Gritty Australian Film To Depict Real Life Conflict Resolution Work Of HR Industry Leader John Mcdonald

September 6th, 2011

A new multi award-winning Australian drama, set for cinema release on September 8, will take its audience inside the claustrophobic, controversial and often explosive world of conflict resolution, as an angry young man is caught in a verbal crossfire of lies and blunt honesty.
Adapted and directed by Michael Rymer (Angel Baby, Queen of the Damned, In Too Deep), Face to Face is based on the play of the same name by Australia’s leading playwright and screenwriter David Williamson, who was inspired by transcripts from actual restorative justice conferences. These conferences, on which the play was originally inspired, were facilitated by leader in the field and Managing Director of ProActive ReSolutions, John McDonald, who character is portrayed by Matthew Newton in the film.

Face To Face features a stellar ensemble cast that also includes Vince Colosimo (Lantana, Ridley Scott’s Body Of Lies and Daybreakers), Sigrid Thornton (The Man From Snowy River) and Luke Ford (The Black Balloon, Kokoda, Animal Kingdom).

This moving and powerful new Australian film is about betrayal, sex, lies and bullying in the workplace. The story is based around Wayne, a young construction worker (played by Luke Ford), who purposefully rams into the back of his boss’s car (played by Vince Colosimo). Rather than dealing with the issue in a courtroom, a face-to-face restorative justice conference in the central setting of a room takes place. This involves the offending young man as he faces his victims, workmates and mother, who have their own issues and secrets.

John McDonald, Managing Director of ProActive ReSolutions says, “I’m extremely impressed with the way in which David and Michael were able to take real life sessions, which often run for eight to nine hours, and create an incredibly powerful depiction of the scenarios which we deal with almost daily in workplaces and communities. It’s a real triumph for Australian cinema.”

The sessions, which see victims and perpetrators in the justice system, or colleagues in the workplace brought together to face one another, were developed in Australia by John and his team over many years of resolving conflict in hostile situations.

The process, which has become world renowned, is known as ‘Conferencing’. And this Conferencing process is fast becoming the leading technique in dealing with long term, simmering conflict and highly volatile and destructive behaviours and conduct issues, particularly in the workplace. Rather than imposing a solution on the group that could exacerbate the conflict, Conferencing allows the group of affected people to come together, confront their difficulties and develop a plan to reconcile their differences.

Participants benefit from the opportunity to say things to each other that they have either avoided saying or have said hurtfully rather than helpfully. The group then decides together what needs to be done in order to behave constructively towards each other. John, the other four Directors of Proactive Resolution and their team, spend hours preparing for these sessions by individually interviewing those affected to determine their understanding of the conflict. They then facilitate a session where everyone is heard in terms of what has happened and how they have been affected. And together as a group, they commit to a plan of how to make things better. This is then followed up with by the facilitator to ensure that the Conference Agreement is being implemented.

Recent studies of ProActive ReSolutions work conducted by researchers in the UK, with support from the Restorative Justice Council and the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge, have shown a much higher level of satisfaction with the justice system after having taken part in the conference process of restorative justice.*

Face to Face, the new enthralling and confrontational Aussie drama will evoke laughter and anger as relationships collide and the dirty laundry of employees, family and friends is aired, much like the situations in which John and his team at ProActive ReSolutions facilitate. For further information about the film, visit www.facetofacethemovie.com

For more information about ProActive ReSolutions, visit www.proactive-resolutions.com

*For more information regarding this study, please visit www.justice.gov.uk/publications/restorative-justice.htm

About ProActive ReSolutions: ProActive ReSolutions is an internationally recognized leader in creating respectful workplaces and facilitating successful workplace conflict resolution strategies. Their proven programs are designed to complement and build on one another, creating lasting work cultures that boost productivity, and ensure a safe and vibrant workplace. ProActive experts share their expertise in identifying, preventing and managing conflict with audiences worldwide. Their branch offices are located in Canada, Australia, and the United States. To date, the organisation has assisted countless Government Agencies and Corporate Organisations such as Westpac, AMP, MLC, Centrelink, Defence and the ATO.

Media Contact: For further information, an interview with John McDonald of ProActive ReSolutions and his influential role in the film, please contact Sharon Zeev Poole at Agent99 Public Relations on 0401 811 930 or Sharon@agent99pr.com