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Jim Schembri interviews Helen Kapalos about her new documentary ‘A Life of Its Own: The Truth About Medical Marijuana.’


MYTHBUSTER: Helen Kapalos has found the move from TV news to documentaries worthwhile, but very expensive

It was while filming a piece about the benefits of medical marijuana for Channel Seven’s current affairs show Sunday Night that Helen Kapalos felt she had reached the end of her road in TV.

Reporting on the story of Dan Haslam, Kapalos was moved by his battle and how marijuana could be used to ease his suffering. She was also frustrated that the strictures of television did not allow the story to fully develop.

So she decided to make a feature-length documentary, A Life of Its Own: The Truth About Medical Marijuana.

Carefully designed to keep away from sensationalism and remain balanced while presenting the case for legalisation, Kapalos also wants the film to dispel myths surrounding marijuana and how it is used medicinally.

She is clearly proud of the film – and it certainly cost her. Kapalos, who is presently chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, says the film has put her in debt to the tune of around $200,000. Raising the funds included a spot of crowdfunding and an $80,000 bank loan which she said was for renovations to her kitchen (which, presumably, is very large).

And while she says she would make another film, she swears she wouldn’t make it in the same way, so exhausting has the process been.

In this revealing, often frank interview, Kapalos discusses her intentions with the film and what it says about where she is in her career.

The film premieres at the HotDocs documentary festival this Saturday 8.15pm at the Palace Como and screens again at 6pm on Tuesday 21 June at the Palace Westgarth (with Q&A).

For info and tickets visit:

WATCH the Helen Kapalos interview below

WATCH the trailer for the film below