Walkabout - Dann Emmons

Created by Dann Emmons, The Pitch 2018

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Abigail goes searching for her missing Father against the will of her family, who believe her endeavor to be fruitless. Her father has a history of disappearing without warning and though he’s always returned in the past, this time feels different. Thus Abigail sets off across the British Countryside in search of him. As she treks the treacherous terrain she recalls on the various conflicts with her family as well as memories of her father. With a small memento for company, Abigail explores her feelings around their complex relationship and we soon realise that this journey is as much about her finding herself, as finding her father. In the films climax, Abigail stumbles across the scene of an accident. From a distance she spots the body of an elderly man she feels certain is her father. Faced with the reality that she may loose her father and the affect that bears upon her, Abigail quickly unravels and must confront everything that she has left buried. Though we are left unaware as to the identity of the man, the transformation within Abigail is clear. Walkabout is a story of compassion, hope and the effect that mental illness can bear on a family.

Biblical Connection

I am adapting Matthew 18:12-14 which tells the tale of a Shepherd who goes searching for a lost sheep, whilst leaving behind a flock of 99. It goes on to explain how that Shepherd will be happier to save that one sheep, than the 99 he left behind. When considering which passage from the Bible I wanted to interpret, Matthew 18 really stood out to me as a topic close to my heart: the importance of one life. In my life I have known many 'lost sheep' and 'Walkabout' is inspired by the true story of my Grandpa. My Grandpa had a very difficult life and I didn't know him well, but from what I did know, he caused a great strain on my family. Though despite his shortcomings, my Mum never gave up hope for him and never stopped loving him. This notion of family and of leaving no-one behind (a family motto) has certainly stayed with me in the years since his death. Walkabout looks at this relationship of family, and at the souls who have lost their way in the world. It also touches on mental illness and the importance of recognizing the cause of becoming lost.