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2023 One Show - Music & Sound Craft

The Reluctant Shanty

Agency BMF / Sydney + FINCH / Sydney + Atticus / Sydney

Client UNHCR


Original Music / Song

Annual ID


About the Work

The Reluctant Shanty is the first shanty written from the experiences of former refugees, who’ve embarked on dangerous journeys by sea and survived to tell their story. Inspired by a 400-year-old genre of music developed by sailors, the use of original music here subverts the genre in pursuit of a single fact: Today, not all sailors want to go to sea. The song was developed through interviews held with five refugees, each of whom had undertaken a journey to Australia by boat. It was then carefully rehearsed over a period of weeks, and captured on the film set to have the performers fully immersed in the lyrics and situation. The director worked through each performer’s sensitivities carefully, helping them emotionally engage with their history through their singing. The important thing for the director was not the technical perfection of their voices, but that they could communicate the full emotional weight of their time searching for a new home – on set, this meant placing personally significant objects near the camera; reminders for the performers of great hardship, and also hope. Singing to camera always feels heightened, so great emphasis was placed on emotionally engaging each performer’s strength and resilience. This song was launched through TikTok star Nathan Evans on World Refugee Day. Evans became an overnight sensation for his modern renditions of classic sailing shanties, and afforded this song a place in contemporary culture.

2023 Awards

Total Points: 3




BMF / Sydney

Production Company

Finch / Sydney

Music / Sound Production Company

Rumble Studios / Sydney

Post Production Company

Atticus / Sydney

Art Director

Jack Robertson


Robert Boddington

Chief Creative Officer

Alex Derwin

Creative Director

Douglas Hamilton


Kyra Bartley

Director of Photography

James Brown

Executive Producer

Loren Bradley


David Collins

Account Director

Rebekah O'Grady

Agency Producer

Jessica Vella

Chief Executive Officer

Stephen McArdle

Chief strategy Officer

Christina Aventi

Head of Art & Design

Lincoln Grice

Head of TV

Jenny Lee-Archer

Managing director

Corey Esse

Post producer

Kani Saib

Production Designer/Art Director

Janai Anselmi

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