Posts Tagged ‘urban artistry’

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  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.


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


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.