INDIGENOUS PROGRAMS

Screen Stories of the First Australians

Open Channel respectfully acknowledges the Boonwurung and Wurundjeri people of the Eastern Kulin nation, a place now known by its European name of Melbourne.

We have run a number of special production and training initiatives to skill up the next generation of Aboriginal filmmakers from across the diverse Kulin Nations within Victoria.

NEW ABORIGINAL VOICES TRAINING PROGRAM in partnership with NITV

Open Channel’s New Aboriginal Voices program has been run in 2009, 2013, 2014 and offers training and support for new Aboriginal filmmakers, while making a short film for broadcast on NITV. A range of industry professionals including the acclaimed Cinematographer of Beneath Clouds, Allan Collins ACS, and editor Peter Worland helped the filmmakers to tell their stories.  In 2013 the production-based training program was also supported by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust.

“Open Channel is proud to be a part of this important project, which ensures that expanding opportunities in film and television to create Aboriginal screen stories are underpinned by strong production skills, talent development, and professional networks.”
Marc Gracie (Open Channel Executive Director 2013-2015)

Films have included

  • Kerri-Lee Hegarty’s Bunna Lawrie: A Rare Gem
  • Aretha Briggs’ Walking the Talk on Country
  • Karen Minniecon’s No Jurisdiction
  • Lisa Maza’s Maza’s Got Talent
  • Minelle Creed’s True Warriors
  • Robbie Bundle’s Keeping Harmony: The Earth Songlines & Mixing It Up
  • Fiona, Ken and Trisha Clarke’s Family Arty Party
  • Martin Adams’ Wayapa Wuurrk
  • Lisa Forbes’ It’s a Paramount Pitch
  • Brett Clarke’s Three of a Kind
  • Tim Church’s The Murray Walk
  • Living in Two Worlds (2009)

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YARNIN – A HISTORY OF ABORIGINAL LAND RIGHTS IN VICTORIA DOCUMENTARY WEBSERIES

Yarnin was conceived by Bobby Nicholls, Rebecca McLean and John Harding and is produced in conjunction with Open Channel. Supported by Film Victoria and the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts, the aim of Yarnin is to record audio-­visual history whilst training a new generation of Indigenous filmmakers and journalists.

This is the first time Aboriginal Land Rights in Victoria has been fully explored in a concise and detailed media project. Yarnin is a mobile training program travelling throughout Victoria working with local Aboriginal communities to record their history of Land Rights from an insider’s perspective. The program records detailed interviews from which short documentaries are produced and screened online, and on other platforms.

All the Yarnin films can be watched at the Yarnin website.

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Yarnin filmmakers with the Open Channel Mobile Training Unit

SCHOLARSHIPS

Open Channel has offered a number of Indigenous Scholarship places in our courses including:

  • Merrill Bray, Scriptshop (2013)
  • Martin Adams, Screen Producing with Stephen Luby (2014)

INDIGENOUS WELCOME TO COUNTRY

Open Channel has helped make introductions between production companies and Indigenous organisations to Welcome to Country feature films shooting in Victoria at the start of production.

The Dressmaker – In a wonderful collaboration in October 2014, Boon Wurrung Elders Aunty Carolyn Briggs and Uncle Larry Walsh presented a Welcome to Country & Smoking Ceremony for the feature film, ‘The Dressmaker’. The event was attended by the film’s cast and crew, including stars Kate Winslet, Hugo Weaving and Judy Davis, along with emerging Aboriginal filmmakers. Producer Sue Maslin also gave a very detailed talk on how the film came about to the emerging filmmakers, and invited them to visit the film set.

The smoking ceremony to welcome The Dressmaker.

Director Jocelyn Moorehouse and Uncle Larry Walsh at the traditional ‘smoking ceremony’ to welcome The Dressmaker.

Spin Out – In August 2015, Uncle Bobby Nichols from Yorta Yorta country gave a welcome to the Marc Gracie/Tim Ferguson Sony Pictures feature film, Spin Out, shooting in Shepparton.

THE MELBOURNE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY FILMMAKING COLLECTIVE (MICFC)

In 2014, a number of filmmakers developed through the Open Channel/NITV initiative, partners and other like-minded individuals formed the Melbourne Indigenous Community Film Collective (MICFC), an unincorporated Indigenous organisation that who support the development of Indigenous filmmakers in Victoria and to work closely with Open Channel on our initiatives servicing communities.

In July 2015 the group ran the first Talkin’ Pictures Film Festival at Footscray Community Arts.

Open Channel is a collaborator in the collective and can forward on enquiries to the MICFC via info@openchannel.org.au