Unnatural | An AFI thesis Film
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Desperate to escape his past, James, a reclusive teenager moves into a new town with his strict parents. He is eager to fit into a new high school and befriends Izzy, a rebellious girl from his class. Izzy is a breath of fresh air and offers James the freedom and friendship he’s longed for his entire life. But James has a secret. A secret so destructive; it could put his life in danger. Can James find happiness in a world that’s been taught to hate who he is?


Unnatural is a story about a young man’s struggle with pedophilia. Suffocated by his sexual thoughts and inability to seek help, all James wants to be is “normal”. Can Izzy and his family see past his sexual identity or will they always perceive him to be a monster?

I first came across an article over 4 years ago about a young man suffering from pedophilia. Despite never having touched a child and having no intentions of ever touching a child, he still saw himself to be a monster.


The word “pedophile” is one of the most vile and taboo words in modern society. It is commonly associated with the image of a middle-aged man who has sexually abused a child. What people do not realize is that there is an entire community forced underground who are suffering from pedophilia who have never hurt a child. They have lived their entire lives harboring a secret so dangerous, that if exposed could threaten their lives. In this film – I want to explore what it’s like for a teenager to live with thoughts of pedophilia. To never have acted on it and yet be reduced to the same level as someone who has committed a crime. I question what it’s like hating who you are and what your sexuality represents.


Being a Chinese-Australian filmmaker has been difficult for me. Growing up in a culture that was so inherently different from my ethnicity made me hate who I was. I saw people from Caucasian backgrounds and envied how easy life was to them. I yearned to be “normal” and to be accepted by my peers. I am making this film because I want people to see others as human; not a caricature or negative stereotype of their sexuality or their ethnicity. Through understanding and compassion do we grow as a culture and become better people.

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