A heartbreaking story of homelessness on the streets of Brisbane is being brought to life by director Mel Poole with the help of the city’s corporate leaders.
Shooting has just finished on Poole’s short film “Charlie”, based on a true story told by now Brisbane Economic Development Authority chief executive Anthony Ryan.
Ryan’s involvement with the Eddie’s Van soup kitchen initiative while working as a teacher at St Josseph’s College, Gregory Terrace led him to meet the real-life homeless man whose story serves as the inspiration for the film.
The film follows the life of ‘Charlie’, a man who endured years of homelessness on the streets of Brisbane and struggled with self-loathing and an inability to connect with others.
Charlie hesitates to accept help, except for the daily serving of soup from a local soup van catering to the homeless community.
Amidst Charlie’s solitary existence, a volunteer named Angie tries relentlessly to connect with him, but all efforts seem in vain.
However, a chance encounter with a street kid named Eddie triggers haunting memories from Charlie’s past, revealing the heart-wrenching events that led to his life on the streets.
As Charlie shares his painful journey with Angie, he takes the first steps towards self-forgiveness and healing.
Poole says the film aims to spark conversation, drive awareness, and encourage positive change through the art of storytelling.
Poole, who runs 18 Degrees Film, says filming wrapped up this week at various locations around the city including the Story Bridge, Myer Centre and Albert St. “What brought it home to me was the number of homeless people we encountered while filming,” says Poole.
Ryan says he realised something had to be done about homelessness when he asked his students why there was poverty in the world and they said it was because they were lazy.
He says the real-life Charlie decided he did not deserve a proper life after his son died in a car accident while he was driving.
“He felt he deserved to be punished,” says Ryan. “He decided he was not deserving of a life, that he was going to smell and not bath. It’s a powerful story that needs to be told as it reminds us every day that the people we walk past have a story.
The lead role of Charlie was portrayed by Bryan Probets, known for his performances in movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, Furiosa, and The Proposition.