communities born of Melbourne’s Public Housing Estates. Celeste beautifully captures her old home and community with the sensitivity and
intimacy of a person experiencing the deep loss of displacement. Celeste’s strong bonds with the community provide her unique access to the harsh realities, strain and injustice of the Government’s redevelopment initiatives, on these two captivating and resilient families as they are pushed away from their homes.

The experience of tenants of Walker Street sheds light on the broader issues of a national and global de-prioritisation of secure and affordable housing for low income people. City planning and redevelopment rarely fosters the cultural and ethnic diversity which make cities exciting places to live. In the closing scenes of the film we hear from housing activists from America, the UK, and New Zealand and reframe that the experiences of the Walker Street tenants are not unique, people all over the world are being pushed out of their homes, ruining the rich cultural fabrics of urban cities in the process.

Things Will Be Different aims aims to inspire a social movement to raise awareness about housing justice issues and resolutions.