Welcome to Pipe Mountain
2007 | 24 mins | 16mm & DV
Synopsis: August 2011. A young man travels into the forest at the foot of Pipe Mountain, an infamous suicide spot that has sparked media frenzy in recent years. After a failed suicide attempt, he forms an unlikely friendship with a wandering mute woman and encounters a photographer, for whom the forest is a place full of opportunity. Welcome to Pipe Mountain – based on Aokigahara, the notorious suicide spot at the foot of Mount Fuji, Japan – is a drama that explores issues of mortality, morality and society's infatuation with the macabre.
Awards/Festivals: Winner, Best Student Film, West Australian Screen Awards. Nominated, Best Student Film, Roma Independent Film Festival. Arad Underground Film Festival. Denver Underground Film Festival. Arizona Underground Film Festival. Melbourne Underground Film Festival. Bohemia Outdoor Film Festival.
Welcome to Pipe Mountain was my student graduation film. Despite its many embarrassing flaws I still quite like it. It was a hard slog, raising the funds slowly over many months, shooting in the middle of the forest (Dwellingup, Western Australia), and scraping by with a bare minimum of film stock (which allowed little room for errors, and shaped the style of the film to a large extent). A couple of years ago I was finally able to give Tenniscoats, who provided the music for the end credits, a copy of the film when they visited Perth. Several of us who worked on the film are massive fans and when they wrote nice things about the film, we giggled in delight.