Experiential Ethnographic Films Program

Experiential Ethnographic Films Program – Screening schedule

Experiential Ethnographic Films Program – Screening schedule

Venue: Yasuko Hiraoka Myer (YHM) room, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, The University of Melbourne
Date: Friday & Saturday, 22-23 November 2013
Time: 10am – 4pm daily




Click to download Experiential screening schedule (pdf)

watch all available trailers here

10.00 AM
01 On Broadway
On Broadway / USA / Aryo Danusiri / Indonesia / 2011 / 62 min

This work is a subtle investigation of the ordinary spaces that transform and transition between the playful and the sacred as individuals enter and perform routine acts of worship or leisure. In this work consisting of several long takes, the viewer experiences the rhythms of folding and unfolding as a visual metaphor for the boundary between these seemingly disparate acts.

As in the recent case of the “Ground Zero mosque,” On Broadway questions the relationships between religion, public spaces and memory in contemporary American society. It unsettles various conservative yet established ideas about the role of the “secular” in a multicultural society and asks its viewers to rethink the term’s fluidity. This work is a structural account that provides subtle yet political commentary on the case.

Recorded during fall 2008 inside “a mosque” in downtown Manhattan, On Broadway asks what it means to be Muslim in Manhattan? What does it mean to be a “multicultural Muslim”? This film reassembles this issue through a return to the moving image’s core, namely temporality. Such an attempt endeavors to reexamine the relation between time and space, in turn transforming cinema into a stage. As its title alludes to, On Broadway is a “song” of transformations in space and piety. Conceived as an investigation of the spatiality of religion and identity, the twist at the end of the work questions the boundaries between the spiritual and the mundane, the collective and the individual, the everyday and the political.

About the director
Aryo Danusiri is a video artist and anthropologist born in Jakarta in 1973. His works have been exploring the circulations of new keywords, violence and memory in reconfiguring political and social landscape of post-authoritarian Indonesian 1998. Those works have premiered at various festivals, including Rotterdam, Amnesty Amsterdam, Mead Festival and Yamagata “New Asia Current.” His first feature length documentary, Playing Between Elephants was awarded “Movies That Matters for Best Human Rights Film” at Jakarta International Film Festival 2007 and “Best Documentary” at Brussels Independent IFF. In 2005, he finished his Master’s Degree in Visual Cultural Studies from Tromsø University, Norway. Danusiri is the filmmaker of Ragam Media Network, a Jakarta based institution that develops visual media as a catalyst for cross-cultural learning and community knowledge management. At present, he is doing his Ph.D. in the Media Anthropology program, with a secondary field in Critical Media Practice at Harvard University.

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11.02 AM
02 A-Brief-History-of-Memory_still
A Brief History of Memory / Thailand / Chulayarnnon Siriphol / Thailand / 2010 / 14 min

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“A Brief History of Memory” is dedicated to the people who died during the political crisis in Thailand. The effect of the crisis is presented by a voice of a mother who lost her son in April 2009 and overlaid with moving images of the Nang-Lerng community where she and her family lived.

The Nang-Lerng community survives through continuous changes, which cause many memorial imprints, one after another, memories that have been conveyed from one generation to another, memories that have been conveyed from those who went away before to those who are still here. Even though time has changes, these memories are still drifting and circling around.

As an outsider, being able to capture these memories and convey it as a film, is like capturing a brief history of memory and not just letting it slip as time is passing by. And also to mourn over those who passed away.

Within the filming process, there was an activity within Nang-Lerng community, which was to wash lice off of children’s hair for their better personal health. Some of the pictures that were captured during the activity, such as the photographs of the dead lice, and the photographs of children, were used as parts of the documentary.

About the director
Chulayarnnon Siriphol was born in 1986. He has interest in motion picture which started from the rapid interest and popularity of the medium. However, he works within the short film format in order to express his own feelings that opposes mainstream use of the medium through sarcasm and dark humor. Now, he lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand.

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11.16 AM
03 The Honey Hunting_still
Honey Hunting / Thailand / Lotta Granbom / Sweden / 2012 / 14 min

The Honey Hunting is a short ethnographic film about Musa and his large family living on an island in the Andaman Sea, a part of Thailand. The island has, in just a few short years, become a popular destination for tourists. The family lives on the seaward side in one of the few villages where Westerners have not yet come to stay. But with the cost of living going up and the fish harvest going down the family is forced to find other ways to get by. In the film we accompany Musa and his sons into the jungle on a honey collecting expedition. But reaching the hive and its honeycomb high in a tree – and dealing with its angry tenants – is a skilled and risky business; a sight to be seen.

About the director
Lotta Granbom is PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology from Lund University in Sweden. For more than a decade, I have made extensive fieldworks among the ”Sea Nomads” Urak Lawoi in Andaman Sea, Thailand. My research focuses on The Tourism Impact on Local Peoples Social and Culture Lifestyle in Thailand. I give lectures in the topic and have written books and articles in the subject. The book; Urak Lawoi – Sea Nomads in Andaman Sea is used as literature in a course about indigenous people in anthropology.

Urak Lawoi themselves are talking about two major changes for them: first the tourists came to the island and then the tsunami. In December 2004 the Urak Lawoi were affected by the tsunami. They had an urgent need for new boats. For six months in 2005 I worked to race money and build new boats and other crucial tasks with the Urak Lawoi.
I have used the camera as a method in the field since 2002. The Honey Hunting (2012) is my first film that I edited after I got an opportunity to study Filmmaking for Fieldwork at the University of Manchester. The film has been shown on various ethnographic film festivals in Europe.

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11.30 AM
04 Writing in Water_still
Writing in Water / China / Angela Zito / USA / 2012 / 42 min

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What does it mean to take up calligraphy in a fast-moving world where people often no longer recall the stroke order of unusual words, but can look them up on cellphones? How does it feel being alone, together, spending long hours training your body to write while slowly mulling over your life with others? Writing in Water follows two generations of calligraphy teachers.

About the director
Angela Zito Angela Zito writes, teaches and curates at NYU where she is an Associate Professor in Anthropology and Religious Studies Program, and an associate faculty in Cinema Studies. She co-founded and co-directs the Center for Religion and Media http://www.crmnyu.org/ and has co-produced four versions of the biennial documentary film festival Reel China@NYU. http://www.crmnyu.org/projects/reel-china/ Her first documentary film, Writing in Water (2012, 42 min) is part of a study in Beijing about its “third spaces”, places where people congregate and make things, using the opportunity to create new public spaces as they produce cultural expressions. Other aspects of this project include the performance piece, The Stiletto Project, and a photo exhibition called Dogs and People, both of which contain documentary components. Zito writes about media and mediation, and their ethical, activist implications, including embodied performance, text and film, and on to digital media. Her current project at CRM is a Luce foundation funded initiative on “Religion in the digital age: Knowledge, politics and practice in an international frame”. http://www.angelazito.com/

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12.12 PM
05 Streets of Shanghai_still
Streets of Shanghai / China / Alda Terracciano / UK / 2012 / 7 min

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Streets of Shanghai takes inspiration from the unique encounter between Chinese vernacular and European high life, which saw its peak between the two World Wars leaving an iconic mark still palpable in the pulsating life of its high streets and busy back roads. Walking through the streets of Shanghai is an act that ignites the imagination: the complexities of Chinese history mirrored by the intricacies of its alleyways, while millenarian cultural forms resurface as living memories, like roots branching out from the collective unconscious in people’s body movements and practices of the everyday life. It is in this precarious balance between the pale colors palette of a time gone and the aggressive architectural volumes of modern capitalist life that Streets of Shanghai finds its pace, simultaneously revealing connections to other places along the Silk Road.

This art documentary is part of the wider project “Streets of… 7 cities in 7 minutes” designed to uncover the ancestral memory of three historical, intersecting journeys (the Indo-European migrations, the Silk Road, and the Transatlantic Slave Trade) as they unconsciously resurface in people’s everyday life through sounds, movements, and common rituals found in Naples, Shanghai, Mumbai, Tangier, Salvador de Bahia, Lisbon and London.

About the director
Alda Terracciano’s way of working as artist, filmmaker, curator and cultural archivist is influential and collaborative. Over the years she has worked with diverse communities in Britain, placing the theme of migration centre stage in her practice both as an artist and as activist. Inspired by the intrinsically poetic quality of the everyday life, her fascination with cinéma vérité, and the theatricality of everyday life informs her style of work, which shows a unique sensibility towards the emergence of people’s unconscious in their daily practices. She creates work that makes use of nonlinear narrative and plays with the evocative interplay between sounds and images to create a sense of “hyper reality” and “g-local” culture.

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12.19 PM
06 Streets of Mumbai_still
Streets of Mumbai / India / Alda Terracciano / UK / 2007 / 7 min

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Streets of Mumbai was commissioned by the City of Naples to be presented at the Universal Forum of Cultures in Monterrey (Mexico) in conjunction with Streets of Naples. Recorded during the monsoon season, it explores the everyday life of one of the most dynamic cities in Asia, its unique form of ‘stillness in chaos’ and characteristic daily rhythms. As one of the most ethnically diverse cities in India, Mumbai presents itself through a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes, where ancient rituals and traditions are ‘re-enacted’ through people’s everyday lives, bluntly defying the pressures of contemporary forms of globalization, while keeping ahead in the global economic race. Performed against the backdrop of elegant boulevards, overcrowded suburban areas, and electrified avenues layered with coloured billboards, everyday life appears as a form of primal artistic expression preceding any painting, script, film or photographic representation, like the undisturbed flow of a perennial dance movement deeply reminiscent of yogic practices.

About the director
Alda Terracciano’s way of working as artist, filmmaker, curator and cultural archivist is influential and collaborative. Over the years she has worked with diverse communities in Britain, placing the theme of migration centre stage in her practice both as an artist and as activist. Inspired by the intrinsically poetic quality of the everyday life, her fascination with cinéma vérité, and the theatricality of everyday life informs her style of work, which shows a unique sensibility towards the emergence of people’s unconscious in their daily practices. She creates work that makes use of nonlinear narrative and plays with the evocative interplay between sounds and images to create a sense of “hyper reality” and “g-local” culture.

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12.26 PM
07 Kungyee_still
Kungyee / India / Chaoba Thiyam / India / 2013 / 27 min

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The film is about the rituals of invoking rain practised among the Tangkhul Naga tribe.The documentary is set in Ningthi, a Tangkhul Naga village in the interior of Ukhrul district, Manipur, India. In local parlance, the ritual is called Kungyee. The film shows how the natives of Ningthi continue to keep the dying age-old culture of Kungyee, which is passed down from generation to generation. Ningthi villagers are the last Tangkhul tribesmen that are now struggling to keep the tradition alive. With the advent of Christianity among the natives, there has been a change in the way the rituals are performed at present time. Though there are slight changes in the performance of rituals, the continuity of Kungyee still depict a remarkable association of their culture with nature. The documentary shows the lifestyles of the natives, community bonding through this ritual and the present form ofKungyee as practised today.

About the director
Chaoba Thiyam is an independent filmmaker and visual artist from Manipur, in northeastern India. He graduated in Sociology from Mumbai University. His debut short fiction “NUNGEE MIT / EYE OF AN “I” bagged the Best Short Film in 2nd Cine ASA International Film Festival, Guwahati.

Some of his works have premiered at various festivals, including Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) 2010, Asiatica Film Mediale, Rome, Italy, Experimenta – the International Festival of Moving Image art in India in Bangalore, Eight Kalpanijhar International Short Film Festival, Kolkata 2010, PLAN 9 Festival of Experimental Movies 2011, Prague, Switzerland/Zurcher Theater Spektakel Festival 2013.

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12.53 PM
08 Do Din Ka Mela_still
Do Din Ka Mela (A Two Day Fair) / India / Anjali Monteiro & K.P. Jayasankar / India / 2009 / 58 min

watch 7 min excerpt

“Nothing in the world will last – it is but a two day fair” sings Mura Lala Fafal, drawing inspiration from the Sufi traditions of Sant Kabir and Abdul Lateef Bhita’i. He is accompanied on the Jodiya Pava (double flute) by his nephew Kanji Rana Sanjot. Kanji taught himself to play and make his own flutes after hearing the music on the radio. Mura and Kanji are Meghwals, a pastoral Dalit community that lives on the edge of the Great Rann of Kutch, in the Western Indian state of Gujarat. They are both daily wage labourers and subsistence farmers in an a rid zone. The film is a two day journey into the music and every day life of this uncle-nephew duo, set against the backdrop of the Rann. The Great Rann of Kutch is a vast salt marsh/desert that separates India and Pakistan.

About the director
Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayasankar are Professors at the School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Monteiro has a Masters degree in Economics and a Ph.D. in Sociology. Jayasankar has an M.A. in German Studies and a Ph.D. in Humanities and Social Sciences. Both of them are involved in media production, teaching and research. . A presiding thematic of much of their work has been a problematising of notions of self and the other, of normality and deviance, of the local and the global, through the exploration of diverse narratives and rituals. Jointly they have won thirty national and international awards for their films. Their most recent award is the Basil Wright Prize for So Heddan So Hoddan (Like Here Like There) at the 13th RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film 2013. An adaptation of their film ‘Saacha‘ (The Loom) is a part of the exhibition ‘Project Space: Word. Sound. Power.‘ currently showing at the Tate Modern, London. They have several papers in the area of media and cultural studies. They also serve as visiting faculty to several institutions in India and abroad and are currently at the University of Technology, Sydney as visiting professor/fellow,for a semester.

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13.51 PM
09 Mou Piri_still
Mou Piri A Rarotongan Love Song / Cook Islands / Karin Williams / New Zealand / 2013 / 12 min

The short documentary explores the importance of music and dance in Cook Islands culture, through the story of a romantic song that has become synonymous with island weddings. Composer Jon Jonassen wrote the song about community dances in the 1950s and 60s, held in village halls and fruit-packing sheds on the island of Rarotonga. Today the song is performed at weddings for tourists from around the world, but its message –sung in the Cook Islands Maori language – transcends borders

About the director
Karin Williams is an award-winning writer/producer/director with extensive experience working in the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and the United States. She began her career as a news reporter on the island of Rarotonga in the South Pacific, and went on to work for broadcast networks in Auckland, Seattle and Los Angeles.

Credits include prime-time series and specials for PBS, CNN, NBC, Court TV and National Geographic. Karin’s work has earned dozens of honors, including five regional Emmys and the Peabody Award for television production. Her independent film projects have screened at festivals around the world.

Shoots have taken her to remote and extreme locations: filming at 40-below in native Athabascan villages inside the Arctic Circle, shooting traditional tattoo artists in Samoa, recording American and Vietcong war veterans in the Vietnam highlands, working with police officers in Los Angeles and Baltimore, and filming at Te Kooti Rangatahi, a marae-based youth court in Auckland.

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14.03 PM
10 Toku Fenua_still
Toku Fenua (My Island) / Tuvalu / Martin Zinggl / Austria / 2011 / 29 min

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Tuvalu is comprised of nine low lying coral atoll islands. With its 11.000 inhabitants the Polynesian nation is the fourth smallest country in the world. Socio-economic problems including overpopulation, high unemployment and lack of educational opportunities have already led to the outward migration of a quarter of Tuvalu’s popluation, primarily to New Zealand. Because no Tuvaluan island rises more than five metres above sea level, the tiny nation also faces serious threats due to climate change and rising sea levels. Niulakita, the southernmost of the Tuvalu group, is often described as the smallest, most isolated inhabited island in the world. The director spent several months on Niulakita undertaking an anthropological fieldwork for his master’s thesis. TOKU FENUA lets us closely participate in the daily routines of three islanders; their dreams and concerns. It also shows the problems that people on the other side of the world, in such a harsh environment, are exposed to.

About the director
Martin Zinggl, born in 1983 in Vienna (Austria), studied social and cultural anthropology and journalism. He resides as an author and film maker in Vienna and Barcelona and is currently working on the publication of his first (non-scientific) book about Tuvalu.

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14.32 PM
11 Tjanpi Nyawa_still
Tjanpi Nyawa! Look at the Grass! / Australia / Christiane Keller / Australia / 2012 / 26 min

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Tjanpi Nyawa! Look at the Grass! captures the multi-sensory experiences of Tjanpi Desert Weavers, Aboriginal fibre artists who work mainly with grass, wool and raffia. It portrays the integration of this more recently developed artistic expression within desert culture and captures the atmosphere of sociality of these women seldom seen in Australian films. The viewers are engaged in Indigenous fibre-making processes with the aim to heighten the awareness of a range of sensory experiences and their importance and meaning within desert culture. The film provides a voice to Indigenous fibre artists to promote and share their knowledge and culture.

About the director
Dr Christiane Keller is an anthropologist, curator and filmmaker. Her research interests encompass Indigenous art, material culture and aesthetics with a focus on Australian Aboriginal sculpture, fibre art and fashion.

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14.58 PM
12 Antarrengeny_still
Antarrengeny Tyepety-akert / Australia / Mary Kemarr Morton & Katie Kemarr Morton / Australia / 2013 / 17 min

watch 2 min excerpt

The Antarrengeny song series from Utopia in Central Australia is one of the most well-known women’s ceremonies from this region. In this film, Mary Kemarr Morton and her kinswomen explain the meanings and significance of their songs through the narrative art of tyepety ‘sand story’. The Antarrengeny songs tell the stories of both everyday and important events: the travels of ancestral women across Antarrengeny country; the plants and animals of the area; and the impact of a land claim hearing.

About the director
Mary Kemarr Morton was born at Thethew, near Hatches Creek wolfram mine, and grew up on Antarrengeny country with her grandparents and her aunt Big Biddy Morton. Mary is a renowned ceremonial and cultural leader in the Utopia homelands. She is also a well-known artist and healer, proficient in the use of bush medicines. Mary’s art depicts a wide range of Antarrengeny totems that feature in the songs, such as apeng ‘desert kurrajong’. Mary has two sons and five daughters and lives at Arnkawenyerr.

Katie ‘Kiji’ Kemarr Morton
Katie Kemarr Morton is Mary Kemarr’s sister. Katie is a highly regarded singer, cultural leader and artist, often depicting her country on batik, canvas and in prints. Katie has participated in workshops with Batchelor Institute for many years, learning skills in reading and writing in Alyawarr and English and developing new visual arts techniques such as dry-point etching and fibre work. Katie lives with her two daughters at Arnkawenyerr.

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15.16 PM
13 e-wasteland_still
e-wasteland / Ghana / David Fedele / Australia / 2012 / 20 min

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Have you ever wondered what happens to your electronics at the end of their life? Almost 50 million tonnes of e-waste (electronic waste) are generated worldwide every year. A large volume of second-hand and condemned electronic goods arrive in developing countries from the “developed” world, with a significant quantity arriving as e-waste, exported illegally as “second hand goods”. Without dialogue or narration, E-WASTELAND presents a visual portrait of unregulatede-waste recycling in Ghana, West Africa, where electronics are not seen for what they once were, but rather for what they have become.

About the director
David Fedele is an award-winning documentary filmmaker from Australia.
He entered the world of documentary filmmaking through a love of travel and exploring different cultures, having traveled extensively throughout Australasia, Europe, the Middle East, South America and Africa.

David’s films cover a wide range of issues, from logging in Papua New Guinea to electronic waste in Ghana. He is particularly interested in exploring cultural, environmental, humanitarian and social justice issues.

David generally works as a one-man filmmaker – directing, producing, shooting and editing his own films. His work has been broadcast and screened widely, winning numerous awards on the International Film Festival circuit.

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Come celebrate the culture of Asia Pacific!

Check out what else is on 2013 Festival Program
Free tickets are available now on: http://2013aperturefestival.eventbrite.com.au

Click to download Festival Schedule (pdf)
Click to download Festival Booklet (pdf)
Click to download Festival Poster (A4)


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