A Thin Black Line (2017)

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An animated documentary in interactive VR, A Thin Black Line is directed by Douglas Watkin with artwork by Vernon Ah Kee and is produced by the VR production studio VRTOV.

A Thin Black Line invites you to step into a pivotal event in the history of one family, and a nation, as seen by a young child. The bombing of Darwin in 1942 was the first and largest aerial attack on mainland Australia during the Second World War. When the bombs reach Patima’s hometown, she is forced to flee, leaving her father behind.

A Thin Black Line has been commissioned by SBS with support from Screen Queensland as part of their Untold Australia series which offers uniquely personal stories from some of Australia’s diverse communities.

About the makers

Douglas Watkin
Brisbane-based Indigenous filmmaker Douglas Watkin was born in Cairns, Far North Queensland. His broadcasting and filmmaking career began in television doing small news reports and producing various corporate videos, and has progressed to feature films, broadcast series and multimedia works for a range of clients and audiences. Douglas has been actively working in the film and television industry for over twenty years, including producing and directing multiple series for ABC and NiTV.

Vernon Ah Kee
Born in Far North Queensland and currently living in Brisbane, Vernon is a member of the Kuku Yalandji, Waanji, Yidinji and Gugu Yimithirr peoples.

Vernon’s multi-faceted practice includes works that range from large-scale drawings of his ancestors to hard-hitting text-based works and installations. In his work Ah Kee fuses the history and language of colonisation with contemporary black/white political issues in an ongoing investigation of race, colour and politics. Through clever puns and plays on words and objects Ah Kee fuses the history and language of colonisation with contemporary black/white political issues to expose degrees of underlying racism in Australian society.

VRTOV is an independent VR production studio based in Melbourne that specialises in documentary and real-time interactive VR. Co-founded by Oscar Raby and Katy Morrison, VRTOV is an artist-led studio whose members utilise their diverse skills in game design, animation, documentary, theatre, performance art, new-media art and creative technology to craft stories in VR. VRTOV are residents of ACMI X.