Details: 11:30 to 6:30 on Saturday the 14th of October at ACMI
More info: Do you have a passion for environmental protection? Are you an eco conscious filmmaker? Or maybe you're somebody who wants to see a stronger environmental filmmaking industry in Australia? Join EFFA at the first public conference specifically about communicating environmental issues and catalysing change with film.
Bio: This is Bessie's second year volunteering with the Environmental Film Festival in the programming and industry teams. When the festival is not on, she works as a documentary producer and event organiser. Her latest feature 'Tunnel Vision' is currently touring festivals. Bessie is passionate about supporting issues-based content and diverse filmmakers.
Can you talk about your involvement in organising the Reel Impact: Environmental Film Industry Development Day?
When I started volunteering with EFFA in the programming team, I often heard that filmmakers felt there was not enough support for low-budget productions, so I founded the Reel Impact: Industry Development Day. In 2016, I ran forums in Melbourne and Sydney to gather a variety of stakeholders together to discuss how we could strengthen the industry, grow the pie and make more high quality documentaries. After the inaugural event’s success we secured funding from Film Victoria to expand Reel Impact into a full day conference.
Can you discuss the filmmakers who are attending? Why were they chosen to speak?
Each panel is made up of established practitioners who are dedicated to protecting the environment, with the use of, or support the use of, video storytelling to get people to engage with environmental issues. Heidi Lee Douglas, director of Defendant 5, a film about deforestation in Tasmania, will be joining us from Sydney. As well as Sarah Beard, Impact producer of the incredible new film Blue, which explores Ocean Health, and Madeline Heatherton who produced The Opposition, a feature film about sustainable business in majority world countries.
This year we are bringing Mila Aung-Thwin all the way from Canada to present his new feature Let There Be Light, which is about nuclear fusion. Mila is an Emmy Award winning producer and director who has made around 25 feature films. Filmmaker Eliza Cox will be 'In Conversation' with Mila as he shares tips for having a successful filmmaking career in documentary making.
Who are some of the partner organisations?
Open Channel, Film Victoria and the Documentary Australia Foundation have helped us to produce a robust schedule that addresses a broad range of relevant issues. From how to have a successful filmmaking career to how to distribute a film and make sure it has a significant impact. We also look at the best way to communicate environmental issues online and how NGOs and filmmakers can work together more effectively.
What are some of the recurring themes of the industry day?
Many environmental films are made with a mind to generate awareness that leads to improved environmental outcomes, but just how effective can enviro films be, and are we making the most of film’s potential? Or do we need to be thinking more seriously about ‘climate fiction’ which uses drama to humanise the issues? What strategies can ensure a film creates lasting social or cultural change? What's the best way to have an impact with a film? How can stakeholders work together more effectively? What new funding opportunities can be created?
What kind of impact would you like this industry day to have?
This day is a fantastic opportunity for like-minded people to come together, network, plan collaborations, hear about what works, what opportunities are available, what some of the challenges are and how we can overcome them. We are hoping that the day will catalyse the production of more high quality shorts and features and that we can support and strengthen the environmental film and communications industries.
Lastly, what's a key question that will help spark a debate around this industry day?
Is video the most effective way to connect a wide audience with an important environmental issue and create lasting social change? If so, why aren't we seeing more high quality Australian environmental themed films getting support and how do we create a thriving environmental filmmaking industry in Australia.
Tickets available at www.effa.org.au/reelimpact
Individual sessions are $18+bf or a full day pass is $65+bf which include an invite to the networking drinks.