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Filmmaker weaves healthy tapestry

A Perth filmmaker is carving a niche in the health education video production market.

Tapestry Films writer, director and producer Linda Portsmouth first become involved in film production in 1994 during a UNESCO film project about deaf children.

At the time she was working in Zimbabwe as a speech pathologist and mediated between the patients and film crew.

By the end of the project, she had become the scriptwriter and assistant director.

“I was sitting in a space between these two worlds and noticed there was a glaring need for someone who both understood the filmmaking process yet was sensitive to the needs of the parents and children being filmed,” Ms Ports-mouth said.

“As a speech pathologist, I would facilitate people to communicate. The difference now is that it just happens to be going on film.

“If you are doing a film about patients with a serious condition, you need to be totally understanding of what they’re going through.

“They pour their hearts out and the filmmaking should almost become secondary to the process and non-intrusive.”

While in the final semester of a film degree in 1996, she completed her first commercial docu-drama for the Perth Inner City Youth Service. The film aimed to educate young people on the health and social issues surrounding injecting drugs.

Like many of her productions, the twenty minute video used real patients including addicts both past and current.

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