Tuesday, 18 May 2010
From U-Matic to YouTube
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and Monash University present From U-Matic to YouTube, a symposium that will survey the considerable achievements of Indigenous community filmmaking as well as considering its future in the digital age.
The use of animation, digital storytelling, digital video and the Internet to tell and share indigenous stories is a developing phenomenon, building a bridge between youth and elders and creating a continuity of community filmmaking across generations.
This symposium is designed as an interstate dialogue, bringing filmmakers and community members from the remote town of Borroloola in the Northern Territory to meet with young Indigenous community filmmakers in Victoria and NSW.
Over two days, films made in Borroloola over the past 30 years, from the internationally acclaimed Two Laws (1981) to a new Animated Songlines Project, will be screening. From U-Matic to YouTube will also spotlight films produced by Indigenous filmmakers and communities in ACMI's Digital Storytelling Project.
ACMI Screen Events Manager and co-convenor of From U-Matic to YouTube Helen Simondson says, "This symposium will bring together filmmakers, community, academics, anthropologists, policymakers as well as all interested members of the general public to reflect on questions of representation and personal expression, collaborative practice and celebrates an exchange of experience, knowledge history and the opportunities presented with new technologies."
Co-director of Monash University's Film Research Unit and co-convenor of From U-Matic to YouTube Therese Davis says "The Indigenous community in Borroloola are the Weinstein Bros of remote Australia - they've been producing films with a range of collaborators for the past 30 years. Two Laws, made with Alessandro Cavadini and Carolyn Strachan, has been acclaimed around the world as a watershed in documentary film. This symposium is the first time the community has had the opportunity to publicly speak about the significance of Two Laws and the many films they have gone on to make, including an amazing new series of animated song lines".
. Leonard Norman, Graham Friday, Dinah Norman and Mavis Timothy (Borroloola),who will represent their community and, for the first time, provide the community's perspective on this remarkable chapter in our film history.
. Alessandro Cavadini and Carolyn Strachan (New York), filmmakers and producers of Two Laws.
. Professor Faye Ginsberg (New York University), a leading world expert on Indigenous media and a prize-winning author of a number of books, including most recently, the collection Media Worlds.
. Romaine Moreton (Umiliko, University of Newcastle), an award winning poet, filmmaker and academic.
. John Bradley (Monash), who is leading the Animation Songlines project in Borroloola and is himself the subject of a recent documentary, The Language Man (2009).
. Kimba Thompson (Melbourne), a Victorian-based Indigenous filmmaker and curator.
. Trevor Graham (Sydney), a BAFTA award-winning documentary filmmaker and multi-media producer.
. Liz McNiven (Canberra), a leading Indigenous film archivist.
. Jason Eades (Melbourne) CEO of Koorie Heritage Trust.
Discussion topics include: collective representation and expression; models of collaboration and creative partnerships; Indigenous cultural rights and intellectual property; cross-generational communication; community history and social memory; film and video archives and community consultation; aesthetics, form and film styles.
From U-Matic to YouTube will also feature a launch of the Two Laws DVD, which features a new documenetary updating the community's long running land rights battle, and the Yanyuwa Song Lines Animation Project. This will be followed by an opportunity to attend a screening of the rarely-seen classic Two Laws and one of the songline animations. Both projects will be launched by Malarndirri McCarthy (MLA - Arnhem), whose mother is featured in Two Laws.
Two Laws was a watershed film in the Land Rights movement. Independent filmmakers Alessandro Cavandini and Carolyn Strachan were invited by the Indigenous Tribal Council for Borroloola (Gulf of Carpentaria, NT) to assist them to make a film about their ongoing struggle in one of the country's first and now most protracted Land Rights cases.
The film also attempted to do what had never been done before make a film under tribal law. The unique filmmaking method employed by Strachan and Cavadini (in collaboration with the Borroloola community) resulted in a structure, rhythm, and pacing unlike any other films of the era. Widely considered a turning point in documentary filmmaking as well as a major cross-cultural innovation, Two Laws represents a unique Indigenous viewpoint in cinema and a high mark in experimental film practice.
The Indigenous community in Borroloola has continued to make remarkable films with a range of collaborators, from Aeroplance Dance (Trevor Graham, 1994) to the recent innovative Yanyuwa Animated Songlines Project (2010), created by Monash University's Associate Professor John Bradley and senior Yanyuwa men and women as a tool for cross-generational communication.
This symposium celebrates this important chapter in the Australian cinema by bringing filmmakers and community members involved in this particular history together in Melbourne to exchange their experience and knowledge.
For registration and more information visit:
Tickets for the Two Laws screening on Tues 8 June are available seperately from the ACMI Tickets & Information Desk or included in the registration for the U-Matic to YouTube symposium.
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2475 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 655