Originally devised as a short play for a Sydney-based festival cancelled by COVID-19, the creative team have redesigned the project for film, keeping all creatives involved.


Refuse Classification was born from an inspiration to show how the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) has, and continues to, negatively impact how western screens depict queer relationships, and sex in general. Poly, bisexual and queer audiences struggle to find depictions of their lives on screen without restriction and often with condensed or diminished representation due to a flawed and outdated ratings system. This US-based system affects the honest portrayal of non-heteronormative relationships globally, across film, television and now streaming content.

In it, a polyamorous family grapple with the evolution of their relationship while contending with an omnipresent MPAA at every step. We ask, what would it look like if state censors got into our very homes, onto our sofas, and between our partners? Or have they achieved that already? And just how (un)funny is it to try to meet their standards and be true to your heart.

As a short film project Refuse Classification is not eligible for grants and funding from the screen sector. Australian funding bodies no longer support stand-alone short films – and this film is one that needs to be made. It may be a short story but it’s an important one and we want to share it with you. Did we mention it’s a comedy?

The Fundraiser

Thanks to the support of the Australian Cultural Fund we can take tax-deductible donations toward the making of the film – and we have just 60 days to raise $6000!. Funds from this campaign will enable the project, paying for equipment, location fees, pre and post-production and a 3-day shoot with fees paid to artists and crew.

Our plans are to start pre-production and rehearsals in September and shoot October 2020, with post beginning right away for a finished film ready in December.

This particular film is an exceptional opportunity for the company and artists involved to adapt their theatrical practice for a new art form. Working with the director of an award-winning short film (Chris Elena, Audio Guide) Refuse Classification has pre-selection at film festivals in Australia and the USA, and a bright future exists for this and future work from the team.

Funding bodies in Australia no longer support stand-alone short film projects. Short films provide invaluable opportunities for emerging artists to explore new fields, grow skills, and tell stories unable to be told elsewhere. This is a short story but it’s an important one and we want to share it with the world.

This is the first of three planned film works engaging Rogue Projects, director Chris Elena and Sydney-based story tellers whose theatrical works have been displaced by the COVID crisis.


Written by: Chris Elena and Bradford Elmore
Director: Simon Thomson
Producer: Robbi James for Rogue Projects
Director of Photography: Kym Vaitiekus

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