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The inmates of a Darwin prison are shown in a unique and completely new light in Australia’s first ever documentary musical. Incarcerated in tropical Northern Territory, over 800 inmates squeeze into the overcrowded spaces of Berrimah Prison. In an Australian first, the inmates share their feelings, faults and experiences in the most extraordinary way – through song.

Photo credit David Silver

Developed and Post Produced in Western Australia

on the Traditional Country of the Noongar Whadjuk peoples

Watch the trailer

Production Information

Writer & Director

Kelrick Martin


Kelrick Martin

Harry Bardwell

Executive Producers

Harry Bardwell

Ron Saunders

Consulting Executive Producer

Brian Hill

Director of Photography

Torstein Dyrting

Editor and Colourist

Merlin Cornish

Key Locations

Berrimah Prison, Northern Territory

Key WA Crew

Production and Business Supervisor

Gabrielle Jones

Production Manager

Aimee King


Casey Bennetto

Shellie Morris

Sound Recordist

Glenn Martin


Perun Bonser

Sound Mixer

Kim Lord

Post Sound Facility

Cue Sound

VFX Supervisor

Will Manning

Production Accountant

Mark Wheeler

Post Production Facility



David Silvia

Graphics and VFX

Andrew Buckley

Key Grip

Greg Stirling

Location Scout & Unit Manager

Mike Montague

Hair & Make Up Designer

Karen Sims

Post Production Facility


Post Producer

Francesca Hope

The Power of Music

Music is at the heart of Prison Songs

and at the heart of that music is the much loved Darwin-based multi award-winner singer/songwriter Shellie Morris. She has written literally thousands of songs in collaboration with people living in more than 70 remote Australian communities and has conducted music workshops for women at Berrimah Prison for more than a decade.

Morris worked with songwriter/composer, Casey Bennetto, whose credits include the musical Keating!

Photo credit David Silver
Musician Shellie Morris with guitar in J Block courtyard
Photo credit David Silver
Director Kelrick Martin, sitting outside of Main Prison Laundry with monitor

A word from the Director

“To be honest, I’m stirring the pot.”

“I could have made a documentary where the music matched the stories but it would have been morose and no one would have watched. I have been careful not to sugar coat the stories of the inmates in the interviews – I’m certainly not endorsing their crimes – but seeing them have fun and reflect on their lives through music is a way of showing their humanity.”

– Kelrick Martin, Director

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Acknowledgement of Country



We acknowledge Whadjuk Noongar people as the original custodians of the land on which the Screenwest office is located.


Screenwest acknowledges and pays respect to all Traditional Owners of Country across the State of Western Australia and their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, spiritual beliefs and relationship to land and waters and acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the people living today. We extend this respect to all Indigenous language groups.