Things Will Be Different: Australian public housing doco to screen in May

The feature documentary will play a limited number of screenings in select cities.
Things Will Be Different. Image supplied.

A documentary focusing on public housing in Australia is getting a limited number of screenings across Melbourne, Sydney, Geelong, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth this May.

Things Will Be Different, by Lucie McMahon, is a portrait of the last two residents of the Walker Street Public Housing Estate in Northcote as they are forcibly relocated from their homes by private developers.

The primary subjects of the film are Will and Najat. Will is a 50-year-old housing activist, and Najat is a single migrant mother with four children. Through their stories, McMahon takes an observational approach to exploring the effects of losing one’s home and the essential role public housing plays in shaping communities. Her Director of Photography, Celeste De Clario Davis, herself a former resident of Walker Street Public Housing, captures the eccentricities of the estate before it is demolished.


The team behind the film hope to raise awareness of the fight for accecssible, affordable housing by screening the film in a number of cities next month. In their press release, they highlighted that, the Victorian government has plans to sell 75% of the state’s existing public housing to private developers a scheme that will see the demolition of several high-rise and estate housing, which will be replaced largely by mixed-use dwellings (often a combination of luxury residential apartments and community housing). 

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‘While residents living in these buildings have been promised the opportunity to return once the redevelopment is complete, evidence shows that such projects often lead to a reduction of bedrooms per apartment and a loss of public land, which will make returning untenable for many former residents,’ said a representative of the publicity team.

The times and locations of each screening of Things Will Be Different are below.

Where to watch Things Will Be Different

  • GEELONG – 15th of May, Pivot Cinemas*
  • MELBOURNE – 18th of May, Thornbury Picture House*
  • MELBOURNE – 19th of May, Cinema Nova*
  • MELBOURNE – 21st of May, ACMI for New Voices program*
  • MELBOURNE – 28th of May, Parliament House
  • CANBERRA – 30th of May, Parliament House
  • BYRON BAY – 23rd of May, Palace Cinema
  • SYDNEY – 23rd of May, Denny Cinema *
  • LISMORE – 23rd of May, Star Court Theatre
  • BRISBANE – 20th of May, Palace Barracks Cinema*
  • ADELAIDE – 17th of May, Palace Barracks Cinema*
  • PERTH – 18th of May, Luna Leederville*

    * Includes Q&A sessions

For further information visit the Things Will Be Different website.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports