2008, 22 Minutes
Ever wondered what drives people to spend up to 11 months of the year and thousands of dollars on Christmas lights? Meet the Watsons, the Greenways and the Overtons, some of Australia’s most passionate Christmas enthusiasts, and discover the meaning and motivation behind their curious and creative passion.
Made by first-time director Lizzie Fisher, Christmas Lights introduces the characters behind some of Sydney’s most spectacular lighting displays, looking at the labour and motivation behind what for each family has become an obsession.
For Jack and Milvia Watson—who for eight years have replicated the landmarks of Sydney in their suburban front yard—the journey is particularly personal. Milvia’s social life is restricted by a medical condition and she delights in the thousands of people who visit her home each Christmas to see the spectacular display.
Peter and Lynne Greenway began stringing Christmas lights 18 years ago in a move Peter admits has taken over his life, with a whopping 52,000 lights now adorning their ‘gingerbread house’ and towering eucalypts nearby.
His passion is shared by Lauraine and Peter Overton, who spend eight weeks each year preparing their display, which transforms their home into a Christmas wonderland complete with resident Santa Claus, motorised reindeer and snow machine. Peter makes all his decorations in a workshop at home.
But for each of these hardworking families, the motivation is the same: the joy they receive from giving something back to the community and the delight on the faces of the children who enter their Christmas gardens.
Produced in association with Screen Australia. Distributed by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Christmas Lights Press Kit (Acrobat PDF Document, 1104Kb)
Producer: Rachelle Bakarich (producer), Lizzie Fisher (Associate Producer)
Director/Writer: Lizzie Fisher
Running Time: 22 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification