Filming on the Ice “Queue”

A young filmmaker inspired by talk of a “queue” for money to pay for drugs in regional Victoria wants to show that addicts are not the only victims, as Riley Muscat reports.

A young film-maker says he is aiming to give the loved ones of ice addicts the “primary voice” in a new documentary, titled The Queue.

The initial idea for the film came after Sam Calafiore heard of “the queue” in parts of regional Victoria where ice addicts line up to receive dole payments before buying drugs.

Mr Calafiore, 21, said a key aspect of the film is that it is allowing people to understand that the victims are not just the addicts, but those around them as well.

It will feature four stories from different people of various ages and socio-economic backgrounds, each “hurt” by the affects of the drug.

Mr Calafiore says it is an issue close to his heart. One of the experiences will be Mr Calafiore’s own – seeing a friend strongly affected by crystal methamphetamine.

He described the project as has described his project as a “portrait of a life with a meth addict”.

He spoke of the anger and frustration associated with seeing someone you love being broken by an extremely addictive and dangerous substance.

“You never really recover,” Mr Calafiore said of both the ice victims and their families, and said the addict’s brain recovery takes “up to two years”.

He has teamed up with Producer Ella Humphreys, who has also experienced seeing a loved one affected by the drug.

Ms Humphreys is from rural Heyfield, 200km east of Melbourne. She said ice was now “an epidemic” that would inevitably affect her hometown, with just over 2000 people, as it had neighboring Sale.

Though she now lives over two hours away, knowing it was possible that some of people who she grew up with were abusing the drug was “awful”.

This threat is not isolated though, as Premier Daniel Andrews recently said that over 80,000 Victorians were using the drug ice in 2014.

The Australian Crime Commission has also said ice is second to only cannabis in usage world-wide.

Mr Calafiore and Ms Humphreys say that they hope that the release of their film, and the personal narratives, will help in the fight against the illegal substance.