At just under 9 minutes long, “Raising Joey” wins hearts with its humbling look at the work of wildlife carers as they strive to rescue and rehabilitate injured and orphaned joeys following the devastating Australian bushfires of early 2020. Joined by renowned animal photographer Alex Cearns OAM, whose work often helps support and promote animal rescue and conservation efforts, the film documents her time photographing the joeys saved by Wildlife Care WA Inc. and why she feels the organization is so important.

Directed by Stephanie Senior, “Raising Joey” is one of three 2020 City of Vincent Film Project recipients. This wonderful initiative provides new documentary filmmakers with support and funding for their short film projects that highlight stories and people in the community.

Everything about the film is so well done from the visually impactful cinematography to the seamless editing that makes the film fly by to the sound and subtly emotive music that lingers beautifully but never distracts. It’s easy to tell when a film team is invested in a project as their love for it shines through all parts. In “Raising Joey” that love radiates.

Senior captures her subjects with alluring warmth and viewers will be endeared by the selfless carers, the supportive bond Cearns has formed working with the group, and of course, the sweet joeys.

There are a few brief scenes in the film of kangaroos that have been involved in collisions with cars. As upsetting as this is to see, it shows the reality of how easy it is for the roos to be hit and raises awareness of just how careful motorists need to be, especially driving at night when it’s harder to see.

These scenes and those that show the fire-ravaged landscape lacking the vegetation the animals would typically eat provide insight into the important work Wildlife Care WA is doing to help the species survive. It’s also heartwarming to see how Cearns has used her platform to help the organization receive more public attention, ultimately allowing them to save more animals.

“Raising Joey” is an inspiring watch that emphasizes just how important organizations like Wildlife Care WA are and how when people with different skill sets come together through a shared cause great things can be achieved and our communities become all the better.

See “Raising Joey” streaming online from October 1st-31st at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival during Shorts Session 3. For more information on how to stream the film, visit: