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u16.co Award-winning, critically-acclaimed films that derive a humanist perspective from particular cosmopolitan experiences. | Est. 2015 u16.co is an ongoing film project, originally from Sydney and today based in New York, that has been programmed at the Maysles Documentary Center and Harvard University.

Founded in 2015 by Lorenzo Benitez, James Holloway and Jonathon Parker as a three-person collective, it has since become a moniker under which Benitez continues to produce cinema that derives a humanist attitude from cosmopolitan experiences. Follow our social media for updates on works-in-progress and watch our short films on our website.

'An Unscripted Earth' (2020), our award-winning second fe

Founded in 2015 by Lorenzo Benitez, James Holloway and Jonathon Parker as a three-person collective, it has since become a moniker under which Benitez continues to produce cinema that derives a humanist attitude from cosmopolitan experiences. Follow our social media for updates on works-in-progress and watch our short films on our website.

'An Unscripted Earth' (2020), our award-winning second fe

Operating as usual

12/16/2021

Check out our latest award-winning documentary, 'Jaiveer Has a Day Job' (2021) on the bureauofcreative.works/film/jaiveer

'An Unscripted Earth' is now internationally available on YouTube. No longer exclusive to Amazon Prime Video in the US/U...
08/21/2021

'An Unscripted Earth' is now internationally available on YouTube. No longer exclusive to Amazon Prime Video in the US/UK.

Watch: https://youtu.be/cMmnoZ5Lb-8 | Info: u16.co/aue

"Lawrence and Jaime, old high school friends, attend university on opposite sides of the globe. After four years apart, they reunite in Manila, Jaime’s hometown, untouched by Duterte’s War on Drugs, but unable to escape nostalgia and anxiety. Shot in one of Asia’s fastest growing megacities, An Unscripted Earth is an award-winning film about memory, affluence, and the uncertain youth of our globalised world."

James Holloway Jonathon Parker Lorenzo Benitez CARLOS CELDRAN // Ayala Museum Joe's Brew Silverlens Galleries Apartment 1B

The 2021 Shenandoah Youth Festival is streaming “Six Months to Salvation” as one of only two feature-length films within...
06/03/2021

The 2021 Shenandoah Youth Festival is streaming “Six Months to Salvation” as one of only two feature-length films within its 45-film program.

The festival, hosted from June 19 to July 3 by the Shenandoah Film Collaborative in Strasburg, VA, is raising money for a handful of youth arts organizations throughout the USA ranging from Colorado Springs to upstate NY.

Pre-order: watch.eventive.org/shenyouth/play/60b1617ce23a2b00452d5535 || More info: u16.co/6m2s

03/05/2021
Disposable Time | Short Film

Ponder the passage of time in 'Disposable Time' after the year that upended our experience of it. Despite being just two minutes long, it theatrically premiered at the Nitehawk Cinema - Williamsburg in 2018.

Timeline photos
01/13/2021

Timeline photos

RIP to one of our most talented and accomplished collaborators, who giftedly combined activism and performance throughou...
11/14/2019
Carlos Celdran, 46, Philippine Activist and Performance Artist, Dies

RIP to one of our most talented and accomplished collaborators, who giftedly combined activism and performance throughout his life. Carlos acts in u16.co's forthcoming film, 'An Unscripted Earth' (u16.co/aue), which is dedicated in his memory.

He received widespread attention for his dramatic protest against the Roman Catholic Church after it blocked the passage of a reproductive health bill.

One of the 6m2s subjects, Tom, recently went to donate blood, only to discover the documentary he appears in playing in ...
08/30/2019

One of the 6m2s subjects, Tom, recently went to donate blood, only to discover the documentary he appears in playing in the waiting room. #Freaky #DonateBlood

‘Six Months to Salvation’ is now available on ABC iView. It will only be up there for a month, so catch it while you can...
08/26/2019
Compass: Series 33 Six Months to Salvation

‘Six Months to Salvation’ is now available on ABC iView. It will only be up there for a month, so catch it while you can!

Catholic high school graduates spend their gap year in Thailand teaching English to children of a Karen community and begin to question what they are doing there: voluntourism or ethical use of charitable resources?

08/23/2019
Six Months to Salvation

A teaser for the upcoming television debut of ‘Six Months to Salvation.’ Tune in to the full program, 6:30pm AEST this Sunday on ABC TV.

Lorenzo, the director, standing before Lorenzo, the character. In the words of one of his friends, "I don't know who ann...
08/19/2019

Lorenzo, the director, standing before Lorenzo, the character. In the words of one of his friends, "I don't know who annoys me more".

Tune into the Australian broadcast premiere of 'Six Months to Salvation' on ABC Australia - Aug 25, 6:30PM AEST.

The editing wall, back when 'Six Months to Salvation' was still 10+ hours of raw footage.Be sure to catch the film on th...
08/05/2019

The editing wall, back when 'Six Months to Salvation' was still 10+ hours of raw footage.

Be sure to catch the film on the ABC Australia - 6:30PM, Aug 25. More info: http://u16.co/6m2s

Our debut film, 'Six Months to Salvation', is having its Australian national broadcast premiere on the ABC Australia as ...
08/02/2019

Our debut film, 'Six Months to Salvation', is having its Australian national broadcast premiere on the ABC Australia as a TV-length cut on August 25 at 6:30PM AEST. This is the culmination of years of effort, and we would like to sincerely thank our partners at In The Thicket for their tireless work bringing this film to a national audience.

Much gratitude to NoBudge for programming the theatrical premiere of 'Disposable Time' as part of an incredible line-up ...
12/11/2018

Much gratitude to NoBudge for programming the theatrical premiere of 'Disposable Time' as part of an incredible line-up of films last night!

09/11/2018
Six Months to Salvation | Q&A

Some footage of Director Lorenzo Benitez and Producer Jonathon Parker giving the Q&A after the Australian theatrical premiere of 'Six Months to Salvation' | u16.co/6m2s

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF CARLOS CELDRANThis month, the Philippine Supreme Court upheld the unjust conviction of performan...
08/26/2018
Carlos Celdran: Jail time over 'Damaso' protest will be worth it

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF CARLOS CELDRAN

This month, the Philippine Supreme Court upheld the unjust conviction of performance artist Carlos Celdran, who acts in 'An Unscripted Earth', our forthcoming feature film. For having peacefully protested the Catholic Church's resistance to free birth control for Filipina women and s*x education for Filipino youth, he faces nearly 14 months imprisonment. The three of us would like to express our unwavering support for Carlos, who nobly combines his significant creativity with his political activism. We are inspired by his continued refusal to be silenced, and are keeping him and his family in our thoughts through this trying time.

Cultural activist Carlos Celdran said Friday serving jail time for staging a one-man protest inside the Manila Cathedral in 2010 will be 'worth it.'

07/20/2018

REPOST: It’s fortunate that Lorenzo Benitez decided to keep the camera rolling on his volunteer trip to Thailand because he’s accidentally created a thought-provoking piece of cinema, one that’s brave enough to question the commonly-held view that overseas volunteering is inherently a good thing. SIX MONTHS TO SALVATION will screen next week at Lido Cinemas on 22nd & 23rd July. Kevin Hawkins reviews. https://bit.ly/2uBptpM

07/17/2018
Lido Cinemas: 6 Months to Salvation

Lido Cinemas: 6 Months to Salvation

Seven volunteer English teachers from Australia gradually confront the colonial implications of their work in rural Thailand. Over the course of six months, they contend with their inexperience as teachers, the omnipresence of Westernisation, and the ambiguity of their purpose. Directed by one of th...

Voluntourism Documentary Screening in Melbourne
07/12/2018
Voluntourism Documentary Screening in Melbourne

Voluntourism Documentary Screening in Melbourne

Six Months to Salvation, a documentary made entirely by Australian university students to screen at The Lido. The film looks at the ethical impact of ‘voluntourism’ – the act of foreigners, mostly Western, going to…

MELBOURNE!'Six Months to Salvation' is finally having its Australian theatrical premier at the Lido Cinemas for a limite...
07/09/2018
Lido Cinemas: 6 Months to Salvation

MELBOURNE!

'Six Months to Salvation' is finally having its Australian theatrical premier at the Lido Cinemas for a limited run on July 22 and 23!

Dir. Lorenzo Benitez and Prod. Jonathon Parker will be there for Q&As after each screening. (And to loiter about the rooftop bar)

Excited to see you there! | Buy tix here: https://goo.gl/MhLLqv

Seven volunteer English teachers from Australia gradually confront the colonial implications of their work in rural Thailand. Over the course of six months, they contend with their inexperience as teachers, the omnipresence of Westernisation, and the ambiguity of their purpose. Directed by one of th...

07/04/2018
Disposable Time | Short Film

Taken over the 2017 4th of July weekend in upstate New York, ‘Disposable Time’ is an experimental short capturing the episodic and fragmented nature of our youthful memories. Within this style, it also reminds that the time we might carve out for leisure is among the most precious resources: one that, with age, decreases in availability but increases in value.

Theatrical Premiere at NoBudge Live 17 - Brooklyn, NY, USA
2018 | 2 mins | 1080p HD | English [USA] | u16.co/shorts

Lorenzo appeared in the March issue of Study Breaks magazine for his work on 'Six Months to Salvation.'
03/02/2018
Six Months To Salvation

Lorenzo appeared in the March issue of Study Breaks magazine for his work on 'Six Months to Salvation.'

With his first feature-length documentary, Cornell University's Lorenzo Benitez contributes to the discussion about the merits of volunteer-based tourism.

12/10/2017
An Unscripted Earth | Teaser

u16.co presents ‘An Unscripted Earth': the upcoming dramatic feature by Lorenzo Benitez, James Holloway and Jonathon Parker. Enjoy this teaser.

Song credit: 'He Looked Like a Piece of Art' by Bradycardia.

Salvation For Whom? Student Documentary Coming to Cornell Cinema
10/02/2017
Salvation For Whom? Student Documentary Coming to Cornell Cinema

Salvation For Whom? Student Documentary Coming to Cornell Cinema

I sat down with Lorenzo Benitez ’19, who is a staff writer for The Sun, on an unusually bright Sunday morning to talk about his documentary, Six Months to Salvation. His directorial debut fol…

10/01/2017
Six Months to Salvation | Trailer 2

Seven volunteer English teachers from Australia gradually confront the colonial implications of their work in rural Thailand. Over the course of six months, they contend with their inexperience as teachers, the omnipresence of Westernisation, and the ambiguity of their purpose. Directed by one of the volunteers, Six Months to Salvation is a self-reflexive documentary about language, landscape and idealism lost.

National TV Premiere: Australian Broadcasting Corporation (25 Aug 2019)
NOW AVAILABLE on u16.co/6m2s | 2017/2019 | 1080p HD | English [AUS]

“I figured: at least a documentary, irrespective of the outcome of its message ... there's still going to be some inform...
09/04/2017
Six Months to Salvation Lorenzo Benitez Interview from The Last New Wave - The Australian Film Podcast

“I figured: at least a documentary, irrespective of the outcome of its message ... there's still going to be some information to be gleamed that would only enhance the quality of debate that people have when it comes to a subject such as this one. And in light of their growing popularity – you hear of people going on overseas volunteering trips a lot more frequently – there's a really funny parody account called Humanitarians of Tinder.”

'Six Months to Salvation' Director Lorenzo Benitez Appears on Australian Film Podcast The Last New Wave (04 Sep 2017)

Sep 3, 2017 - On this episode, Andrew interviews director Lorenzo Benitez about his film Six Months to Salvation. Focusing on Lorenzo and six other volunteer English teachers from Australia, Six Months to Salvation looks at the effects of teaching English in a country where it is not…

"While released independently and available free online, Six Months to Salvation deserves to be seen by a wider audience...
07/17/2017
Film Review: Six Months to Salvation (2016) – Film Blerg

"While released independently and available free online, Six Months to Salvation deserves to be seen by a wider audience. One can only hope this documentary finds its way in front of prospective gap-year travellers, naively ambitious about the change they can create through a half-year overseas placement."

Kevin Hawkins gives Six Months to Salvation 4 stars in Film Blerg. Watch the full documentary now at u16.co/6m2s.

The best kind of documentaries finish in a different place to where they started. Australian director Lorenzo Benitez’s independently-released debut Six Months to Salvation does exactly that. The documentary begins as a puff piece, a fun video diary of seven young Australians (including Benitez hims...

Film Review: Six Months to Salvation (2016) – Film Blerg
07/08/2017
Film Review: Six Months to Salvation (2016) – Film Blerg

Film Review: Six Months to Salvation (2016) – Film Blerg

The documentary begins as a puff piece, a fun video diary of seven young Australians (including Benitez himself) taking up volunteer teaching placements at a school in Thailand. As time elapses and the volunteers find themselves increasingly ineffective, the film transforms into a sharp critique of…

u16.co's Jonathon Parker and James Holloway, attended the 2017 NSW Creative Achievement Awards last night for their work...
06/15/2017

u16.co's Jonathon Parker and James Holloway, attended the 2017 NSW Creative Achievement Awards last night for their work on 'Six Months to Salvation'. While we didn't take home any gold, you can still watch the gold here: http://u16.co/6m2s.

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“Luminaries” – Business NSW, 2017

An Unscripted Earth (2020), our award-winning second feature, is now available on Amazon Prime Video after having been selected by international film festivals. It follows two Australian friends who reunite in Manila, among Asia’s fastest growing megacities, untouched by Duterte’s War on Drugs yet unable to drown their own nostalgia and anxiety. Awarded for its direction and a lead performance, it is film about memory, the alienation of wealth, and the uncertain youth of our globalised world.

Six Months to Salvation (2017), our first feature, follows a group of teachers in the mountains of northern Thailand. Critically-acclaimed as “breathtaking”, “thought-provoking”, and “fascinating”, by publications including Film Courage, Study Breaks, Film Blerg, and The Harvard Crimson, it is the first documentary of its length to consider whether ‘voluntourism’ is a modern form of colonialism. It has exhibited theatrically in New York and Melbourne, and had its Australian national TV premiere on the ABC.

Our shorts are also freely available on our website, and our diverse collaborators have included Emmy®-nominated crew and political dissidents. Formed in 2015, we are Lorenzo Benitez, James Holloway and Jonathon Parker.

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WILD CARD (FILM) 2021 ANNUAL NOMINATIONS Connection | Directed by Wei-Lin Chen | TAIWAN Family Tree | Directed by Emmet O'Brien | UK Josie | Directed by Human Error | NEW ZEALAND Ocean Beach Pictures OLEG | Directed by Nadia Tass | USA Oleg Vidov Return | Directed by Hongying Chen | CHINA Six Months to Salvation | Directed by Lorenzo Benitez | AUSTRALIA u16.co Starving Artist | Directed by Marshall Weishuai Yuan | AUSTRALIA NOAH Films The Sako Tapes | Directed by Machiel van den Heuvel | NETHERLANDS The Seeker | Directed by Rassoul Edji | UK You can view all the nominations here: http://changingfaceiff.org/2021-annual-nominations/
How would you describe the NSW creative scene? Watch some of the State's creative luminaries from eskimo, u16.co, Aileen Sage Architects, Frost* Design, Shaun Parker & Company and UTS: University of Technology Sydney sum it up in three words.