MDFF Shorts Session 7

KATZ TAPES (Dir: Adam Fischer, 25m)

From 1980-2005, Larry Katz, a reporter for the Boston Herald, interviewed music's biggest stars and recorded their conversations onto cassette tapes.

His collection has been sitting untouched and unheard for decades...until now.

SYDNEY G. JAMES: HOW WE SEE US (Dir: Juanita Anderson, 17m)

Visual artist/muralist, Sydney G. James, addresses the status of Black women in society, police brutality, family and community through bold brushstrokes and hues that evoke the complexities of Black reality, joy, pain, and resilience. Inspired by personal experiences, current events and her hometown of Detroit, she invites conversations with family members and fellow artists as she creates a new work on canvas and transforms vacant walls into creative space.

MAKING REVISIONS (Dir: Matthew Deavin, 10m)

This film is the story of making Revisions or fixing up whitefella documents, a collaboration between Warlpiri painters of Central Australia and the British artist Patrick Waterhouse.

When the first British colonialists disembarked in Australia in 1788, they looked hopefully at what for them was terra nullius: an empty, barren land that belonged to nobody. Australian Aboriginal society, the longest continuous culture in world history, operated so differently to their own that the settlers found it hard to comprehend what they were seeing. They were not able to understand the unfamiliar landscape or recognize such a radically different way of life.

Despite colonisation the Warlpiri indigenous group have preserved an enduring philosophical belief system, enacted through rich ceremonial traditions and art making practices. In 2014 Patrick Waterhouse went to Warlpiri country for the first time. He had been taking photographs in Central Australia since 2011 while acquiring documents that retrace Australia’s colonial history. Waterhouse presented these photographs, along with archival material obtained from museums and auctions, to the members of the Warlukurlangu Art Centre in the communities of Yuendumu and Nyirippi and invited them to revise the documents through the traditional Aboriginal technique of dot painting, practiced by almost half of the community’s population.

Drawing upon their own stories and traditions, the artists – a group of men and women aged from 16 to 90 – applied layers of colourful patterns and symbols to the documents. This process can be seen as defacement, a correction of what was there, or the revelation of something that had always been hidden beneath the surface. The resulting work confronts Australia’s colonial narrative with its Aboriginal history, which began more than 60,000 years ago.

DARKNESS SHALL NOT STAND (Dir: Luke Hotchkin-van Neuren, 35m)

This narrative chronicles Chimini’s poignant journey from her rural upbringing in Nepal, marked by the untimely loss of her loving parents, to her harrowing experiences in Kathmandu. Forced to endure exploitation and abuse at the hands of her extended family, she seeks opportunity in the city, only to find herself trapped in a cycle of labour exploitation. Seeking freedom, a colleague promises her a job if she followed her to India. Betrayed, Chimini is ultimately ensnared in a brothel experiencing the worst of humankind.

Amidst despair and abuse, Chimini finds solace in the compassionate support of an individual who supports her in the fight for freedom. Interspersed with her personal account are insightful interviews and narratives from New Light Nepal personnel and community members. These voices provide vital context, elucidating the social and cultural forces driving the prevalence of trafficking in Nepal.

Through their firsthand experiences and unwavering commitment, they shed light on the grim realities of trafficking, offering sustainable solutions ground in education and empowerment. Their collective perspective underscores the transformative power of love and advocacy in combating the darkness of trafficking and uplifting the vulnerable in Nepali society.

JIWA SENI (Dir: Ruairi Walsh, Rachel Kemp, Clancy Tate, Amy Wright, Benjamin Mazarella, 9m)

In the west of Malaysia, on the Island of Borneo, the vibrant city of Kuching is home to a diverse yet insular music scene. From traditional sapé music to jazz, pop-punk and heavy metal, talented musicians work across a plethora of genres using traditional instruments and contemporary techniques to bring a thriving musical identity to the region.

Talking to musicians, producers, festival organisers and curators, Kuching’s close-knit creative community comes together to discuss the Jiwa Seni, the artistic soul, of the city.

Facing a lack of industry competition and know-how, Kuching’s isolated nature and small size can be to its detriment, but as these Sarawakians reveal, ultimately drives the sense of community that's evident throughout the music scene of Kuching.

DREAMWEAVERS – GIDJA WALKER (Dir: Heather Forbes McKeon, Yanni Dellaportas, 21m)

Gidja Walker is a Mornington Peninsula based ecologist and ethnobotanist who has worked for years protecting its Earthscapes. Gidja overcame discrimination in a male dominated profession.

She is a mentor to young women entering the world of nature-based learning and an advocate for traditional owner custodianship. Over many decades, Gidja has contributed professionally and informally as a consultant and advisor to many government bodies and community-based organisations.

In 2006 she was a recipient of the prestigious Prime Minister’s Banksia award for the "Back from the Brink" endangered orchid species recovery project.

HATS OFF (Dir: Marcus Hollands, 6m)

A documentary short about a man's journey through hats and hat culture in Melbourne as he endeavours to find his one true hat.

15m Q&A post-film.

Commences Sunday, 28 Jul 2024
Rating E
Genre Documentary
Running Time 141
Show Times
Sunday, 28th July

Session times for the new cinema week, commencing each Thursday, will be released the Tuesday afternoon prior

New & Noteworthy
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