Tunnel Vision

  • ACMI CIMEMAS Federation Square, Flinders Street Melbourne Australia

Dir. Ivan Hexter | Australia | 2016 | 58 mins | World Premiere

This session includes a panel discussion and Q&A with filmmakers.

With Melbourne’s population booming, the problem of congestion in our city has long been a matter of heated debate. While some support the addition of extra roads, bypasses, tunnels and the widening of lanes to assist traffic flow and ease congestion, others feel that a simple increase in public transport services would be a more practically and environmentally sound alternative.

Introduced by a Napthine government, elected off the back of its pro-public transport platform, The East-West Link project proposed that roads be built cutting through the heart of inner Melbourne, connecting suburbs on either side of the CBD. The campaign dominated mainstream media and became a crucial issue in the 2014 state election. Concerned about the plans narrow focus and negative environmental impact on the city’s liveability, residents from all walks of life began a grassroots campaign to block the project. Tunnel Vision, presents this battle from their perspective, documenting one the most historic and awe-inspiring acts of community activism to have ever taken place in Melbourne.

Cinematic proof of what can be achieved when a community unites as one, Tunnel Vision, told in an evocative and eye-catching style, takes us to the frontlines of the campaign to prevent the construction of this tunnel. The film incisively cutting together scenes of mass demonstrations, strategic meetings, legal challenges, and interviews with key participants and experts in infrastructure and city planning. In this, director Ivan Hexter intricately frames this epic struggle of the community who fought in favour of consultation, transparency and fairness.

With developments like WestConnex planned for Sydney and similar projects threatening the progress and sustainability of many cities across the country, Tunnel Vision stands as a powerful documentary that successfully demonstrates how coordinated acts of civil disobedience, savvy social media strategies and direct action can overcome vested political interest.

Panel discussion with filmmakers and community

Ivan Hexter, Director Tunnel Vision

Ivan is a multi-award winning filmmaker who has written, produced and directed content on social, arts, health and lifestyle subjects, primarily for ABC television.

Bessie Byrne - Producer

Bessie is a multimedia journalist and film producer with an interest in environmental protection and social justice. She has created award winning current affairs videos for online platforms and is now developing longer environmental documentaries and impact filmmaking projects. 

Harriet Mantell - Community activist

Harriet is a founding member of the RATs group. She was very vocal in demanding community consultation and more equitable transport plans. 

Tony Murphy - Community activist

Tony is an experienced activist who dedicated his life to standing up for the greater good and fighting injustice. 


October 2
Time to Choose