ACESS@AIDC mentorship

Recently I was lucky enough to score a place in the ACCESS@AIDC mentorship programme at the Australian International Documentary Conference. The programme is open to six emerging documentary filmmakers and involves meetings with some of the most successful filmmakers in the industry.

At AIDC 2017, I and the other five Access participants had sessions with Oscar-winning producer John Battsek (One Day in September); the most recent winner of the Best Documentary Oscar, Ezra Edelman (OJ: Made in America); BAFTA-nominated Australian filmmaker Jennifer Peedom (Sherpa); Oscar-nominated producer and Tribeca’s Executive Director Amy Hobby (What Happened, Miss Simone?); head of ABC Indigenous, Kerick Martin (Prison Songs); and the Creative Director of Beach House Pictures, Donovan Chan. All six mentors were incredibly generous with their time and advice, and were all wonderfully humble and friendly to boot.

Encouragingly, one of the main pieces of advice we were given was, in a nutshell, to be a good person. Be honest and have integrity, particularly when it comes to dealing with your documentary’s participants; after all, making a documentary is all about trust, and truth. It was comforting to know that even those at the very top of the industry didn’t get there by being cut-throat types — which is perhaps what one expects in the film industry. They were simply persistent, and believed deeply in the stories they were telling.

Thanks to all the mentors, as well as AIDC and Beach House Pictures, for this great programme.

‘Then I Came by Boat’ wins Just Art’s Vincentian award

I’m humbled that my short documentary ‘Then I Came by Boat‘ has won a major prize at the recent Just Art competition run by the St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria. It also nabbed the Media prize for the open age category.


The theme of this year’s competition was ‘Asylum Seekers: Stories of Humanity’. Two major prizes were awarded, plus an audience award and twelve category awards. St Vinnies did a fantastic job in getting the message out to Victorian school children for the school-aged competition categories; there were hundreds of wonderful submissions from these passionate kids advocating for the rights of asylum seekers.

Many thanks to the people St Vincent de Paul Society for giving Tri’s story a new platform.

‘Glory For Me’ wins Looking China awards

I’m very honoured that my short film ‘Glory for Me’ has been awarded second place and Best Artistic Presentation in the Looking China Golden Lenses awards.

As part of the 2015 Looking China programme — an initiative by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture (AICCC), Beijing Normal University and Huilin Foundation — I was one of 100 film students selected from around the world to travel to China to make a 10-minute short documentary. We were given 17 days to find and research a concept, and shoot and edit the film for a final screening. In reality, I ended up with only six days to shoot and edit my film, my first project having fallen through.

A big thank you goes out to my Chinese project ‘buddy’, Young, who helped me make the film in Shenyang, as well as everyone involved in the Looking China initiative. A very special thanks also to the Shenyang International Art School and the two young acrobats who were brave enough to share their stories with me.


Wedding — Melissa & Luc

Recently I was lucky enough to photograph a wedding in the leafy outskirts of Melbourne. It was a lovely intimate event — and a true honour to be a part of it. Thanks to Melissa and Luc (and Dotty!) for having me.

‘Worry Me in the Daytime’

Recently I had the pleasure of once again teaming up with director Sebastian Broadbent to shoot his new short documentary ‘Worry Me in the Daytime’.

Last year I shot Sebastian’s short film ‘Something to Crow About’, a fantastic documentary that has been doing the festival rounds ever since. (It will be playing on the opening night of the upcoming Lorne Film Festival next month.) I was really chuffed to have the opportunity to work on his new film, which again delves into the world of Australian music, this time profiling charismatic Melbourne blues muso Chris Russell. The film will screen at ACMI in early December 2015.


In memory of Palmyra

When I travelled through Syria in mid-2010, I was stunned by the ancient city of Palmyra. I wandered around the preserved ruins, trying to imagine times past.

Today, this priceless archeological site is being systematically destroyed by ISIL, an immeasurable loss to Syria, and to humanity as a whole. Within the last 24 hours, it has come to light that the beautiful Temple of Bel has been reduced to rubble.

This temple stood through the lifetime of Jesus, the fall of the Roman Empire, the birth of Muhammad, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, two world wars. Its foundations were laid in 32BC. Now, in 2015, a group of ignorant thugs have destroyed over 2000 years of history. Utterly inconceivable, and heartbreaking.

I share these photos in memory of Palmyra.


‘I Am Here and You Are Out There’

A few stills from my work as cinematographer for a short documentary I’ve been involved with over the last few months. Directed by Leah Sanderson, ‘I Am Here and You Are Out There’ explores the ups and downs of life after prison through the eyes of Wez, a former prisoner from Queensland’s Gold Coast.

Visit the film’s Facebook page to follow progress on the shoot and upcoming screening dates.


‘Glory For Me’

A few film grabs from a short documentary I recently made as a solo project in Shenyang, China, as part of the ‘Looking China’ filmmaking initiative.

The film was shot at the Shenyang International Arts School. I focussed on two students currently training 10–12 hours per day six days per week in the acrobatics programme there. Most of the students in this programme come from disadvantaged backgrounds.