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Arts, Community, Education, Environment, Health & Wellbeing, Human Rights, Indigenous, Social Justice, Youth
Storykeepers is a celebration of an extraordinary individual, Boori Monty Pryor, who throughout his life has risen against the odds to become a celebrated author and storyteller. Growing up as an Aboriginal kid, dodging the cops in Townsville, Boori was asked by a school teacher what he wanted to do when he grew up; ‘stay alive’ was his response. When his brother Paul chose to take his own life, Boori cast aside his own deep anguish, and took on the work his brother had started as a cultural storyteller, performer and teacher.Three decades later Boori has worked with more than a million children in classrooms all over the country and written a bunch of award winning books. His books, including the biography Maybe Tomorrow, have moved the hardest of hearts, and wherever he goes Boori meets his audiences with humour, love and inclusivity. Storykeepers goes on the road with Boori to see him at work and play, performing in front of thousands of people around Australia. Spiraling deeply into the stories and sharing the heartbreak, love and humour that sit behind them, Storykeepers takes viewers into the heart of the man and the heart of the country, in new and groundbreaking ways.In watching Boori share his stories we are constantly asking what it means to be Australian. As Director Hayden Layton observes, “As a white young man, I was surprised to find we have such a large wealth of beauty to be proud of, so much waiting for us all to love, celebrate and to be proud of in this country’s culture. Where were was this when I was growing up?”With unfettered access to Boori, his family, the schools he visits and the people he works with, Storykeepers is able to delve deeply into the stories and their source. We hear about the barefoot kid with seven sisters who grew up in the mangroves and we see the man that he has become – a multi award winning author and storyteller. We see also the profound impact the stories have on audiences of young and old alike, we see the hunger for people to connect experience and culture through story and Boori’s extraordinary ability to facilitate this.While Storykeepers explores concepts that are often highly politicised and can be confronting, we endeavour to approach a conversation on our national Identity in a open and inclusive way. Rather than constructing a traditional didactic piece with many talking heads, this documentary will be playful, energetic and creative.It will move through time, space and form mixing up fly-on-the-wall accounts and intimate reflections artfully spliced with interviews and 20 years of writing and spoken word poetry alongside animated and live action sequences. It will appeal to a broad audience and spark a desire in people creatively embrace a new identity. We hope to this documentary will start conversations between the young and the old, the recently arrived and the people who’ve lived here for over 40 thousand years.
Red Dust Dreams - the Documentary
Aged, Arts, Community, Education, Environment, Health & Wellbeing, History, Indigenous, Rural, Social Justice, Sport/Adventure, Welfare, Youth
There are several aims for our documentary, ‘Red Dust Dreams – the Documentary’. One of these is to try to help bridge the country-city divide that is still so evident throughout Australia; another is to have a look ‘behind the scenes’ - taking a look at the little-known about domestic side of life on some of our pastoral stations. We also want to showcase some of our spectacular scenery which is unique to our outback. To help preserve and record history both on the stations, between them and in some of the outback towns. Many of our pastoral stations have had to turn to tourism or other forms of business in order to be able to remain where they live. We are trying to feature these businesses and provide these people with extra exposure. As well as some of those in outback towns. We plan for the four parts of our documentary to include both well known tourist attractions throughout the outback as well as those that are not so well known - but should be. Highlighting things out there – trying to show tourists there is a lot that our outback has to offer as well as the lusher areas of our nation. Education is one of the aspects we are trying to involve through the book and documentary (we have permission to film a station class in action – including School of the Air/Distance Education), as well as from the base end (filming the teachers in action as well as a couple of interviews), the purpose being, again, to show how our remote education system actually works. Other aspects we are including are employment, entertainment, transport, distances travelled – for anything, holidays (what holidays?). Also infrastructure, mail, shopping, fuel, power, health (and the Royal Flying Doctor Service), communication, the advent of the internet and social media, the Indigenous aspect and more. We are also trying to coincide our travels with some of the outback’s events – one being the Big Red Bash at Birdsville. We do have permission to film interviews with some of the entertainers (some of Australia’s best vocalists) as well as the founder of the event and the owners of the station on which the event is held. Also the Marree Camel Races. Another essential part of our documentary – and the entire ‘Red Dust Dreams’ project is a ‘warning’ to anyone who plans to travel out there – do their homework. Research. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Explaining how unforgiving the outback can be, but just a bit of preparation and research can help to make it one of the best – and safest - holidays a person can have. We do have a Risk Management Plan in place. The first trip of our documentary has already taken place (self-funded) and we filmed an interview with an amazing character in Newman. This is something we plan to do throughout, with people who want to join in. Film some yarns, a bit of fun. We do plan to donate a percentage of whatever profits we might eventually make to several organisations relating to the outback.
The Last Laugh. A film about dementia with Dr Mark Cross and Kate Swaffer
Aged, Arts, Community, Disability, Education, Environment, Health & Wellbeing, Rural, Social Justice, Welfare
"Changing Minds" psychiatrist Dr Mark Cross is getting older. And like most of us, he's not looking forward to it. But he doesn't much like the alternative.He thinks he may carry the gene for dementia, and wants to be tested to find out what the future may have in store for him, his partner and young family.Meanwhile his friend Kate Swaffer was diagnosed with dementia seven years ago. She was told to return home, acquaint herself with the aged care services ( she was 50) and prepare her end of life affairs.That so wasn't going to happen. Instead Kate is reframing how we look at people with dementia. She's funny and feisty and turning to comedy to get her message out.