Madison Pelzer The Gathering DVD Interview

Madison Pelzer The Gathering DVD Interview

Madison Pelzer The Gathering DVD Interview

Cast: Jessica Featherby, Madison Pelzer
Producers: Janet Armarego and Nick Heydon
Genre: Drama, Documentary
Rated: Warning: This film contains frequent coarse language and adult themes.
Running Time: 27 minutes

Synopsis: The DVD, called The Gathering, highlights a typical adolescent gathering which spirals out of control due to an over supply of alcohol and the arrival of gatecrashers. The hard hitting themes in the film include sexual assault, violence, glassing and alcoholic poisoning.

The 2008 National Drug Research Institute found that, on average, one in four hospitalisations of 15-25 year olds happen because of alcohol. In addition, four Australians under 25 die due to alcohol-related injuries in an average week.

Mayor Russell Aubrey said the script for The Gathering was written with the input of more than 150 teenagers who described the real and dangerous situations in which they find themselves.

"Teen binge drinking can and does lead to a number of horrifying situations. These can include car accidents, sexual assault, violent attacks, hospitalisation and even death," he said.
"This DVD resource is designed to engage young people in discussion and raise awareness about the harms associated with binge drinking. The resource depicts drunkenness as undesirable and discourages the secondary supply of alcohol to juveniles by parents, older siblings and friends."

The Gathering will be accompanied by resource material to assist teachers and facilitators in effectively engaging young people in discussion about strategies for staying safe when socialising.

Several years ago the City identified the need to target young people in alcohol education programs. The script developed for The Gathering was created after discussing typical events occurring at teenage parties.

The script was then workshopped with teenagers to ensure the credibility of the characters, scenario and language. The DVD will be provided to all senior schools in the City of Melville free of charge. Schools and organisations outside of the City of Melville will be able to purchase the DVD resource.

Additional funding for the project was sourced from Lotterywest, Healthway and the Cities of Rockingham and Perth.

Release Date: Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Interview with Madison Pelzer

Madison Pelzer played Chloe in the film, The Gathering. In the film, Chloe is the blonde that is sexually assaulted whilst she was drunk.

Question: What made you want to play the role of Chloe, in The Gathering?

Madison Pelzer: I was chosen for the role, but it looked like a really interesting role so I accepted it. I enjoyed playing Chloe because she was so different to me and she wasn't aware of the dangers of drinking.

Question: Can you talk a little about the character of Chloe, in the The Gathering?

Madison Pelzer: Chloe was very shy and sensitive and because of her boyfriend she is kind of pushed into this friendship group and is bullied quite a lot. I found it a little easier playing Chloe because I was bullied when I was younger and I could relate to her on that level.

Question: Was it difficult to play the role of Chloe?

Madison Pelzer: No, it wasn't actually; being able to relate with the character helped so much because I could use that emotion in my acting.

Question: Have you personally seen any of the incidents shown in The Gathering, in real life?

Madison Pelzer: I have seen fights and I have seen my friends get hurt by just standing on the sidelines. I have seen the effect of drugs and alcohol, but you just need to know what the limits are with yourself, and young adults need to know when to call an ambulance and not just leave their friends to 'sleep it off'.

Question: Were you surprised to hear that four Australians under 25 die due to alcohol-related injuries in an average week?

Madison Pelzer: No, I actually wasn't surprised because a lot of kids just aren't educated in how to look after themselves; that's why I liked The Gathering because they could relate to the film, and it wasn't just one of these boring educational movies.

Question: How do you think teenagers will receive the film, The Gathering?

Madison Pelzer: Yes definitely! The actors helped with the language used, and made it more from a younger point of view. We crossed out some lines in the script because we knew that teenagers wouldn't say those things.

Question: What do you hope the film will achieve?

Madison Pelzer: I hope that the film will help educate and inform the kids about how to deal with the problems and educate them about the harms and danger that come with underage drinking.

Question: Are you currently working on any upcoming projects?

Madison Pelzer: Not at the moment, I'm still in training. I did just wrap up an online advertisement for Victoria University.

Interview by Brooke Hunter and Morgan Sutherland.

Verdict: Being a teen in the target audience, I had seen many movies like 'The Gathering'. I though that the normal, 'Don't Binge Drink' and 'Don't Drink While Underage' messages would be present and it would be like any other resource. But it wasn't! 'The Gathering' shocks you, and makes it more of a reality than some of the other movies on the same topic. Although there are many different sub-topics in the movie, like sexual abuse and violence, the main cause and problem is the alcohol. It made me uncomfortable to watch and it made me realise that this actually goes on! I believe 'The Gathering' has achieved what it set out to do, and I recommend that every teacher, parent and teenager watch it.
Rating: *****
Morgan Sutherland