Thursday 23rd

Day 2: Thursday 23 Feb

9am Crime on the Streets: From Homicide to Jack Irish Panel Event

Deakin Edge, Federation Square

Featuring TV writer/creator Matt Cameron (Jack IrishSecret City), television luminary Ian Crawford (Crawford Productions), crime writer Andrew Nette, and Prof. Jock Given (Swinburne University). Convened by Deane Williams (Monash University).

Matt Cameron is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter whose credits include Jack Irish, Secret City, Molly, Old School and SeaChange. He was the script editor for Kath & Kim and co-creator/co-writer/director of the AWGIE winning Introducing Gary Petty. He has written numerous award-winning plays which have been performed throughout Australia and internationally.

Ian Crawford joined Crawford Productions when he was 20 years old. His uncle was Hector Crawford, his mother was Hector’s sister, Dorothy Crawford. Once television began in Australia, Ian directed the early episodes of all the Crawford drama programs, from Homicide, through Division FourMatlock Police and Cop Shop to The Sullivans and Carson’s Law. In the early ’60s he was appointed a Director of Crawfords, and from then on was an Executive Producer of all the company’s drama output. In 1980 he became the company’s Managing Director, a post he held until Hector and he sold their company shares in 1988.

Jock Given researches, writes and teaches about media and communications policy, business, law and history. His work has been published in Telecommunications Policy, the Journal of Information Policy, Info – The Journal of PolicyRegulation and Strategy for Telecommunications Information and MediaBusiness HistoryMedia History, the Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television and the Historical Records of Australian Science. His radio documentaries ‘Crawfords: Television for the People’ and ‘Empire State: Ernest Fisk and the World Wide Wireless’ were first broadcast by ABC Radio National’s Hindsight program in 2014 and 2012. He published Turning off the Television: Broadcasting’s Uncertain Future and America’s Pie: Trade and Culture after 9/11 with UNSW Press in 2003. Jock previously worked as Director of the Communications Law Centre, Policy Advisor at the Australian Film Commission and Director, Legislation and Industry Economics in the federal Department of Transport and Communications.

Andrew Nette is a writer of fiction and non-fiction, reviewer and pulp scholar. He is the author of Ghost Money and co-editor of Beat GirlsLove Tribes and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950 – 1980. His popular website, Pulp Curry, contains reviews, features and interviews on a broad range of topics relating to crime fiction, film and popular culture.

Deane Williams is Associate Professor of Film and Screen Studies at Monash University. He is the editor of the journal Studies in Documentary Film, and his books include Australian Post-War Documentary Film: An Arc of Mirrors (2008), Michael Winterbottom (with Brian McFarlane, 2009) and the three-volume Australian Film Theory and Criticism (co-edited with Noel King and Constantine Verevis, 2013-2017). In 2016 his The Cinema of Sean Penn: In and Out of Place was published by Wallflower Press.


10.45 Difference: Screening Diversity Panel Event

Deakin Edge, Federation Square

ABC Radio National’s Jason di Rosso, Executive Director of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival Dillan Golightly, Olivia Khoo (Monash University) and Leila Gurruwiwi (The Marngrook Footy Show) discuss representations of diversity on, in, and behind, the screen.

Jason Di Rosso is RN’s film critic, host of the weekly film show The Final Cut and reviewer across a range of RN. Before becoming RN’s chief film specialist Jason spent six years as associate producer and reviewer on Movietime, a weekly show hosted by Julie Rigg. Outside the ABC, his writing on film and popular culture has appeared in GQ magazine and The Australian. In 2011 he was host and curator of the weekly filmmaker Q and A called Friday On My Mind, held at the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney.

Dillan Golightly has been festival director of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) since 2015. The 26th MQFF was held in March/April 2016 and was a successful event attracting new, younger audiences and meeting ticket sales targets (with the best box office performance in 5 years).

Olivia Khoo is Associate Professor in Film and Screen Studies at Monash University, Australia. She is the author of The Chinese Exotic: Modern Diasporic Femininity (Hong Kong University Press, 2007) and co-author (with Belinda Smaill and Audrey Yue) of Transnational Australian Cinema: Ethics in the Asian Diasporas (Lexington, 2013). Olivia is also co-editor of four volumes: The Routledge Handbook of New Media in Asia (with Larissa Hjorth, Routledge, 2016), Contemporary Culture and Media in Asia (with Dan Black and Koichi Iwabuchi, Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), Sinophone Cinemas (with Audrey Yue, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), and Futures of Chinese Cinema: Technologies and Temporalities in Chinese Screen Cultures (with Sean Metzger, Intellect, 2009).

Leila Gurruwiwi is an Australian media commentator and television show producer. She is a panel member on The Marngrook Footy Show and co-producer of an upcoming reality TV show currently being filmed in Arnhem Land, with the working title Dance Off.

12.45 My Melbourne Project, Projection and Performance 

The My Melbourne project will put the city and its people front and centre to explore our emotional attachment to place and culture by asking What does Melbourne mean to you? An edited projection of the best photos and videos will be screened, accompanied by an interactive live musical performance from The Yellow Peril Symphony. Co-hosted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of EmotionsMulticultural Arts Victoria and the Centre for Contemporary Photography.


4.30  Experimenta Screening and Panel: MIMA’s Experiments in Film and Video in 80s Melbourne

Modern Image Makers Australia (MIMA) was established in Melbourne 1986 by experimental film and video makers, and quickly became a crucial platform for screen cultures in Australia. It also became instrumental in the development of media art from an underground cultural phenomenon in the 1980s to exhibiting in major galleries, festivals and events. The original MIMA committee – featuring Corinne Cantrill, Dirk de Bruyn, Chris Knowles, Robert Randall, Michael Lee, Sue Goldman, Stephen Goddard, Frank Bendinell and administrator John Smithies – lead an active and prolific stable of avant garde artists, experimental film and video makers, and sound artists whose impacts immeasurably shaped the face of film, video and media art in Australia. In MIMA’s early years, the organisation toured experimental film around Australia and to international events, featured weekly screenings in Melbourne, championed critical discourse on experimental film in dozens of lectures and talks, and launched Australia’s first national exhibition of film and video. This exhibition and its follow-on festival – dubbed ‘Experimenta’ – became the namesake for the organisation as it exists in its current form. Yet much of MIMA’s extraordinary output is lost, unknown or little recognised.

One of MIMA’s most tangible legacies was a set of film and video ‘yearbooks’ commissioned by the Australian Film Commission for circulation as an educational resource. This series of three, one-hour yearbooks highlighted shorts and extracts considered ‘difficult’ to program and distribute through traditional channels. The yearbooks served to showcase the best in experimental and ‘avant garde’ works created between the mid-1960s to late 1980s, and challenge preconceived notions of film, art and their intersection.

Experimenta has recently digistised the original MIMA Yearbook tapes and founding MIMA member, Dirk de Bruyn, has curated a special screening of a selection of the yearbook’s works. Ranging from 1966-1989, these films are a pre-digital time capsule sampling a fragmented and diverse community whose history reflects the changing nature of experimental film/video art. Following this 40 minute screening, a panel comprised of early MIMA members – Dirk de Bruyn, Keely Macarow, and John Smithies – and lead by Experimenta’s current artistic director, Jonathan Parsons, will reflect on the formation of MIMA, its impact and legacies on Melbourne’s screen cultures.

Jonathan Parsons has over twenty years of experience working in arts and culture in Australia and internationally. He is currently Experimenta’s Artistic Director and is also Creative Director of Robotronica, a biennial festival showcasing the latest in robotics and interactive design at QUT. He was the Director of ISEA2013 (International Symposium on Electronic Art) an international festival of art, technology and ideas in partnership with Vivid Sydney. He has extensive arts administration and management experience working for a range of festivals, cultural institutions and performing arts companies. He has artistically led and collaborated on a broad range of cultural programs and events across all art forms including for: State Library of Queensland, Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Riverfestival, Byron Bay Writers Festival, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, Pacific Wave Festival, Adelaide Festival of the Arts, Awesome Festival and the London International Festival of Theatre.

Dirk de Bruyn is Associate Professor of Screen and Design at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. He has made numerous experimental, documentary and animation films, videos, performance and installation work over the last 40 years and written and curated extensively in these areas of practice. He was a founding member and past president of MIMA (Experimenta). His book The Performance of Trauma in Moving Image Art was published in 2014.

Associate Professor Keely Macarow is Deputy Head, Research & Innovation, School of Art, RMIT University. Keely has worked as a creative producer, artist and curator for film, video, performance and exhibition projects which have been presented in Australia, the UK, the US and Europe. Keely’s creative practice has spanned media, sound and visual arts, performance, experimental film, curation and design. Her research is collaborative and focuses on social practice, art, design, housing, health and wellbeing. She is currently working on interdisciplinary projects with art, design, housing and medical researchers based at RMIT University, Lund University and the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden). Keely was actively involved with Experimenta in the late 1980s and 1990s as Artistic Director (1998-2000), Office Administrator for the Modern Image Makers Association (MIMA, now Experimenta) in 1990 and as a curator of experimental film and video art programs for MIMA (1989-1990). Her curatorial focus with Experimenta crossed sci-art, feminist experimental film, analogue and digital media and post-postmodern video.

John Smithies is an artist and experienced arts manager with a background of arts programming, research and policy development. He studied at art schools in Australia and overseas. John was the first Administrator for MIMA/Experimenta in 1986. From 1992, John was Director of the State Film Centre of Victoria, initiating and leading it through its development to become the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at Federation Square in Melbourne, opening in 2002. He is Director, Cultural Development Network (CDN) and Adjunct Principal Research Fellow RMIT University. John’s key achievements at CDN have been to establish its internationally recognised research program and form the National Local Government Cultural Forum, a partnership of the Commonwealth Government and the Australian local government sector.

6.30 Capitol Theatre Presentation113 Swanston St

The Capitol Theatre, Melbourne, Screen Culture and a Feminist Herstory
Lisa French, RMIT University

Architect Robin Boyd described Melbourne’s iconic Capitol Theatre in The Australian as ‘the best cinema that was ever built or is ever likely to be built’. Following its opening in 1924, it packed in cinema audiences of over 2000 but today its doors are closed. This paper, conducted with a tour of the theatre, tells some of the fascinating history, beginning with the architects Marion Mahony Griffin and her husband Walter Burley Griffin. Whilst Mahony Griffin’s central role was not acknowledged during her lifetime, according to academic Anna Rubbo, she was a central force in many projects, including The Capitol, for which she has been generally acknowledged as responsible for the brilliant, geometric ceiling. She was a trailblazer, the second woman to get a degree in architecture in the US, the first to be licensed as an architect, and a pioneer for women in the field. So it is fitting that this mini-history of the iconic Capitol Theatre begins with her, and then goes on to paint a picture of its contribution to Melbourne’s screen culture and architectural history.

Lisa French is Professor and Deputy Dean in the School of Media and Communication, RMIT University. She co-authored Shining a Light: 50 Years of the Australian Film Institute (2009, 2014), and was the co-writer/editor of the anthology Womenvision: Women and the Moving Image in Australia (2003). Her professional history includes three years as director of the prestigious St Kilda Film Festival and nine years on the board of the AFI. She has contributed to the Australian film industry through her service on many boards, including the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) and Women in Film and Television (WIFT). She is currently working on a book and a film on women documentary directors and the ‘female gaze’, and on a project to get the doors of the Capitol Theatre open again!