Soul Theatre is having it’s BIG LAUNCH on March 18 for its work in educating society and the politicians about the seriousness of the Climate Change Crisis and helping to provide solutions.

Climamania explores the emotional terrain of climate change through theatre and music. The project also has a special focus on highlighting climate justice issues – the way climate change has greater impacts on those who have least capacity to adapt and respond, including developing nations, Indigenous communities, asylum seekers and refugees, future generations and rural communities.

Soul Theatre’s Climamania Project highlights both the issues and some of the solutions in tackling climate change – but don’t expect any dry presentations, or many stats and facts. Recent conferences, exhibitions and thinking from around the world point to art and cultural media as more provocative, more inspiring and deeper vehicles for shaping society’s perceptions and actions around global crises

Climamania Launch 

6-10pm Sunday 18 March
The Athol Gill Centre 100 Hodgkinson Street, Clifton Hill
$25 full | $15 concession Cash only at the door.

Local, national and international artists will share their interpretations of climate change at the launch of Climamania on Sunday 18 March. Performers will include Bob Sedergreen, Rod Quantock, Carl Pannuzzo, Penny Larkins, Brendan Gray, Julia Sutherland, Cameron Semmens, Lia Avene, Boori Monty Pryor and more.

Yarra-based Beyond Zero Emissions are leaders in the national conversation around climate change solutions and will also be presenting their plan for tackling Climate Change on the night.

Proceeds from the launch will go to the production of Soul Theatre’s Australian premiere of The Contingency Plan by UK Playwright Steve Waters. Paul Gilding’s book The Great Disruption will also be available at the launch at a reduced price of $30!

Can’t make it, but would like to support the project by donation or as a volunteer? Go to www.soultheatre.org.au

Please RSVP for catering purposes to alicia@soultheatre.org.au

Soul Theatre is a charitable, cultural organisation representing the misunderstood and disenfranchised, that creates high quality productions, not only of an entertaining nature but thought provoking and educational nature as well. Soul Theatre is largely the product of Alicia Liley, who founded Soul Theatre Inc. in 1994. Alicia has an extraordinary story, helping others particularly those who don’t have a voice to represent themselves. Click here to read about her amazing recovery from a serious motor accident.

TRANSITIONS FILM FESTIVAL

11th – 19th February 2012

“See the change you want to be in the world”

Arts in Action proudly supports the Transitions Film Festival, a visionary film program dedicated to showcasing ground-breaking documentaries about our global culture in transition towards a sustainable future. The inspiring world-changing topics include the future of energy, sustainable economics, global action on climate change, ecological architecture and organic agriculture. Taking place as part of the larger Sustainable Living Festival, these films will propel forward the debate in Australia about what we can do to create a sustainable society.

Festival Director Tim Parish

“We are currently experiencing rapid transformation of industrial, technological, economic and social change beyond anything previously experienced by humankind.The challenge of our generation is to consciously guide this transition to a sustainable global civilisation rather than let it spiral out of control, ecologically, financially or socially. Many within the environment movement understand that people are aware of the issues we face, and that there is a growing need to focus on the solutions to manifest a positive, creative culture of sustainability.”

The groundbreaking films in this program will each tackle this challenge head on, exploring the current state of play in Australia and around the world, highlighting positive and inspiring examples of solutions, ideas and innovations into the state of the global environment movement. Each session will be accompanied by a short film to bring the themes explored in the feature to a local context – illustrating ways in which the ideas being discussed can and are being putting into action.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS:

Sat 11th of February – National premiere of award-winning German documentary ‘Energy Autonomy: The 4th Revolution’ as part of the launch event on International Energy Futures with Australian documentary The Futuremakers about Australian scientists at the forefront of the clean energy revolution.

Sun 12th of February – OUR WORLD 2.0 - A public forum with short films hosted by the United Nations Association of Australia (Victoria) on global sustainability, paths to a green economy and the UN International Year of Renewable Energy for All.

Mon 12th of February – Sustainable Economics screening: Real Estate 4 Ransom with filmmaker and ‘renegade economist’ Karl Fitzgerald discussing global financial crisis, boom and bust economics and sustainable economic alternatives.

Tues 14th of February – ECO-VISIONARIES -screening 2012: Time For Change with introduction by filmmaker Daniel Pinchbeck (via linkup).

Wed 15th of February – International Premiere for ‘Earthships: New Solutions’ which will be introduced by visionary architect Michael Reynolds at the Melbourne Town Hall. The screening will also include a short film and talk by the Jack Thompson Foundation, discussing their work teaching self-building techniques in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.

Thursday 16th of February – Public forum with documentary filmmakers attending the festival with DOCO 3000 @ State Library of Victoria.

Friday 17th of Feb – ORGANIC PHILOSOPHY > free screening @ Federation Square of films about permaculture, organic farming and sustainable agriculture as part of the Sustainable Living Festival BIG WEEKEND.

Saturday 18th of February - Free public screening at Federation Square Main Screen of the spectacular film ‘Home’, as well as the national premiere of US documentary ‘Carbon Nation’.

Statewide synchronised screenings of HOME on the 18th of February as part of the Sustainable Living Festival’s State of Sustainability program.

The festival takes place at the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne Town Hall and at Federation Square as part of the Sustainable Living Festival. Transitions is suported by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, the United Nations Association of Australia (Victoria), The City of Melbourne, Red Energy, Hepburn Wind, Prosper Australia and Undergrowth.org.

More information, full session details and bookings visit: http://transitionsfilmfestival.com

AFTRS has a broad range of film, television and radio short courses in Melbourne and across Victoria over the coming months. Courses are taught by industry experts and presented at The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne and other venues in the region. Check them out!

Documentary Writing, Structure and Proposal Planning

This intensive one-day course with industry expert Alan Rosenthal is devoted to furthering the skills of filmmakers who are interested in narration-based documentaries such as drama docs, bio-pics and experimental docs. Sat 11 Feb (9am – 5pm) The Wheeler Centre

Director’s Toolkit

A three-day intensive course designed for emerging directors. Gain practical experience in utilising the three basic tools every director should know in order to feel confident in directing drama: breaking down a script, improvisation and rehearsal techniques and cinematic tools for scene impact and story pace.
Thurs 16 – Sat 18 Feb (9am – 5pm, 3 sessions) The Wheeler Centre

Distribution, Exhibition and International Sales

In this essential workshop for all filmmakers, industry insider Tait Brady will demystify and provide keen insights into cinema exhibition, the international sales world and the Australian distribution business.
Mon 20 Feb – Wed 29 Feb, 4 sessions (6pm – 9.30pm) The Wheeler Centre

Writing Sci-Fi for TV and Film

Explore the art of creating stories for one of the most popular genres – science fiction. In this intensive, two day workshop with Luke Devenish you’ll examine the genre’s rules and expectations by analysing elements of some of Hollywood’s most recent Sci-Fi successes – and some of its failures. You will also gain the skills to assemble a ‘tool box’ for your ongoing Sci-Fi writing.
Sat 25 – Sun 26 Feb (9am – 5.00pm) The Wheeler Centre

The Assistant Director

All you need to know to become an AD. Presented by Paul Walton you’ll learn the importance of pre-production, how to coordinate a film set, the process behind developing a shooting schedule and utilising the latest scheduling software. Thurs 1 – Sat 3 Mar (9am – 5pm) The Wheeler Centre

Final Cut Pro The Basics (Version 7)

Final Cut Pro, Apple’s most popular and powerful video editing application, is widely used by industry professionals around the world. This two-day course covers everything you need to get started editing with Final Cut Pro Version 7. Thurs 8 – Fri 9 Mar (9am – 5pm) The Wheeler Centre

Introduction to After Effects CS5

A two-day introduction to desktop compositing for moving images with Adobe After Effects CS5, a program that allows new levels of creative freedom for designers, animators, art directors and editors. Sat 10 – Sun 11 Mar, (9am – 5pm) The Wheeler Centre

Creating Success with your Short Film

Back by popular demand, Tait Brady gives you an insider’s guide to making the most of your short film and using it to kick start your career. This intensive workshop will teach you how to exploit every aspect of your short film – including how to make some of your money back! Tue 13 Mar (5.30pm – 9.30pm) The Wheeler Centre

Running Your Own Creative Business

This hugely popular AFTRS course is essential for anyone working in a creative field who wants to maintain their financial viability. Tutor Monica Davidson will look at the need for business planning, managing irregular income, tax and financing, contract and copyright basics and marketing. Thurs 15 Mar (9am – 5pm) The Wheeler Centre

The Audition Process for Directors

Ideal for directors who want to be sure they are getting the most from their audition process. Topics covered including choose the right scenes, casting against type and working with casting agents. Sat 17 Mar (9am – 5pm) The Wheeler Centre

Michael Hauge’s Advanced Story Mastery: Creating Stories That Sell

Epiphany and AFTRS are pleased to co-present Michael Hauge in Melbourne for his exclusive one-day masterclass. Suitable for anyone with a keen interest in writing screenplays or novels, storyboarding or analysing scripts for film and television. The seminar is designed for those who are new to Michael Hauge’s approach, as well as those who have participated in any of his previous lectures or workshops. To book, head to the Epiphany website

Field & Segment Producing

This course provides a comprehensive overview of Field and Segment producing for non-drama television. You will learn all the critical elements required to create a magazine segment based program. Ideal for those with some experience and knowledge of TV production processes. Sat 24 – Sun 25 Mar (9am – 5pm) The Wheeler Centre

Back to Basics: Camera and Sound Workshop

Ideally suited to those with limited camera and sound recording experience, this course will introduce you to the techniques and practical skills required to create high quality images and sound for documentary and drama.
Wed 28 – Thur 29 Mar (9am – 5pm) The Wheeler Centre

Arts in Action in partnership with the Lions Club of Stonnington is very proud to host a fundraiser screening of “OPERATION: Emotional Freedom – The Answer” a multi-award winning feature length documentary. The film records the successful use of energy therapy technique EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) to transform a group of volunteer combat vets from suicidal, addicted, aggressive chronic behaviors, to leading normal, manageable lives without medications.

The screening will take place on Remembrance Day as part of the 11/11 PTSD and Trauma Awareness Day, a global event founded by the film’s Producer Eric Huurre. The Melbourne screening will take place on the 11th November 2011 at The Glen Eira Town Hall Theatrette Caulfield at 7.30pm.

Representatives from the Victorian EFT Practitioner’s Network (VEPN) will be available on the night of the screening to offer information, resources, DVD’s, contacts and advice. Doors open at 6, come early if you want to talk to the experts, sample the effects of EFT with a mini session or network with fellow professionals.The event includes a panel discussion Q & A session and a word from the Producer Eric Huurre.

11/11 PTSD and Trauma Awareness Day – Screening of OPERATION Emotional Freedom (followed by panel discussion)

When: Friday 11th November 2011

Where: Glen Eira Town Hall Theatrette – Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield , Vic 3162

Time: 7.30 – 10.30pm (Doors open at 6)

Cost:  Pre-sale Full: $20 Pre-sale Concession: $18 DVA Gold Card Members: FREE Tickets at the door $25 full $22 Concession

Download the POSTER

BOOK TICKETS ONLINE. Seats are limited so book early!

Pre-sale Full: $20 Pre-sale Concession: $18 DVA Gold Card Members: FREE Tickets at the door $25 full $22 Concession

Funds raised by Stonnington Lions Club from the screening of OPERATION: Emotional Freedom, will be used to fund projects that enable war affected individuals to access EFT treatments.

11/11 PTSD and Trauma Awareness Day © by Eric Huurre

The 11/11 PTSD and Trauma Awareness Day is an acknowledgement and proactive extension of November 11th – the recognized global day of remembering and honoring veterans of military combat. The creation and production of the 11/11 PTSD and Trauma Awareness Day Event aims to promote personal and lasting healing from war-related trauma through energy psychology (EFT and tapping,) while honoring everyone touched by war.

Across the world 11/11 live events and online coverage of those events will pay tribute to those touched by war – veterans, their families, communities and all others affected, and in many cases, traumatized by exposure to war. 11/11 PTSD and Trauma Awareness Day will showcase how others have been helped to reduce and remove the memories and affects of trauma, while offering everyone the same model for healing and the resources and contacts to do so.

Follow 11/11 PTSD and Trauma Awareness Day on Facebook and Twitter

OPERATION: Emotional Freedom – The Answer

This groundbreaking documentary is a hard hitting look at the current state of health care for combat veterans in America diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder.)

The film sets about examining the myths and misconceptions surrounding the medical/chemical approach to treating PTSD and why drugs are not “the answer” that pharmaceuticals promise. Instead, the film follows a group of volunteer vets and their families on a journey through a newer vision of health and healing for PTSD and trauma.

OPERATION: Emotional Freedom puts forward The Answer to enabling dysfunctional lives to return to balance, peace and productivity.

This Skywriter Communications project is the culmination of a two year process to document an innovative therapy for treating the physical and emotional effects arising in an increasing number of combat veterans and their families.

“This is an extraordinary and very important film that anyone involved in dealing with wartime Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will want to see.” ~Daniel J. Benor, MD, International Journal of Healing and Caring

SYNOPSIS

Click here to view the trailers

Working with a team of experienced practitioners and a group of volunteer PTSD-diagnosed vets from Vietnam to the present Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, this historic film records the therapy and follow-up of those individuals who were documented undergoing treatment as well as the hundreds of other volunteer veterans who participated in a national research and testing study – The Iraq Vets Stress Project http://www.stressproject.org

Included in the materials to come out of this unprecedented two year journey into the hell and back of PTSD-affected service men and women are a feature length documentary Special; a multi-part broadcast length series; and a DVD training course for practitioners and others working or living with veterans affected by trauma.

A significant goal of the project is to spread awareness of the option to treat PTSD with a low-cost, fast, non-chemical therapy not currently in widespread use in Veterans Administration care facilities while sharing the remarkable healing journeys of the combat veterans and their families and friends featured in this groundbreaking film. Where there was little or no hope for significant recovery from the effects of complex PTSD, the techniques demonstrated in this pilot project and follow-up provide an irrefutable document of the options and the impact of complimentary therapies at a time when the costs, effectiveness and the ultimate future of hundreds of thousands of returning service people are being compromised.

How the film will benefit the community and raise awareness

This film is of public value as well special interest to holistic and mainstream health care professionals working with PTSD, war veterans, returning soldiers, families and caregivers, energy psychology practitioners, Veteran Affairs personnel and RSL. The stories told in this film are not only inspiring to audiences, the people in this story stand as living examples to veterans and families still struggling with the effects of their condition without the aid of energy therapy techniques.

Among vets who developed PTSD after their military service are some who not only saw the effects of this devastating condition significantly reduced, they have gone on to become trainers and mentors for other veterans.

The notion that“if this can work for these extreme cases, imagine what it can do for me” remains my personal message that the film supports. Producer Eric Huurre

For further information and enquiries please contact:

Angie Muccillo
e. angiemuccillo@gmail.com
m. 0417391055

Made Keliwon

Arts in Action is once again pleased to support the wonderful work of 1 camera 1000 smiles, by promoting a very special exhibition of images created by Keliwon, a 15 year old boy who lives in the remote village of Belandingan, Bali.

After first getting his hands on a camera 2 years ago in a small classroom through the 1 camera 1000 smiles project, Keliwon was inspired to continue his exploration of this medium, resulting in a body of work which is his personal account of village life. Now 2 years later Keliwon, through the aid of NGO Anak Alam has been granted a scholarship to study in a secondary school in Ubud. 1 camera 1000 smiles is back to teach Keliwon and 40 other students photography skills in the classroom. This new project requires more cameras. All previously donated cameras are now part of a camera library in Belandingan and with classes due to start in November 2011, the project needs a fresh batch of cameras to help the students in Ubud get a photography education.
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PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION “This is My Paradise” by Made Keliwon

Date: 13th October 2011  Time: 7pm Venue: Urban Artistry, 74 Johnston Street, Collingwood

This event combines a fundraiser and camera drive. Be inspired by the work of Keliwon as he uses his camera to portray family and village life. Click here for an interview with Keliwon. Prints at the exhibition will be available for sale and funds raised go towards providing further educational opportunities to underprivileged children in Bali. Be part of this amazing project. Come along to this special exhibition and bring along those old digital cameras. Instead of sitting in that draw, your old camera could be used by more children like Keliwon.
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CAMERA DRIVE
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Is Your Old Camera Collecting Dust?
Do You Have Old Camera Equipment Not Being Used?
Not Enough Mega pixels?
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WANTED
Point and shoot digital cameras
Memory cards
Batteries
Battery chargers
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Donate your old digital cameras and help create 1000 smiles
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1 Camera 1000 Smiles – MISSION
1 Camera 1000 Smiles is a project that runs photography workshops with young people living in rural villages in Bali. 1 Camera 1000 Smiles is committed to empowerment through photography and believes that by learning photography skills, young people are better able to express themselves creatively, tell their own story and develop problem solving skills. 1 Camera 1000 Smiles believes in working towards equal opportunities for young people, using photography as a launch pad for creative development and social connectivity.
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‎1 Camera 1000 Smiles – LEARNING OUTCOMES

- Operate a camera in a safe and responsible manner
- Communicate effectively and respectfully with people that they wish to photograph
- Understand composition & use this understanding to create strong images
- Consider different elements, such as light, tone, colour and pattern
- Have a basic understanding of key photographic processes such as aperture, shutter speed and exposure
- Pass on some of what they have learnt to other students

Keliwon pictured left with Richard Piscioneri 1 Camera 1000 Smiles in Ubud Bali July 2011.

For enquiries about the camera project please visit: www.1camera1000smiles.com.au

CLICK HERE to read an interview with 1 Camera 1000 Smiles Founder – Richard Piscioneri

Follow 1 camera 1000 smiles on facebook

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT Luigi Acquisto

I’m  convinced that this film will rate well, receive strong reviews, and be a  landmark film in dealing with the issue of trafficking and slavery.  However, I am also motivated by the real  impact this film may have on the lives of young women and children in  developing countries.  As an educational  tool it can raise awareness about the deceits involved in luring children into  foreign travel.  Simply put, this film  has the power to save lives, to prevent the course of events that led to the  destruction of Ning’s childhood, and despite her courage and dignity, to her  relationship with her family and husband.  Ning is now HIV positive.  Most  children who are trafficked are dead by the time they hit their twenties, or  HIV positive.  1.2 million children are  sold into brothels each year.  The social  justice agenda is an important one for Stella and I.  However, we are primarily filmmakers, and Trafficked-The Reckoning is not a  didactic piece, any more than Trafficked was  or our films about East TimorIt is a powerfully told story with a   strong understanding of what television audiences want to see.

Trafficked – The Reckoning Premiere Screening at Bella Union – Level 1, Trades Hall Corner of Victoria & Lygon Streets Carlton South (enter off Lygon Street). Tuesday 13th September 2011. Doors open at 6.30pm film starts at 7.30pm  Tickets on sale @ Bella Union Includes a Q & A with the Filmmakers following the screening

This is a very important project for a  number of reasons.  Stella Zammataro  (co-producer) and I have worked closely on the issue of sex trafficking since  1995.  Trafficked was the first Australian film, of any genre, to confront sex slavery in Australia.  Film Australia, SBS, and Stella and I, can be  very proud of that film.  As a direct  result of it’s screening it led to the first case in history, anywhere in the  world, of a slave receiving victim of crime compensation.  It is also the highest rating Storyline Australia documentary for SBS  which proved to the many sceptics we’d encountered in Australian broadcasting  that slavery does rate, certainly in the minds and hearts of the Australian  people, and certainly when it happens on a turf.   So this sequel, this second part, is a film  that as a director, and as a producer, I am passionate about.

I first met Ning in 2004.  But I had known her story since 1995 when I’d  read about a thirteen year-old Thai girl being pulled from a Sydney brothel and  deported.  There was no police  investigation, even though both the NSW police and the AFP were aware of the  incident.  Subsequently no arrests were  made in Australia.  Anti-slavery laws did  not exist in 1995 but the prostituting of a minor was a crime, and the NSW  State Police could have acted.  They  didn’t even though the Surry Hills police attended the raid and the King’s  Cross police were advised by Immigration that Ning was a minor.  I met Chris Payne soon after Ning was  deported.  Payne,  then an Australian Federal Police officer, was ‘pissed off’ that Paper Tiger, a  rogue operation that he’d started to combat sex trafficking, had been shut  down.  He’d been ordered not to  investigate Ning’s case. But he still went to the Immigration offices where  Ning was being interrogated before she was deported.  He was deeply moved by what he saw; a young  child, crying and shattered by the horrific rapes she’d endured.  That image haunted Payne for nearly ten  years.

We started to collaborate  on a documentary on Ning’s story and it took nine years for it to happen.  In 2004 Chris and I, and a crew, travelled to  Thailand to find Ning, and to understand how it was possible for a child from a  remote part of Thailand to end up in a brothel in the heart of Sydney.   We had no leads; no name, no address, no  access to Australian or Thai immigration or police records. We didn’t know if she was alive.  It was a remarkable act of faith on the part  of SBS Television and Film Australia to finance the film. We started in Bangkok and finally, after a  breakthrough from one of the Thais, then still in jail, who had trafficked her  to Sydney, we found Ning in a small town in Thailand’s northeast.  Her harrowing story was made into the documentary Trafficked, the first Australian film about sex slavery.

Ning was a young mother in 2004;  fragile and struggling to hold her life together after several suicide  attempts, drug and alcohol abuse, and an abusive relationship.  Her life fitted the pattern of most sex  trafficking victims.  When I returned to  Australia after meeting Ning I filmed the exterior of the Blackburn Street  Brothel where Ning was sold.  I felt an  immense rage that nothing had been done to find the man who ran the  brothel.  This was because Stella and I  now knew Ning.  She was part of our lives  and we became determined to do something to help her, and to get justice for what had happened to her in our country.  So we spent two years, together with Melbourne Senior Counsel Fiona  McLeod, researching and preparing a victim of compensation claim for Ning in  the state of NSW.  This was a difficult  process that involved three trips back to Thailand to organise statements and a  psychiatric evaluation for Ning.  In 2007  Ning became the first slave in history to be awarded victim of crime  compensation.  This was a landmark  decision, and it happened in Australia!  The award made a significant difference to Ning’s life financially but  it also convinced her that she was a victim and that the guilt and shame she  had felt for years after her time in the brothel was unjustified.

Ning, however, did not feel that justice had been done.  I agreed with  her, as did Chris Payne.  So we started a  new project, Trafficked-The  Reckoning.  The objective was to find  the man who operated the brothel that prostituted Ning and to assist in  bringing either criminal charges or a civil action against him.  Fiona McLeod again offered to represent Ning  pro-bono.  Screen Australia came on board  followed by SBS, and then Film Victoria.  We didn’t have a name or an address for the man.  We knew that he was from a Chinese background  from what Ning had told us.  But we had  no idea whether he was still in the country.  Nonetheless, on the surface this appeared to be a more straightforward  investigation than our search for Ning.  We at least had a place to start, the brothel at 1 Blackburn Street in  Surry Hills.   However, the investigation  proved to be a lot harder than Ning’s and took nearly twelve months from when  the research started.  It took us to  Thailand, to Tasmania, and to the back streets of cosmopolitan Surry Hills,  where the crime happened.

We found the man through a combination  of public records, information given to us by people who knew him, some of which will not go on record, and endless surveillance.  It was a slow, painstaking process that often  ended in despair.  I am relentless when  making a film and determined to get a result.  I was the only one in 2004 who never lost faith that we would find Ning.  But this investigation reached a point where  I felt that the man might never be found.  We discovered his name, William Lo, early on from public records, but we  couldn’t track him down, find an address or an image of him.  We were told that he still ran the Blackburn  Street brothel but our surveillance, and that of the private investigators we  hired, turned up nothing.  Lo, aka Hong Kong Willie, left few tracks.  He didn’t  appear in any Google search, and certainly wasn’t on Facebook.  Finally, a breakthrough led us to Lo.  We did a company search on an associate who  had once owned property with Lo, a woman called Bee Hong Ong.  We discovered that she had very recently  become the lessee on a property in Riley Street, Surry Hills.  This property was infamous as the site of  Sydney’s best-known bordello, A Touch of Class.  But it had been closed down for several years.  Now Bee Hong Ong, a woman connected to Hong  Kong Willie, was the new lessee.  But  William Lo’s name did not appear on any of the documentation for A Touch of  Class.   Surveillance established that staff vehicles associated with the Blackburn Street brothel were appearing at A  Touch of Class.  We then observed and  filmed a man, at the lane behind A Touch of Class, that fitted the description we had of William Lo.  We showed these  images to the property’s former landlord and he identified the man as William  Lo, as the man he’d dealt with directly in relation to Blackburn Street for  twelve years. We then confronted Lo,  filmed him again, and showed the images to Ning who positively identified the  man as the brothel operator.

Ning, together with  Melbourne Senior Counsel Fiona McLeod, will now try to bring a civil action  against William Lo.  If successful this  will be an historic case, as was Ning’s Victim of Crime compensation ruling.  Chris Payne has also written a report, which  he sent to the NSW Police in Surry Hills.  William Lo could still be charged for what he did to Ning in 1995.  The reckoning is not complete but we have
made a good start.

Trafficked – The Reckoning Premiere Screening at Bella Union – Level 1, Trades Hall Corner of Victoria & Lygon Streets Carlton South (enter off Lygon Street). Tuesday 13th September 2011. Doors open at 6.30pm film starts at 7.30pm  Tickets on sale @ Bella Union Includes a Q & A with the Filmmakers following the screening

Luigi Acquisto – Producer/Director

BIOGRAPHY

http://www.fairtradefilms.com.au/aboutus-luigi.html

Director/Producer Luigi Acquisto

Luigi Acquisto has worked as a filmmaker for twenty years.  He has produced over thirty short films, directed television drama and is one of Australia’s leading documentary producers. His work is committed to exploring confronting social justice issues in an original and cinematic way.  It is often groundbreaking.

Acquisto’s first film, Spaventapasseri, was one of the first of a new wave of films made in the 1980’s that explored post war migration from Europe.

Trafficked was the first Australian film to deal with sex slavery in Australia.  It is the highest rating ‘Storyline Australia’ program for SBS TV.

Acquisto has made four documentaries about East Timor since the country’s historic vote for independence from Indonesia in 1999.  The three part series  East Timor:  Birth of a Nation – Rosa’s Story & Lu Olo’s Story (2002) and Rosa’s Journey (2008), is the first longitudinal documentary series tracking the emergence of a new nation.

His next film project will be A Guerra Da Beatrice.  Luigi has co-written and will co-direct it with East Timorese partners. A Guerra Da Beatrice will be East Timor’s first homegrown feature film.  It will lay the foundations for a future Timor Lester film culture and industry.

Stella Zammataro – Producer

BIOGRAPAHY

Producer Stella Zammataro and Ning

http://www.fairtradefilms.com.au/aboutus-stella.html

In 1997 Stella co-founded Abracadabra Films with Luigi Acquisto.  Since then, she has produced many documentaries about some of the most critical social justice issues of our time.

The Life & Times of Malcolm Fraser was an engrossing portrait of Australia’s most controversial prime minister but also an indictment of Australia’s policies towards asylum seekers, aborigines and the decision to enter the Iraq war.

The two-part epic for ABC TV, East Timor: Birth of a Nation told the story of the 21st century’s first sovereign nation through the eyes of Rosa Martins, East Timor’s ‘Mother Courage’.  The film received an unprecedented five AFI nominations and won the major award for an Australian documentary at the 2002 Real Life on Film Festival.

In her twenties Stella Zammataro travelled and worked in South and South East Asia and formed a love for a part of the world that  features in many of the films she now produces.  Trafficked grew out of Zammataro’s abhorrence of the sex slavery she had witnessed during this time.  Stella was instrumental in securing victim of crime compensation from the NSW Attorney General’s Department for Jetsaporne Chaladlone, a thirteen year old Thai girl trafficked to a Sydney brothel.  This was an historic decision, the first recorded case in history of a slave receiving compensation.

In 2006 Stella returned to South East Asia for the third instalment in the East Timor series, Rosa’s Journey.  In 2008 Stella production co-ordinated the feature film Balbo.  It was the first foreign feature film to be shot in East Timor. In 2010, Stella’s determination to continue to tell the story of East Timor led to the formation of Fair-Trade Films.

Her next film project will be A Guerra Da Beatrice.  It has been co-written and will be co-directed and produced by East Timorese partners and will be East Timor’s first homegrown feature film.  It will lay the foundations for a future Timor-Leste film culture and industry.

Nick Calpakdjian – Film Editor

http://animusindustries.com/

Nick Calpakdjian is currently researching and writing THE BEER DETECTIVE for Fair-Trade Films. He wrote and directed the 6-part series, PRO JUICE, for Animus Industries which has just been sold to ABC ivies.  He has edited TRAFFICKED – THE RECKONING for Fair-Trade Films.  He has worked in the film and television industry as an editor since 2000 where he began editing television factual series in Perth, Western Australia. Since relocating to Melbourne in 2002, Nick has worked as a Director of music videos, sports magazine television segments and Edited documentaries, drama and educational videos. Nick was recently nominated by the Australian Screen Editors Guild as “Best Non-Drama” Editor for his work on the factual Lifestyle Channel series, BILL’S HOLIDAY (Dir. Bruce Permacel).

Nick has edited two previous documentaries for Fair-Trade Films aka Abracadabra Films, SURVIVAL SCHOOL (ABC, 2007) and ROSA’S JOURNEY (SBS, 2008).

Trafficked – The Reckoning Premiere Screening at Bella Union – Level 1, Trades Hall Corner of Victoria & Lygon Streets Carlton South (enter off Lygon Street). Tuesday 13th September 2011. Doors open at 6.30pm film starts at 7.30pm  Tickets on sale @ Bella Union Includes a Q & A with the Filmmakers following the screening

Tickets on sale now @ Bella Union

 Arts in Action invites you to the Premiere screening of Trafficked – The Reckoning -  an inspiring story of former police officer Chris Payne’s quest to find the man who enslaved a young Thai girl in a Sydney brothel. This one hour documentary is the first film to go into production for FairTrade Films and is financed through SBS Television, Australia, Screen Australia, and Film Victoria.

East Timor Film Fundraiser

Proceeds from this screening will go towards the making of East Timor’s first locally produced feature film – “A Guerra Da Beatriz” a co-production between FairTrade Films, Dili Film Works and John Maynard. There will be a Q&A with the filmmakers and Chris Payne after the screening plus the Australian and world Premiere of 3 short films made by Dili Filmworks, East Timor’s first wave of Filmmakers.

WHEN: Tuesday 13th September 2011 

WHERE: Bella Union – Level 1, Trades Hall Corner of Victoria & Lygon Streets Carlton South (enter off Lygon Street).

TIME: Doors open at 6.30pm film starts at 7.30pm

Tickets on sale now @ Bella Union 

Visit Trafficked – The Reckoning FACEBOOK film page and click LIKE to recieve updates

Trafficked – The Reckoning is an inspiring story of a former police officer’s quest to find the man who enslaved a young Thai girl in a Sydney brothel. Ning was thirteen when she was trafficked to Australia and sold to a Sydney brothel operator.  Ning’s moving story was first told in the documentary Trafficked which sent shock-waves around the nation and holds the record for the highest rating ‘Storyline Australia’ program for SBS TV. In 2007 Ning became the first slave in history to win victim of crime compensation. Jetsadophorn Chaladone, AKA Ning, was awarded $50,000 by the Attorney General’s Department of NSW for the multiple child rapes committed against her in 1995. This groundbreaking decision set an important precedent for millions of sex slaves globally.  News of the ruling was reported around the world and featured in popular women’s magazines like Marie Claire, Madison and New Idea.

But the Australian man who imprisoned Ning for ten days and who forced her to have sex with over one hundred men was never arrested.  Ning remembers him well and he is mentioned repeatedly in immigration records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act but his name is blacked out.   So his identity is unknown, as the state or the Federal Police did not investigate the incident.  Shortly before Ning was apprehended an AFP operation to combat sex trafficking was closed down.  Chris Payne, who ran Operation Paper Tiger, was ordered not to investigate Ning’s case. He did, however, attend Immigration’s interrogation of Ning and was deeply moved by what he saw; a young child, crying and shattered by the horrific rapes she’d endured.

Chris Payne  

This sequel is a tough and suspenseful investigative documentary that takes us into the brutal underworld of the slave trade in Australia and Thailand. It will grip audiences as they follow two remarkable people, Chris Payne and Ning, struggling to put to rest an incident that has haunted them for fifteen years.

Watch out for Trafficked – The Reckoning on SBS Television, 20th September 2011.

Directed By: Luigi Acquisto

Written By: Luigi Acquisto, Chris Payne

Produced By: Stella Zammataro, Luigi Acquisto

Website: http://fairtradefilms.com.au

FUNDRAISER for A Guerra Da Beatriz – East Timor’s first locally produced Feature Film

Luigi Aquisito and Stella Zammanato of FairTrade Films will produce this historic film A Guerra Da Beatriz together with Dili Film Works, East Timor’s first film & television Production Company and John Maynard, the producer of Balibo. The President of East Timor, and Noble laureate, Jose Ramos Horta, has pledged his support for the film. SBS Australia and The World Movie Channel have acquired the film for broadcast. The finished film will have a gala premiere screening in Dili, tour East Timor’s districts, be entered into prestigious film festivals, be presented at film and television markets and be available for sale on the Internet and as a DVD.

Production starts in October with $50 000 needed to get this film rolling. So help make history and support Timor Leste’s first feature film.

“After 300 years of foreign colonisation and occupation we are free to tell our story. Help us make history”

The Story

A Guerra Da Beatriz is a love story inspired by a true 16th century French story about Bertrande de Rols and her husband Martin Guerre. In this adaptation the story has been transposed to East Timor on the eve of the Indonesian invasion of the Portuguese colony.

The story starts in September 1975 with the wedding of Beatriz and Tomas in a small mountain village in the heart of Timor. Several months later, following the Indonesian invasion of Timor, Beatriz and Tomas, along with hundreds of others from the village, flee to the mountains. They are captured in 1979 and resettled in the village of Kraras.

In 1983 Beatriz gives birth to a son. The child’s life is threatened when Indonesian soldiers massacre every male in the village, over two hundred children and men, in retribution for an attack by the Timorese resistance. Tomas, Beatriz’s husband, is arrested and disappears. Beatriz is unable to find Tomas’s body and desperately holds onto the hope that he has somehow escaped and will return.

Tomas returns sixteen years later, in 1999, following East Timor’s independence. He had fled to the mountains and fought with the resistance. It is a passionate and moving reunion. Beatriz discovers a different man to the boy who left her years earlier. Tomas is now wiser, gregarious and loving. He has learnt much from life and war.

But as time passes, Beatriz makes a chilling discovery. She becomes convinced that Tomas is an impostor, that she has mistaken a stranger for her husband. Who is this man? Why has he taken on a new identity? Tomas’s sisters and family accuse Beatriz of treachery, of being mad. But she is determined to discover the truth.

A Guerra Da Beatriz is the haunting, passionate story of one woman’s conviction to remain true to the man she loves and the country for which she fought.

The Team

A Guerra Da Beatriz has been written by Irim Tolentino, an award winning Timorese author, and Luigi Acquisto. Bety Reis will co-direct the film. Producers are John Maynard and Stella Zammataro. Jose Da Costa from Dili FilmWorks will co-produce the film.

The cast will feature Irim Tolentino as Beatriz. Irim is an original member of the renowned Bibi Bulak theatre company in East Timor. She worked on Balibo and has starred in many local theatre and television productions. Jose Da Costa will play Tomas. Jose is East Timor’s most experienced actor. He played major roles in Answered by Fire and Balibo.

FairTrade Films is committed, through its charter, to an equitable and ethical working relationship with its East Timorese partners. Profits from the film will go to Dili Film Works to finance training and future development and productions. Read Fair Trade Film’s Mission Statement

A Guerra Da Beatriz will be the first in a succession of exciting East Timorese films that tell the story of the nation through the eyes of Timorese writers, directors and producers. Most importantly it will contribute to a sense of nationhood by identifying themes and histories that unite rather than fragment the Timorese people.

If you would like to know more about the film, join the Beatriz Fan Club, sponsor or invest in the film, please contact Stella Zammataro stella@abrafilms.com

Help Arts in Action raise funds for the making of East Timor’s first locally produced feature filmA Guerra Da Beatriz by attending a special fundraiser screening of Trafficked (2005) the groundbreaking documentary that explores the sex trafficking trade in SE Asia and Australia. Two screenings are being held one on the 12th of August at Hub Melbourne in the city and the second one on the 13th August at Long Play Bar & Cinema in North Fitzroy. TICKETS are available online @ Eventbrite. Seats are limited so BOOK NOW.

Trafficked tells the deeply moving and insightful story of two Thai girls who were sold to Sydney brothels. The trafficking of women and children for prostitution is a global problem. The United Nations estimates that more than one million children are forced into sexual slavery each year. Some of them are trafficked into Australia. Former Australian Federal Police Officer turned private investigator, Chris Payne, and Director, Luigi Acquisto (Abracadabra/FairTrade Films), collaborated for over ten years on the making of this documentary which follows Chris as he investigates this shocking crime.

The documentary first aired on SBS in July 2006 and set a new ratings record for Storyline Australia. According to Luigi “The film did more than raise awareness about an important issue. It made history by acting as a catalyst for the first compensation claims to be made in this country by trafficking victims. Trafficked has resulted in some very real changes: people are more aware of the existence of slavery in Australia, and justice is being sought through our courts for the victims of slavery. This is making legal history and will set precedents for future victims.”

Film Screening Details

Film: TRAFFICKED by Luigi Acquisto, Stella Zammataro, Chris Payne - Abracadabra Films. Length: 52 minutes

Friday 12th August @ Hub Melbourne

Level 3 Donkey Wheel House, 673 Bourke St Melbourne

Film starts 7pm (Doors open at 6.30)

BUY TICKETS ONLINE

Saturday 13th @ Long Play Bar & Cinema

318 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North 3068

Film starts 7pm (Venue opens at 6pm food and alcohol can be ordered at the bar)

BUY TICKETS ONLINE

Tickets: $20 (Funds raised go towards the making of A Guerra Da Beatriz)

Special Guest: Nick Calpakdjian (Film Editor) working with FairTrade Films and Producer Stella Zammataro (Saturday screening) will be present to talk about the work they are doing in Dili to support the East Timorese build a viable film industry. Also find out about the important sequel Trafficked – The Reckoning” which will screen on SBS in September 2011.

A Guerra Da Beatriz – East Timor’s first locally produced Feature Film

Luigi Aquisito and Stella Zammanato of FairTrade Films will produce this historic film A Guerra Da Beatriz together with Dili Film Works, East Timor’s first film & television Production Company and John Maynard, the producer of Balibo. The President of East Timor, and Noble laureate, Jose Ramos Horta, has pledged his support for the film. SBS Australia and The World Movie Channel have acquired the film for broadcast. The finished film will have a gala premiere screening in Dili, tour East Timor’s districts, be entered into prestigious film festivals, be presented at film and television markets and be available for sale on the Internet and as a DVD.

Production starts in September and they need to raise $50 000 to get this film rolling. So help make history and support Timor Leste’s first feature film.

“After 300 years of foreign colonisation and occupation we are free to tell our story. Help us make history”

The Story

A Guerra Da Beatriz is a love story inspired by a true 16th century French story about Bertrande de Rols and her husband Martin Guerre. In this adaptation the story has been transposed to East Timor on the eve of the Indonesian invasion of the Portuguese colony.

The story starts in September 1975 with the wedding of Beatriz and Tomas in a small mountain village in the heart of Timor. Several months later, following the Indonesian invasion of Timor, Beatriz and Tomas, along with hundreds of others from the village, flee to the mountains. They are captured in 1979 and resettled in the village of Kraras.

In 1983 Beatriz gives birth to a son. The child’s life is threatened when Indonesian soldiers massacre every male in the village, over two hundred children and men, in retribution for an attack by the Timorese resistance. Tomas, Beatriz’s husband, is arrested and disappears. Beatriz is unable to find Tomas’s body and desperately holds onto the hope that he has somehow escaped and will return.

Tomas returns sixteen years later, in 1999, following East Timor’s independence. He had fled to the mountains and fought with the resistance. It is a passionate and moving reunion. Beatriz discovers a different man to the boy who left her years earlier. Tomas is now wiser, gregarious and loving. He has learnt much from life and war.

But as time passes, Beatriz makes a chilling discovery. She becomes convinced that Tomas is an impostor, that she has mistaken a stranger for her husband. Who is this man? Why has he taken on a new identity? Tomas’s sisters and family accuse Beatriz of treachery, of being mad. But she is determined to discover the truth.

A Guerra Da Beatriz is the haunting, passionate story of one woman’s conviction to remain true to the man she loves and the country for which she fought.

The Team

A Guerra Da Beatriz has been written by Irim Tolentino, an award winning Timorese author, and Luigi Acquisto. Bety Reis will co-direct the film. Producers are John Maynard and Stella Zammataro. Jose Da Costa from Dili FilmWorks will co-produce the film.

The cast will feature Irim Tolentino as Beatriz. Irim is an original member of the renowned Bibi Bulak theatre company in East Timor. She worked on Balibo and has starred in many local theatre and television productions. Jose Da Costa will play Tomas. Jose is East Timor’s most experienced actor. He played major roles in Answered by Fire and Balibo.

FairTrade Films is committed, through its charter, to an equitable and ethical working relationship with its East Timorese partners. Profits from the film will go to Dili Film Works to finance training and future development and productions. Read Fair Trade Film’s Mission Statement

A Guerra Da Beatriz will be the first in a succession of exciting East Timorese films that tell the story of the nation through the eyes of Timorese writers, directors and producers. Most importantly it will contribute to a sense of nationhood by identifying themes and histories that unite rather than fragment the Timorese people.

If you would like to know more about the film, join the Beatriz Fan Club, sponsor or invest in the film, please contact Stella Zammataro stella@abrafilms.com

Arts in Action proudly supports the making of East Timor’s first locally produced feature film – A Guerra Da Beatriz and invites you to attend a film fundraiser event to help raise funds for this important venture.

FairTrade Films Australia is currently working together with young East Timorese producers, writers and actors on A Guerra Da Beatriz, a powerful love story spanning the years 1975 – 2009.

FairTrade Films will produce the film with Dili Film Works, East Timor’s first film & television Production Company and NGO.  John Maynard, the producer of Balibo, has joined FairTrade Films and Dili Film Works to co-produce this historic film. The President of East Timor, and Noble laureate, Jose Ramos Horta, has pledged his support for the film. SBS Australia and The World Movie Channel have acquired the film for broadcast. The finished film will have a gala premiere screening in Dili, tour East Timor’s districts, be entered into prestigious film festivals, be presented at film and television markets and be available for sale on the Internet and as a DVD.

Film Fundraiser – A Guerra Da Beatriz

Production starts in September and they need to raise $50 000 to get this film rolling. So help make history and support Timor Leste’s first feature film. “After 300 years of foreign colonisation and occupation we are free to tell our story. Help us make history”

Fundraiser event details:

When: Saturday 23rd July 7.30pm

Where: Urban Artistry 74 Johnson St Collingwood

Time: 7.30pm-11.30pm

Tickets: $80 per person

Ticket cost covers: Your drinks for the duration of the event, canapés, short film screening and a contribution towards raising funds.

Dress Code: Cocktail

To attend please email Natalia at natalia_cikorska@yahoo.com.au  for payment information. Tickets must  be purchased before Thursday 21st July 2011.

Event organised by Natalia Cikorska, Nick Calpakdjian, Arlo Picasso Enemark of FairTrade Films

Check out the Facebook Event page

Auction at the Fundraiser

East Timorese items to be auctioned off on the night include, hand-woven cloth (Tais), wooden masks, East Timorese coffee and a DVD pack of Timorese documentaries with the  short docos and drama films from the students.

ABOUT THE FILM

The Story

A Guerra Da Beatriz is a love story inspired by a true 16th century French story about Bertrande de Rols and her husband Martin Guerre. In this adaptation the story has been transposed to East Timor on the eve of the Indonesian invasion of the Portuguese colony.

The story starts in September 1975 with the wedding of Beatriz and Tomas in a small mountain village in the heart of Timor. Several months later, following the Indonesian invasion of Timor, Beatriz and Tomas, along with hundreds of others from the village, flee to the mountains. They are captured in 1979 and resettled in the village of Kraras.

In 1983 Beatriz gives birth to a son. The child’s life is threatened when Indonesian soldiers massacre every male in the village, over two hundred children and men, in retribution for an attack by the Timorese resistance. Tomas, Beatriz’s husband, is arrested and disappears. Beatriz is unable to find Tomas’s body and desperately holds onto the hope that he has somehow escaped and will return.

Tomas returns sixteen years later, in 1999, following East Timor’s independence. He had fled to the mountains and fought with the resistance. It is a passionate and moving reunion. Beatriz discovers a different man to the boy who left her years earlier. Tomas is now wiser, gregarious and loving. He has learnt much from life and war.

But as time passes, Beatriz makes a chilling discovery. She becomes convinced that Tomas is an impostor, that she has mistaken a stranger for her husband. Who is this man? Why has he taken on a new identity? Tomas’s sisters and family accuse Beatriz of treachery, of being mad. But she is determined to discover the truth.

A Guerra Da Beatriz is the haunting, passionate story of one woman’s conviction to remain true to the man she loves and the country for which she fought.

ABOUT THE FILMAKERS AND CAST

The Team

A Guerra Da Beatriz has been written by Irim Tolentino, an award winning Timorese author, and Luigi Acquisto. Bety Reis will co-direct the film. Producers are John Maynard and Stella Zammataro. Jose Da Costa from Dili FilmWorks will co-produce the film.

The cast will feature Irim Tolentino as Beatriz. Irim is an original member of the renowned Bibi Bulak theatre company in East Timor. She worked on Balibo and has starred in many local theatre and television productions. Jose Da Costa will play Tomas. Jose is East Timor’s most experienced actor. He played major roles in Answered by Fire and Balibo.

FairTrade Films is committed, through its charter, to an equitable and ethical working relationship with its East Timorese partners. Profits from the film will go to Dili Film Works to finance training and future development and productions. Read Fair Trade Film’s Mission Statement

A Guerra Da Beatriz will be the first in a succession of exciting East Timorese films that tell the story of the nation through the eyes of Timorese writers, directors and producers. Most importantly it will contribute to a sense of nationhood by identifying themes and histories that unite rather than fragment the Timorese people.

If you would like to know more about the film, join the Beatriz Fan Club, sponsor or invest in the film,  please contact Stella Zammataro stella@abrafilms.com

 FILMAKER BIOGRAPHIES & INTERVIEWS

 Director Gini Reticker (left) and Producer Abigail E. Disney (right)
Photo Credit: Greg Kessler

FILMAKER BIOGRAPHIES

Gini Reticker (Director) is one of the world’s leading filmmakers on women’s issues.  She produced Asylum, the 2004 Academy Award®-nominated short focusing on the story of a Ghanaian woman who fled female genital mutilation to seek political asylum in the U.S.; and was the producer/director of 1994 Sundance Award-winning Heart of the Matter, the first full length documentary about the impact of HIV on women in the U.S. She produced and directed the 2005 Emmy Award-winning documentary Ladies First for the PBS series WIDE ANGLE, which focuses on the role of women in rebuilding post-genocide Rwanda. For WIDE ANGLE she has also directed The Class of 2006, which spotlights the first fifty women in Morocco to graduate from an imam academy in Rabat.

Reticker’s other credits include: Producer: A Decade Under the Influence, a look at the heyday of 1970s filmmakers, winner of a National Review Board Award and an Emmy nomination for Best Documentary; Director: In the Company of Women, IFC’s spotlight on women in Hollywood; Co-Producer: The Betrayal, Nerakhoon, Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phravasath’s brilliant portrayal of a Laotian refugee family’s epic tale of survival and resilience, 2009 nominee for both an Academy Award® and Independent Spirit Award; Executive Producer: Live Nude Girls Unite, Julia Query and Vicki Funari’s raucous look at the successful union organizing efforts of San Francisco-based strippers.

Reticker started her career as an editor on renowned documentaries such as Michael Moore’s Roger & Me; Deborah Shaffer’s Emmy-nominated Fire From the Mountain; and The Awful Truth: The Romantic Comedy, for the PBS American Cinema Series.

Abigail E. Disney (Producer) is a filmmaker, philanthropist, and scholar. She has produced a number of  documentaries focused on social themes including the award-winning Pray the Devil Back to Hell, Family Affair, Playground, and Sun Come Up.

Her ongoing film work continues to incorporate her longtime passion for women’s rights and peace. Abigail is now working on the 5-part television series currently in production, Women, War & Peace, co-produced by WNET and Fork Films for broadcast on PBS in 2011. Women, War & Peace, the most ambitious global media initiative ever mounted on the roles of women in war and peace, challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain and places women at the center of an urgent dialogue about conflict and security. Through unreported and deeply moving stories of women in Bosnia, Columbia, and Afghanistan, the ground-breaking  series will focus on women’s strategic role in the post-Cold War era, where globalization, arms trafficking, and illicit trade have intersected to create a whole new type of war.

The daughter of Roy Disney and grandniece Walt Disney, the co-founders of the Walt Disney Company, Abigail turned to the family business of filmmaking in 2006, when she met Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee and was inspired to bring attention to the unknown but remarkable story of the small band of women dared to challenge the barriers of gender and politics in Africa to end a century of civil war. Abigail’s film career began with that film, Pray the Devil Back to Hell (2008), which she made with Academy Award nominated, Emmy Award-winning director Gini
Reticker. The film won Best Documentary Prize at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, the Silverdocs Witness Award, the Jackson Hole Audience Award, and was the first film to be shown at The World Economic Forum at Davos.

With her focus on women’s engagement and leadership in politics and society, Abigail frequently travels abroad to host screenings and workshops aimed at practical ways to help foster peace in the world’s conflict zones. In 2008, following the groundswell of interest in Pray the Devil Back to Hell, she launched Peace is Loud (peaceisloud.org), an organization that supports female voices and international peace-building through nonviolent means.

Continued interest in Pray the Devil Back to Hell also led Abigail to organize a 2009 Global Peace Tour, which brought the film to hundreds of community screenings in churches, living rooms, community spaces, and forums in the U.S. and abroad, sharing the inspirational story of the women of Liberia.

As a philanthropist, Abigail has played a key role in a number of social and political organizations for more than 20 years. Along with her husband, Pierre Hauser, Abigail is co-Founder and co-President of the Daphne Foundation, a progressive, social change foundation that makes grants to grassroots, community-based organizations working with low-income communities in New York City. Since 1991, the Daphne Foundation has given millions of dollars in grants in areas ranging from women’s rights to AIDS advocacy, children’s health, labor conditions,
incarceration and community organizing.

Currently, Abigail serves on the boards of the Roy Disney Family Foundation, the White House Project, the Global Fund for Women, the Fund for the City of New York, and Peace is Loud, as well as the advisory boards of a broad range of organizations working in the areas of poverty, women’s issues, education and environment.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

By Gini Reticker

 When Abby Disney first approached me to direct Pray the Devil Back to Hell, I had some trepidation. All the stories coming out of Liberia had been so bleak, the violence against women appalling, the forced conscription of child soldiers heart-wrenching. I wondered if I could immerse  myself in that material for the length of time it takes to make a documentary. And then, we met Leymah Gbowee, one of the main characters portrayed in the film.  All of my trepidation turned instantly into unfettered enthusiasm.  I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was to be able to tell the extraordinary story of these women who had joined together to bring peace to their devastated country. Their remarkable accomplishment had been virtually ignored by the press and was on its way to being forgotten. Being part of ensuring that their story shines has been an absolute privilege.

FILMAKER INTERVIEWS

Director Gini Reticker interviewed during the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008 where Pray the Devil Back to Hell had its world premiere and won Best Documentary.

Producer Abigail E. Disney interviewed during the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008

 

FILM SCREENING: Pray the Devil Back to Hell

WHEN:  Thursday 14th July 2011

WHERE:  Basement @ Donkey Wheel House

ADDRESS: 673 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000 (near the corner of Spenser Street)

TIME: 7.30pm Doors open at 7pm

TICKETS: $20 tickets available online through Greentix Seats are limited so BOOK NOW!

The Good Brew Company will be back to supply beer and wine @ basement prices. Free soft drinks and nibbles.

COLLABORATOR PROFILE: Carpets For Communities

EVENT: Film Screening of Pray the Devil Back to Hell 

WHEN:  Thursday 14th July 2011

WHERE:  Basement @ Donkey Wheel House

ADDRESS: 673 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000 (near the corner of Spenser Street)

TIME: 7.30pm Doors open at 7pm

TICKETS: $20 tickets available online through Greentix Reserve your seat BOOK NOW!

To celebrate and raise awareness of women’s role in peace and development Arts in Action is excited and proud to HOST A CARPET PARTY on behalf of  Carpets For Communities - a project empowering mothers to break the cycle of poverty. A volunteer from the project will attend the screening of Pray the Devil Back to Hell to do a short presentation about Carpets for Communities, Fair Trade and development.

A wide range of beautiful hand crafted carpets made by women in Cambodia will be on display and available for sale on the night. They are simply gorgeous and buying a carpet supports an organisation that’s working towards solving poverty issues.

ABOUT CARPETS FOR COMMUNITIES

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

By empowering mothers to send their children to school through the production and sale  of one-of-a-kind, hand-hooked carpets, Carpets For Communities aim to improve the livelihoods of the poor in Poipet Commune and to help them break through the poverty cycle.

There are four key areas that Carpets for Communities focus on in order to achieve their goals.

  1. Empowering women to support their families
  2. Increasing levels of school enrolment and attendance
  3. Reducing the number of children at risk of trafficking, exploitation and other dangers
  4. Investing in the development of the Poipet Commune

ABOUT THE CARPETS

The rugs are high quality, durable floor rugs with stunning colors and multiple sizes.

They offer comfort for your feet and a beautiful piece for any bedroom, bathroom, lounge room or kitchen. Each rug is eco-friendly, made from post- production cotton t-shirt off-cuts and used hessian rice sacks.

Each piece of rolled cotton is individually hooked through the hessian sacks then stitched along the bottom. This hand-hooked process makes the carpets very durable, can be vacuumed and are machine washable.

GET ACTIVE: How to Support Carpets for Communities

1. Donate via Pledgie

Click here to lend your support to: I

2. Buy a rug online http://carpetsforcommunity.myshopify.com/

2. Host a Carpet Party http://wordpress.carpetsforcommunities.org/thecarpets/carpet-party/

3. Volunteer http://wordpress.carpetsforcommunities.org/volunteer/

4. Follow Carpets for Communities on FACEBOOK

 

Following it’s launch in May Arts in Action is back and proud to present a screening of  Pray the Devil Back to Hell  a deeply moving documentary which chronicles the remarkable story of the courageous Liberian women who came together to end a bloody civil war and bring peace to their shattered country.

Thousands of women — ordinary mothers, grandmothers, aunts and daughters, both Christian and Muslim — came together to pray for peace and then staged a silent protest outside of the Presidential Palace. Armed only with white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions, they demanded a resolution to the country’s civil war. Their actions were a critical element in bringing about a agreement during the stalled peace talks.

A story of sacrifice, unity and transcendence, Pray the Devil Back to Hell honors the strength and perseverance of the women of Liberia. Inspiring, uplifting, and most of all motivating, it is a compelling testimony of how grassroots activism can alter the history of nations. This film acknowledges the powerful force of women to create social change. Meet the amazing Activists in the film whose stories are truely remarkable and need to shared.

WHEN:  Thursday 14th July 2011

WHERE:  Basement @ Donkey Wheel House

ADDRESS: 673 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000 (near the corner of Spenser Street)

TIME: 7.30pm Doors open at 7pm

TICKETS: $20 tickets available online through Greentix Seats are limited so BOOK NOW!

The Good Brew Company will be back to supply beer and wine @ basement prices. Free soft drinks and nibbles.

TRAILER:

COLLABORATOR: Carpets For Communities

To celebrate and raise awareness of women’s role in peace and development Arts in Action is excited to HOST A CARPET PARTY on behalf of  Carpets For Communities - a project empowering mothers to break the cycle of poverty. A volunteer from the project will attend the screening event to talk about Carpets for Communities, Fair Trade and development. A wide range of beautiful hand crafted carpets made by women in Cambodia will be on display and available for sale on the night. They are simply gorgeous and buying a carpet supports an organisation thats working towards solving poverty issues.

Join the mailing list for more news, announcements and collaborator profiles.

Arts in Action Launch

Posted: May 13, 2011 in Latest Events

A big thank you to everyone who made it into the city on Thursday night in the wet and cold to attend the launch of Arts in Action, it was a wonderful turnout, with plenty of good brew flowing, chatter and a film to really provoke thought and discussion! Apart from a few technical glitches the night ran rather smoothly. Thanks go to all those who contributed to the success of the evening. Firstly I have to mention the wonderful event staff at Donkey Wheel House, Alana, Jessie and Cherie for being so accommodating, efficient and responsive to my needs. They are a great team, very willing to assist in any way they can, I highly recommend Donkey Wheel as a venue if you re looking for somewhere a little different to hold an event, function or meeting.

Secondly thank you to everyone who donated a camera, 6 cameras raised and a few more on their way. Great effort! Thanks to Zoe a volunteer from the project who came along as a representative to meet and greet and collect cameras. I am deeply grateful for the support and assistance provided by my friends, especially Mary for being my “Door Angel” and Melissa for taking over the popcorn making just when I needed her most! Deano I must say stole the show with his tasty ales, tragic jokes and charming service. His little doco which had its first public screening was a big hit. Deano also saved the day with his hotspot smartphone that provided wifi when the venue’s internet connection failed. Thanks to Deano the skype call with Richard from Bali was able to take place as planned. Richard joined us after the feature film, to talk to the audience about his Bali kid’s camera project. Thanks so much to Richard for his time and sharing. Thanks also to Sonia Grieve for sharing her wonderful artwork “Atlas Novus” – which added a warm and soft glow to the room. And finally thanks to Andrew Bradsworth whose beautiful music played in the background.

So what’s next? I have plans for a screening on Remembrance Day of the film “Operation Emotional Freedom” which will coincide with a worldwide summit on PTSD and include a skype call with the Producer Eric Huure. But before that I have been invited to collaborate on the screening of “Our Generation” during Reconciliation week. If you’d like to stay informed about upcoming screening events and collaborators please join the mailing list to be notified of new posts and updates.

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On the eve of my first screening and the launch of Arts in Action I am very excited and have everything in place for a wonderful night. There are still a few tickets remaining. If you plan to come along you can purchase your ticket here or try your luck at the door. Planning this event has been an absolute joy! I have been able to collaborate and partner with the most incredible, socially conscious and creative individulas and organisations. And now I have a few new announcements so please read on…

Music by Andrew Bradsworth

Andrew Bradworth who is both a talented Melbourne photographer and musician is kindly supplying the background music on the night, which will be played before and after the film and during intermission. His latest CD tiltled “Look Up” will be playing and there will also be some CD’s available for sale.  Please visit his soundcloud page for a sample of his music.  You can contact Andrew via his website to purchase a CD.

See Andrew’s Artist statement below. 

Andrew Bradsworth – “Look Up”

Ambient, acoustic, electronic, experimental, soundscape

My compositions are a mixture of layered and textural soundscapes combining ‘music of the moment’ improvisations, loops and field recordings reflecting a passion for nature, the environment and how we deal and interact with it in our everyday lives. My approach to making music is of a ‘cinematic’ nature. I belong to environmental groups such as the Australian Conservation Foundation and Greenpeace. Musical influences range from Miles Davis, Brian Eno, Bill Frisell, Robert Fripp, Nels Cline, Steve Roach, Michael Stearns, Fennesz, Aphex Twin, John Martyn.

Special Guest

If all goes to plan, Richard from the 1 camera 1000 smiles project who is currently in Bali will skype in after the feature film to speak briefly with the audience about the project and to answer any audience questions. Zoe who is a volunteer with the project will also be there on the night to collect cameras that people donate.  She is heading off to Bali next week and may very well be personally delivering the donated cameras. I look forward to having both on board on the night!

Good Brew

Just quietly Deano from The Good Brew Company will be unleashing his new lemongrass infused bitter ale which is proving very popular with beer drinkers who are saying it’s the best beer they’ve tasted! I sure am looking forward to a taste!

I visited the Donkey Wheel House for the first time during Melbourne Open House in 2010. I was on  a photographic mission to capture the rustic old charm of this intriguing historic building. The tour guide walked us through the history of the building, it’s current refurbishment plans and how the building was now being used.

History:

In 2008, the Donkey Wheel Charitable Trust purchased the five-storey Venetian Gothic style building at 673 Bourke St in the Melbourne CBD. Built circa 1890, it is part of a State Heritage listed building still considered to be one of Melbourne’s cultural, historical and architectural landmarks. Prior to becoming Donkey Wheel House, this building was the headquarters for the Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Company.

Community initiatives:

Donkey Wheel House is all about creating a dynamic, collaborative space for social impact which draws together a community of socially aligned enterprises.

I chose Donkey Wheel House for the screening of Manufactured Landscapes because as an enterprise I want to align myself with a socially responsible and ethical venue.

When you hire the space at Donkey Wheel House, you are provided with a unique opportunity to make a different difference and contribute meaningfully to a range of Melbourne-based social, community and creative initiatives. This is because profits from the venue hire at donkey wheel house are channelled into the donkey wheel charitable trust, a trust that funds community projects and passionate agents of change that seek to promote positive change and have a social impact.

Environmental sustainability:

Recycling and composting are important to Donkey Wheel House and as such, recycling and compost bins are provided on site. This ensures each event has a minimal negative impact on the environment. Donkey Wheel’s investment portfolios are managed by specialist ethical investment advisers Ethinvest. The portfolios are structured to ensure that Donkey Wheel’s financial objectives are achieved through investment in assets that reflect Donkey Wheel’s values – particularly social inclusion and environmental sustainability. Moreover, Donkey Wheel House has used environmentally friendly paint throughout its interior and furniture (such as tables) is made from recycled and/or environmentally friendly materials. Donkey Wheel House supports renewable energy and as such, purchases green power from an electricity provider.

Venue facilitities:

Located in Melbourne’s CBD near Southern Cross Station, Donkey Wheel House offers an innovative and multi-purpose venue space for events and functions. With unique architectural features that include a maze of arches and natural light wells, donkey wheel house exudes personality and charm, guaranteeing an unforgettable experience for your next event. The space includes a cafe, conference and training rooms, as well as areas for cocktail functions. It is also ideal for festivals, exhibitions, movie screenings, and performances.

Tenants:

The current tenants of Donkey Wheel House are as follows:

Movie screenings at Donkey Wheel House are held in the basement of the building with seating of up to 45 people, projector and screen. I have attended a few screenings at Donkey Wheel House hosted by DiCE and I enjoy it’s warm ambience and cosy setting. I am proud to be partnering with Donkey Wheel House for the launch of Arts in Action :-)

A very special recycled art piece by Artist Sonia Grieve will be on display at the Donkey Wheel House on Thursday 12th May as part of the launch of Arts in Action and screening of Manufactured Landscapes. The documentary about world renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky encourages people to join a global conversation on sustainability and how we can minimise our impact on the environment. According to Sonia her piece titled ‘Atlas Novus’ (2011) began as a study in analysing and implementing sustainable work practices where the artistic process and its impact on the environment ran as a parallel creative narrative.

Artist Statement – Sonia Grieve smgrieve@tpg.com.au

Living in East Gippsland, Sonia works primarily in multimedia with a focus on the development of new pieces from found, recycled, reclaimed and liberated items. The Atlas, in its traditional form, has essentially been replaced by Google Maps, Google Earth and Global Positioning Systems. The creation of ‘Atlas Novus’ was an opportunity to transform a traditional bound volume of maps into a three dimensional, deconstructed, reimagining of a world globe. My desire was to create something beautiful and functional in my art work, to save it from landfill.

Materials:

Second-hand Atlas published in 1978, purchased from op shop.

Paper lightshade reclaimed from house.

Non-toxic glue;  1 cup of flour and 2 cups of water mixed.

 Construction:

The artwork was made during the day in natural sunlight. No electricity was consumed to make it.

The pieces of maps were hand cut with scissors and the remnants of paper were disposed into a household recycle bin.

Join the launch of Arts in Action 

Buy your tickets online now at Greentix as seats are limited  

A camera drive in support of the 1 camera 1000smiles project will also be held on the night, so please bring along any old unused cameras and photographic equipment which will be donated to the kids camera project. The Good Brew Company will be supplying beer, cider and/or wine brewed with a minimun carbon footprint. All inclusive, so come along bring your old cameras and toast the opening of Arts in Action with a good brew! Or if a Good Brew is not your cup of tea, then enjoy a STREAT coffee instead!

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An added feature of the Manufactured Landscapes screening on May 12th at the Donkey Wheel House is the inclusion of a “Difference Makers Segment” which screens a series of short clips and documentaries that shine a spotlight on local people, artists, projects and businesses that use sustainable principles and practices.  These are the people working at a grassroots level to make a difference in addressing global environmental issues. These are the people who are taking action, talking steps towards the creation of a more sustainable world. By supporting these people and their missions, we can make a difference on our own own individual level. I personally admire their creativity and innovation so I encourage you to learn more about what these tremendous people do. You can find out more and support them by coming along and participating in the Arts in Action launch, camera drive and film screening.  If you plan to come along get your tickets now @ $20 which includes a sustainable brew, fairtrade tea and coffee and freshly popped corn. Buy your tickets online now at Greentix.  Seats are limited and filling up.

Collaborators, Partners and Difference Makers

A recycled  art piece created by Artist Sonia Grieve titled Atlas Novus will be on display on the night. Sonia used sustainable art practices in the creation of her art piece. A paper written on how she created the work and how she used sustainable methods, will be posted here soon.

And thanks for the co-operation and involvment of these wonderful people.. 

Photo by Richard Piscioneri

COLLABORATOR PROFILE: 1 Camera 1000 smiles

Event: Film Screening Manufactured Landscapes

Click here for part 1 of the interview

Angie: So what’s happening in the next phase of the project?

Richard: Now that we’ve collated some camera equipment the next phase is to assign the cameras to the kids and work out a schedule where they go and take photos. We’re now going through the process of back peddling we’re going to start off creating a new curriculum, so there’s a lot more structure. And it’s developing into something more comprehensive. Actually this whole thing is more a media project, you know it’s not just cameras, it’s media overall. The workshops with the children also turn into sort of activity days. We stop and we do some song and dance or there may be a yoga workshop that happens in between it all. Perhaps something else, some books or other kids activities and then we always incorporate the recycling venture into it.  We run around the village and collect rubbish that’s around the area.

Angie: Tell us more about the environmental aspect of the project

Richard: And that’s one of the other purposes, that’s the underlying agenda here as well, is to create an environmental project alongside with the camera project. And in the end if you actually boil it down the camera project is an environmental project because it’s utilizing disused equipment, disused products and there’s so many disused products around the world particularly in places like here in Melbourne in Australia, people throw things out all the time hard rubbish, you can build an entire house if not a city on some of the things that are thrown away.

When you’re in a place like Bali or Indonesia, not even a stick is thrown out because it all gets reused. Like today I went and saw a friend who donated a box of toys to the kids which is amazing and there was another couple of boxes beside them and  I go what are those for? Oh we just went through those and we didn’t think those things were good enough to give you so we’re going to take it to the tip. I go, no you don’t realise that what’s in those boxes is just as precious or just as valuable. They gladly accept anything and will utilise it. And anything that’s really no good, we’ll sift through and get rid of  but there’s a vast difference between what we imagine is no good and what actually is, we have different concepts or understandings of what’s valuable and what’s not.  The majority of it can be totally utilised.

And that’s one of my main things I’m just a little bit concerned about the developments that happen everywhere and how things are produced quite cheaply monetary wise but they have an impact, they’re quite expensive because they have an impact on the earth’s environment.

So we’re so accustomed now to going into stores that import a lot of goods from very cheap economies like China for example. And they’re able to produce products, you know even things like tools. Certain brand of power tools are produced quite cheaply  so people would just buy these products and they’d buy them and then they throw them out and then they buy more and it all gets thrown out again, into land waste, so then it has to be remanufactured, reproduced, redelivered, reshipped, resold and rewasted.

And this is my own personal pet hate so I just want to try and do my two little bobs worth towards it, you know, just for my own personal, self satisfaction. You know if I can make my own differences to what surrounds me , then I’m happy with that.  I’m not trying to change the world, the only thing I can change is myself.

Angie: What are some of the project targets?

Richard: Well the target, I guess when designing and conceptualising the whole 1 camera 1000 smiles project, was always to set up a project like this and then utilize what we learn from the initial project and then taking this idea and implementing it into other areas, other parts of the world.  This could be done with cameras, it gets done with books, computers, and everything but it’s about, creating a little bit of happiness and then to taking it a little bit more worldwide. And you know, it doesn’t necessarily have to be underdeveloped regions, this project can happen right here at my own doorstep here in Australia. There are lots of groups here, that could utilize something like this, that could utilize a project of this nature. Lots of groups, ethnic groups,  youth groups, and a whole host of others.

Angie: How can people contribute to the project? What’s needed and what are some of the different ways people can contribute?

Richard: How can people contribute to the project, well there’s a host of different ways. The project is quite a young project; it’s starting now, beginning to really create a firmer foundation. Primarily the way to contribute is just by people going through their old drawers and just seeing what’s in cupboards or garages and sheds, and seeing if they have any photographic equipment or media style equipment, that they want to part with, or that hasn’t been used for 5 years or 10 years or 2 years and it’s not going to be intentionally used again. And rather than collect dust we could make use of it.  Most people can contribute by giving us their old disused cameras.

Other people can contribute if they really want to get involved as a volunteer. There are some roles for volunteers. We’ve got people at the moment beginning to work on creating some infrastructure to the project. As the project develops we’re going to need educators. People that want to contribute time. Money at the moment is something we don’t readily want to accept. We want to be able to self fund, but we don’t want to be a charity per se. We want to be like an NGO group where we can become a little bit self funding. We can create workshops and education programs for people who have the ability to pay and then use those funds towards the project itself. 

Yoga instructors, Trekking Guides, health practitioners, photographers, teachers, flight attendance, restauranteurs, architects, hoteliers, lawyers and artists have all shared their time and inspired our local Balinese children. If you would like to share your skill sets then please complete the on line application form.

Click here to get involved in the 1 camera 1000 smiles project

Angie: So people who attend those workshops are indirectly funding the project?

Richard: Absolutely yes.

Angie: So people who have an interest in photography and want to learn from you, can attend those workshops?

Richard:  Yes anyone who wants to support the project financially indirectly can attend a camera workshop and learn about different facets of photography or they can go on a photographic tour. We’d rather have something of an exchange like that than just outright collect money. Because we’re not really prepared to or in a position to be collecting people’s monies.  At the moment pretty much, it’s only a couple of us doing this and we haven’t got the capacity so perhaps when things develop there may be provision for that.

 Angie: What do you need to help the project move forward?

Richard: Well to do a project like this we need equipment, we need facilities, transport, we need to house it all. Transporting equipment from Australia to Bali initially is expensive and I fund it all myself. So it would be really great to get an airline company to come on board and say hey,  we’re gonna give you ex amount of cargo for free. Or we’re going to be able to support you ex amount per month or per trip or whatever. Or we can give you some additional luggage or something of some nature. Or when you collect ex amount, you know maybe a transport company will come on board and say hay we’ll ship this across for you and put a small bit of cubic meter container over for you. Something of that nature.  That would be invaluable to us, because things weigh a lot, everything’s by weight and at the moment I just simply pay for extra luggage on a plane and it all adds up. Also it’s not a great way of taking things across. If I had that need met I could now take over 60, 80, 100 kilos of equipment.

Once I’m over there the other thing I need is to set up a place to house it all and create the actual library itself because at the moment it’s all just at my house. I want to set up a photo library where people come and borrow the equipment. I also want to have a travelling library. Even just to build a small little trailer on a small vehicle, something of that nature where we can roll around and go from township to township on a weekly or fortnightly basis and do that. So that’s needed as well.

Since its all non profit, I’m not earning an income from it. I’m just basically working it off my own personal savings at the moment. And in the process I’m being touched and moved by the support. In fact there’s a host of equipment donated from government organisations, from the general public, and people are detaching or departing with their own personal equipment, stuff that has some sort of personal sentiment to them. Like the first camera they ever learnt on or a camera that belonged to a dear family member and so forth. And this is really touching and with this it creates a real sense of responsibility, not only to the prospective students but also to the sponsors, to everyone who supports the project.

Angie: What is it that brings a smile to your face about this project?

I just get a good sense when I’m teaching the kids. When I’m actually in amongst it all I get a really good sense for it. A really good feeling and that makes me smile. And it’s not, you know, it’s not something that I crave, it’s not something that I need, or I planned for, it’s something that I became aware of, while I was there teaching. I don’t know just being in amongst it, watching the project, participating in the actual activity of the educational side , it’s physically demanding , its mentally demanding but it’s extremely rewarding as well. And all these other aspects of it, you know, speaking about the project, creating a website, creating everything else that surrounds it is nice. But really the bigger smile comes from smiling alongside with the kids. And watching their faces light up. Energy creates energy. So when you’ve got 100 kids smiling and really happy about things it just doesn’t do anything but make you smile as well.

Also it’s very moving when we get notes attached to the cameras that are donated and like I said before it may be their first camera. They’ll leave a note saying “this camera was the first camera I ever learnt on, I hope it’s brings a lot of happiness to someone else as well, coz it’s certainly brought me a lot of happiness.” So there are little attachments like that and that really make me smile too.

TO SUPPORT THIS PROJECT PLEASE BRING ALONG YOUR OLD UNUSED CAMERAS TO THE SCREENING OF MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES. If you can’t attend the screening but have equipment you wish to donate please contact Angie angiemuccillo@gmail.com or on 0417391055 to arrange a pick up.

Curated Short Doco Series

In this section I present short documentaties created by photojournalists, art and peace activists whose  projects have been created to address a global issue. To recieve updates of curated short docos, enter your email in the box at the top left hand side of the screen.

My first pick Airsick: An Industrial Devolution is sourced from Media Storm, an award-winning multimedia production studio, working with top visual storytellers, interactive designers and global organizations to create cinematic narratives that speak to the heart of the human condition.

In Airsick: An Industrial Devolution Toronto Star Photographer Lucas Oleniuk tackles the global issue of climate change through a local approach.

With the exception of two images, all 20,000 photographs were shot in Ontario, Canada. But they illustrate a global problem. With a haunting original score by Randy Risling and evocative quotes, Airsick plays out like an unsettling dream.

“We’re addicted to fossil fuels and our infrastructure reflects that,” says Oleniuk. “My hope is that one day this film will be seen as the way we used to do things.” 

See the project here. Watch the Feature followed by the Epilogue.

Credits

Concept and Photography: Lucas Oleniuk
Airsick Editor: Scott Simmie
Original Music: Randy Risling
Design and Animation: James Ivar Gundersen
Producer: Eric Maierson
Producer: Epilogue: Tim Hussin
Executive Producer: Brian Storm

“Aspiring to be the catalyst for positive change in young people’s lives, ten passionate volunteers are pedaling and performing their way from Melbourne to Canberra to engage with youth, through theatre and workshops, about the critical role that responsible consumer choices have on creating a more equal and sustainable planet. …”

What an impressive and inspiring example of arts in action! Otesha uses art and media to teach teenagers about sustainability.  By being the “change they want to see in the world” the project volunteers are  individuals whose own personal actions and choices are an example of sustainable living that young people and the community at large can learn from.  Co-Director of the Otesha project  Vanessa Hewson shares the goals and vision of the Otesha Project:

 “Over the last eleven years, The Otesha Project has endeavored to: further develop awareness about the environmental and social impacts of the products and resources we consume; increase the number of responsible consumer choices made by young Australians; and increase the number of young role models and sustainability advocates in Australia. We believe that significant change can be achieved through individual action and we aim to encourage young people to ‘be the change they wish to see in the world’.

As ten individuals we realise that we can’t change the world, instead we’ve committed changing ourselves and, it is to be hoped, be the catalyst for change in others. We believe that the problem is not that people don’t want to change, but that they don’t understand why change is needed or that they feel overwhelmed by the size of the problems and can’t easily see ways to be part of the solutions. Therefore, we see an urgent need for educational programs that shift attitudes about the impacts of our daily consumer choices, build positive social norms, and reduce the perceived barriers around taking action on sustainability issues. We believe that young people can be powerful and influential change makers but need to feel empowered to do so. “

Bike Performing Tours

The Otesha Project (Australia): Cycling for Sustainability hosts annual Bicycle Performing Tours visiting schools throughout parts of Australia to inspire, educate, and engage youth about sustainable consumption.

Teams of 15 – 20 amazing, motivated people travel by bike to present a theatre performance and workshops while living in a collective bike community for eight weeks. Using theatre, multimedia and interactive workshops, the school presentation provides a unique approach to understanding environmental and social justice issues.

Using a consensus model for decision-making, tour members work together to design workshops, coordinate presentations, source accomodation, cook food, solicit media opportunities and connect with local community members.

School Performances

The Otesha Project (Aus) visits schools along the routes of their Bicycle Performing Tours to present their sustainability-themed performance.

Using theatre, multimedia and interactive workshops, Otesha provides a unique approach to understanding environmental and social justice issues. All performances are followed by workshops on various topics around environmental and social justice issues.

How to Support Otesha..

Arts in Action is proud to support the Otesha Project through donation and as a Collaborator at the screening event Manufactured Landscapes, where the short documentary about the 2009 Victorian Loop Bike Performing Tour will be screened during the “Difference Makers” segment of the evening.

Join the launch of Arts in Action with a screening of Manufactured Landscapes an award winning documentary film about the work of photographer and 2005 TED Prize winner Edward Burtynsky. A camera drive in support of the 1 camera 1000smiles project will also be held on the night, so please bring along any old unused cameras and photographic equipment which will be donated to the kids camera project. The Good Brew Company will be supplying beer, cider and/or wine brewed with a minimun carbon footprint. All inclusive, so come along bring your old cameras and toast the opening of Arts in Action with a good brew! Or if a Good Brew is not your cup of tea, then enjoy a STREAT coffee instead! Get your tickets at Greentix

I have chosen to purchase certified fair trade and organic STREAT Coffee, which is locally roasted at the gorgeous Abbotsford Convent Bakery  for the Arts in Action launch on the 12th May at Donkey Wheel House.

A Community Cup

STREAT is a Social Enterprise located at the Donkey Wheel House which provides social support and hospitality programs to homeless youth. STREAT partners with the Convent Bakery to roast their coffee because of a shared passion for making the world a more sustainable place with great food and beverages.  Click here to view the STREAT coffee videos where Convent Bakery owner Arnie offers a behind the scenes take on how the coffee is roasted, and why he chose to support STREAT.

 So if you’re coming along to the screening launch and a Good Brew is not your cup of tea, then enjoy a STREAT coffee instead!!

Photo by Richard Piscioneri

COLLABORATOR PROFILE: 1 Camera 1000 Smiles 

Event: Film Screening Manufactured Landscapes

On Friday 4th March 2011 I had the pleasure of interviewing Richard at his Urban Artistry photography studio in Collingwood. Due to fly out to Bali early in the next week, Richard generously made time to answer questions and share his vision and goals for the 1 camera 1000 smiles project. He speaks with warmth, passion and spirit about how it all started and where the project is at right now. I was specifically interested in finding out what type of support the project needs to move forward and how people can contribute. He also shares his thoughts about the power of photography to create change and talks about his passion for teaching/education and his interest in environmental issues, particularly recycling and redistribution of resources. Finally he tells us what it is about this project that makes him smile!

Below is PART 1 of a written transcript of the voice recorded conversation.

Angie: Richard can you tell us about your vision for the 1 camera 1000 smiles project?

Richard: I guess the 1 camera 1000 smiles project is about sharing, education, it’s about development; it’s about waste, the environment, progression, the change of the world and the world changing. It’s about western development, underdeveloped countries, overdeveloped countries and trying to create some sort of harmony and balance in between. It comes about you know, photography is a powerful medium and pretty much it produces change and alters the course in the world. It makes people accountable in so many ways as well, it’s been used to put ideas forward, to put expressions forward, to publicize, advertise, to create, capture and so forth. So it’s a very very very powerful medium.

Ah and the project itself, it’s about giving people a little bit of autonomy and power for themselves and that’s through the means of education, which I think is by far the ultimate in knowhow and power, it’s about creating autonomy and giving people confidence and so forth coz it puts things on par and it opens up new ways of sharing ideas and information. So in a nutshell …. is that a nutshell ? or no… it’s a big walnut perhaps, coz it’s got a few twists in there but there’s a lot involved, it’s not simply about collecting a bunch of cameras and taking them into developing countries and giving them out, it not about handouts that’s for sure. It’s about getting in there amongst it with people who are in need and trying to give them a bit of hope and a bit of knowhow.

Angie: So how did the project come about and where is at right now?

Richard: Well the process is in its infancy, it was instigated about 10 months ago. It’s a slow process, you know, working in the tropics, working from halfway between Australia and Bali and travelling in between and so forth. But it just started with a bit of an idea because I used to work as an educator and a photographer. And it started off with a bit of a passion of mine to just take those skills sets and utilize it because I wanted to share that. I haven’t always been a  teacher , it’s been only 3 or four years but there’s something about teaching that’s really self indulgent, self rewarding and you know, not only do I teach, I learn, I experience and have the opportunity to speak, and as you can see I love speaking! So it kind of gives me a platform for that.

Angie:  You take cameras into remote villages and run workshops with the kids. What do they do with the cameras? Tell us about your experiences with that and what the response is like?

Richard: The idea is to collect a whole host of disused cameras from Australia, so we’ve been doing that along the way. The first workshop I held though, I used my own professional equipment. I had professional expensive photographic equipment,  which I’m handing out to these kids and they’re walking around with these expensive cameras around their necks. Which is quite a sight, it’s a bit of a buzz for me too.

With workshops, ok so what’s been happening with the kids so far, we’ve been going up there, just giving them some small educational introductions to cameras. We’ve done some demonstrations we’ve shown them samples of photography, showing them what a camera can do, how the camera works, just showing them how to use it, through demonstration. Taking photos of them, with them, giving them the opportunity to use the camera.

We go up to a town in Bali, in the region of Kintamani which is in a mountain area. We go to a village called Blandingan which is one of Bali’s most historic villages, pretty much untouched, very untouched. Apparently and I don’t know if this is true or not, but I like telling this story, it makes me feel a little bit special, they say I’m the first westerner to spend a night overnight in the town.  It’s a very basic sort of village but it is beautiful…absolutely beautiful.  Most of the houses are 12 post houses, some of them with dirt floors. Ah just the fields, the village lifestyle, the community the whole sense of it, it’s pretty amazing and it just fills you full of joy and your senses sort of get sparked up when you’re in that environment. When you watch the kids and the families in the villages and how they make do and how they operate on a daily basis, that alone is a workshop. It’s a workshop for myself via them.

My Bahasa, my Indonesian is not all that great so I try and do things by gesture and I have an interpreter as well. So there’s definitely a language barrier but the kids are so clever. They tend to have a complete grasp of it, learning things quickly. In teaching them about concepts such as aperture and shutter speed even through gesture, you can see by the expressions on their faces that they’re getting it and if they don’t get it all they get at least 70% of it and that alone is rewarding.  So I know I’ve got a captive highly astute audience that given some time and some nurturing, some energy are going to excel at whatever they do.

Now these kids may not necessarily want to be photographers per se, and they don’t necessarily have to be. But it just gives them a little bit of hope, you know a little bit of knowledge and knowhow and it brings them up to speed with things and I think there are a lot of benefits to learning how to use a camera. And just for the expressions on their faces I think that’s enough. The kids receive it well and the village adults receive it warmly.

Click here for PART 2 of this interview where Richard talks about what’s happening in the next phase of the project and how people can contribute.

Serving a delicious sustainable brew, Deano of The Good Brew Company will be supplying the drinks at the Arts in Action launch on the 12th May at Donkey Wheel House. Come along and toast the opening of Arts in Action with a good brew! Not only is his brew good, Deano is also a man with  a mission, which is why I decided to hire him for the launch. The Good Brew Company is also a HUB tenant at the Donkey Wheel House. Don’t miss Deano’s wonderful little doco, posted at the bottom of this page.

Beer brewed with a minimun carbon footprint

The beer is brewed locally by breweries with solar preheat or other innovative environmental measures in place. It is delivered by bicycle and served from reusable kegs into reusable glasses/bamboo which can be washed, rinsed and chilled at venue. ZERO WASTE created.  

What is a good brew? by Deano  http://www.goodbrew.com.au/

A good brew is a sustainable brew.

A sustainable brew is brewed with traditional methods.
- Slow fermentation
- No chemicals

A sustainable brew also considers the environment in all phases of its production
- Has a the smallest possible carbon footprint
(in grain sourcing, grain & beer distribution and all aspects of the brewing process)
- Uses rainwater as much as possible
- Tastes fantastic and makes you feel good

Most microbrewers already endeavour to minimalise there ecological impact. These brewers must do all of the following for Sustainable Brews to market their product for them:
- Be local (within 50km) to Brunswick (home of Sustainable Brews)
- Use solar technology to preheat all water required for the brewing process.
- Use green power to power the rest of the brewery.
- Encourage workers to ride to work (xmas bonuses)
- Catch rain water (if uncontaminated by possum poo) from the roof to use for rinsing, washing & bathroom facilities…brewing if possible.
- Use only natural ingredients, no GMO’s and no preservatives
- Use only recycled paper based boxes and stationary

Check out Deano’s doco created by the Documentary Shop It’s sure to make you smile :-)

Deano from Coburg from Documentary Shop on Vimeo.

What is crowdfunding?

Inspired by crowdsourcing, crowdfunding describes the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money together, usually via the Internet, in order to support efforts initiated by other people or organisations (Wikipedia).

Since discovering the concept of crowdfunding, I have become more and more excited by the idea that creative people with innovative ideas, be it in film, photography, art, community, who want to make a difference, now have a whole new platform from which to acquire the funds (outside of government grants) and the freedom to use these funds on their own terms.  Greater social innovation is the natural by product, I believe.  Due to the all or nothing funding model, projects that warm the most hearts or raise the most interest or generate the most support are the ones that have a greater chance of achieving their funding targets. If targets are not met within the timeframe set up for the project, the projects do not get funded. I believe this is where the power of the internet, social media and crowdfunding collide, and a new media with an alternative voice can be broadcast. What a powerful trio when put into the hands of people whose projects are a reflection of their burning desires and dreams about making the world a better place. This is right up my idealist alley might I add!!

My favourite crowdfunding sites are:

Pozible  is a crowdfunding platform and community for creative projects and ideas. Developed for artists, musicians, filmmakers, journalists, designers, entrepreneurs, inventors, event organisers, software developers and all creative minded people to help make great things possible.

Start Some Good is a new crowdfunding platform which gives social entrepreneurs the tools they need to transform their ideas for improving the world into action and impact.

Kickstarter  Kickstarter is focused on creative projects. It’s a great way for artists, filmmakers, musicians, designers, writers, illustrators, explorers, curators, performers, and others to bring their projects, events, and dreams to life.

Plan Big  PlanBig brings together the experiences, knowledge and expertise of people with different skills from all walks of life and all ages to help each other get ideas kick started.

Films and other projects that have been backed by Arts in Action include:

Finding Vivian Meyer

How Philly Moves

Becoming Visible

Just Do It: Get up off your arse and change the world!   

Get into FOCUS

The Subconscious Cometh

ABC report on Green Way Up’s crowdfunded project http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/04/02/3180564.htm

It’s a new and very satisfying way of spending money and my aim is to feed the profits made from Arts in Action, into projects I find inspiring and reflect the change i want to see in the world. I can make a difference by supporting the people with the creative ideas and visions and in turn mine own are inspired.

And just to digress for a moment I really do want my very own sol cinema! http://www.thesolcinema.org/ It’s the world’s smallest solar movie theatre, I love it!

Click here for the latest news on Arts in Action Screenings

Arts in Action will officially launch with a screening of Manufactured Landscapes an award winning documentary film about the work of photographer and 2005 TED Prize winner Edward Burtynsky. A camera drive in support of the 1 camera 1000smiles project will also be held on the night, so please bring along any old unused cameras and photographic equipment which will be donated to the kids camera project. The Good Brew Company will be supplying beer, cider and/or wine brewed with a minimun carbon footprint. All inclusive, so come along bring your old cameras and toast the opening of Arts in Action with a good brew! Or if a Good Brew is not your cup of tea, then enjoy a STREAT coffee instead!

WHEN:  Thursday 12th May 2011

WHERE:  Basement @ Donkey Wheel House

ADDRESS: 673 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000 (near the corner of Spenser Street)

TIME: 7.30pm Doors open at 7pm

TICKETS: $20 tickets available online through Greentix Seats are limited so BOOK NOW! 

Read about Greentix’s environmental initiatives

SYNOPSIS

MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES is a feature length documentary on the world and work of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky. Internationally acclaimed for his large-scale photographs of “manufactured landscapes”—quarries, recycling yards, factories, mines and dams—Burtynsky creates stunningly beautiful art from civilization’s materials and debris. The film follows him through China, as he shoots the evidence and effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution. With breathtaking sequences, such as the opening tracking shot through an almost endless factory, the filmmakers also extend the narratives of Burtynsky’s photographs, allowing us to meditate on our impact on the planet and witness both the epicenters of industrial endeavor and the dumping grounds of its waste.

MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES powerfully shifts our consciousness about the world and the way we live in it, without simplistic judgments or reductive resolutions.

WATCH THE TRAILER

AWARDS

  • Best Documentary – 2007 Genie Awards
  • Best Canadian Film – Toronto International Film Festival
  • Best Canadian Film & Best Documentary – Toronto Film Critics Association Awards
  • Nominated for Grand Jury Prize – 2007 Sundance Film Festival
  • Won the Reel Current Award (presented by Al Gore) – 2007 Nashville Film Festival

Listen to the Q&A with Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky at New York’s Film Forum

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