Friday, 18 March 2011

The Stories of Mansfield Shire

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image is heading to the Mansfield Shire from 23 to 29 March to capture the unique spirit and stories of regional communities in a series of documentaries filmed as part of the organisation's outreach program, ACMI in the Regions.

The three communities in Mansfield Shire chosen to participate in the major documentary project are Tolmie, Jamieson and Mansfield.

Supported by the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria's Major Touring Initiative, the mini documentary project records local memories and is an invaluable form of community archiving. The documentaries celebrate and document the people, character and heritage of regional Victorian townships such as those in the Mansfield Shire.

The creation of the films began in January with choosing the townships to take part and in partnership with the Mansfield Shire Council, working with the community to develop the concepts for these documentaries. Ideas for the films have been distilled into nine short stories - three films in each town - that capture the essence of regional Victoria and the people and places that make up part of the fabric of the modern Australian identity.

ACMI staff will shoot on location with the locals from Wednesday 23 March. Stories include:

  • Tolmie: the 125th anniversary of Tolmie Sports bush carnival, its history and binding effect on the  community; Tolmie's story from beginnings as a 'timber town' to a small but rich community and, Tolmie's 'Treechangers,' a unique perspective of one family's experience from 'outsiders' to 'insiders' through the tragedy of bushfire.
  • Jamieson: a tribute to Jamieson Primary School, from elderly alumni to current students; a survey of towns people and why they love 'Jammo' shot in the towns most popular meeting places and 'The Island', the story of a thriving community garden and recreation spot and the enthusiastic locals who revived it.
  • Mansfield: the rebirth Mansfield's cinema and it's new role in the community; Dr Joan Curtis' experience with autism and her pioneering schemes for acceptance, understanding and inclusion which has changed the lives of the community members today and the story of agricultural community of Mansfield and how farmers are sharing for strength, stability and sustainability.

ACMI's Screen Events Coordinator Jessica Scott says that ACMI values its engagement with regional Victoria.

"ACMI is proud to be making these films in the regions and of the regions. The uniqueness of our approach is that it involves the local residents and community groups in regional areas, helping them to document their histories and capture their own stories about why people live, work and play in their towns. The films are not only an important legacy, they contribute to our social heritage. The resulting mini documentaries are moving and fascinating records for the region, all Australians and the world," Scott explains.             

Once completed, the documentaries will premiere at red carpet events in each town. Details will be announced later in the year.

The films become part of the ACMI Collection and as such will be added to the library of the Australian Mediatheque and available for all to see through the ACMI website. Everyone who participates in the films will receive a copy on DVD to keep and share.

The ACMI in the Regions project engages communities across Victoria and Australia in the moving image. ACMI programs presented in regional communities include Digital Storytelling, film screenings, student and teacher workshops and documentary projects.

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image's ACMI in the Regions documentary project will film in the Mansfield Shire Council district 23 to 29 March. For more information, and to view previous regional documentaries, please click here.

Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
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