From U-Matic to YouTube

I recently became aware of this two-day symposium that starts tomorrow:  From U-Matic to YouTube: A national symposium celebrating three decades of Australian Indigenous community film and video. For full details click here.

A description of the symposium, from the website:

Thirty years ago the Indigenous Tribal Council for Borroloola (Gulf of Carpentaria, NT) invited independent filmmakers Alessandro Cavandini and Carolyn Strachan to assist them to make a film about their ongoing struggle in one of the country’s first and now most protracted Land Rights cases. The result was the internationally acclaimed Two Laws (1981), recently updated and released on DVD. What is less well known is that since then the Indigenous community in Borroloola has continued to make remarkable films with a range of collaborators, from Aeroplance Dance (Trevor Graham, 1994) to the recent innovative Yanyuwa Animated Songlines Project (2010), created by Monash University’s Associate Professor John Bradley and senior Yanyuwa men and women as a tool for cross-generational communication.

This symposium celebrates this important chapter in the Australian cinema by bringing filmmakers and community members involved in this particular history together in Melbourne to exchange experience and knowledge with local Victorian Indigenous community filmmakers involved in The Digital Storytelling Project at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) along with national and international film scholars, curators, anthropologists, policy makers and the general public.

Over two days we will screen a wide range of films from Borroloola and Victorian communities as we reflect on the rich history of Indigenous community film and video production in Australia. Invited speakers will address key concepts and issues such as: collective-representation and expression; models of collaboration and creative partnerships; Indigenous cultural rights and intellectual property; participation and community access; cross-generational communication; community history and social memory; film and video archives and community consultation. The symposium also provides a unique opportunity for shared consideration of future directions in Indigenous community filmmaking in digital culture.


8-9 June 2010


Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia


Invited speakers

  • Malarndirri McCarthy (MLA – Arnhem Land)
  • Faye Ginsberg (NYU)
  • Romaine Moreton (Umulliko Indigenous Higher Education Research Centre, University of Newcastle, poet and filmmaker)
  • John Bradley (Centre for Australian Indigenous Studies, Monash)
  • Lynette Russell (Centre for Australian Indigenous Studies, Monash)
  • Jason Eades (Koorie Heritage Trust, Victoria)
  • Alessandro Cavadini (Red Dirt)
  • Carolyn Strachan (Red Dirt)
  • Leonard Norman, Graham Friday, Dinah Norman and Mavis Timothy (Borroloola)
  • Kimba Thompson (Sista Girl)
  • Trevor Graham (Yarra Bank)
  • Professor Stephen Muecke (UNSW)

Conference dinner

Wednesday 9 June 2010
Time: 6.30pm (for 7pm start)
Venue: Tjanabi – All Australian Restaurant (Federation Square)
Set menu: Appetisers, choice of 3 mains and 3 deserts, wine. (Vegetarian options available)
Price: $60

Register online at the Faculty of Arts eCart

Screening features

  • From Borroloola: the recently updated Two Laws (1981); Areoplane Dance (1994) and Australian premiere of Yanyuwa Animated Songline Project (2010).
  • From Melbourne: new Indigenous works from ACMI’s Digital Storytelling Project and Sista Girl Productions.

Tickets to the screening of Two Laws are also available to the general public and can be purchased through the ACMI box office.


Registration fee includes morning and afternoon tea, lunch, DVD launch and public screening of Two Laws.

Type One day Two days Conference dinner
Full $AUD 80 $AUD 120 $AUD 60
Concession $AUD 60 $AUD 95 $AUD 60

Register online at the Faculty of Arts eCart


Dr Therese Davis


  • Dr Therese Davis (Monash University)
  • Helen Simondson (ACMI)


  • Research Unit in Film Culture and Theory (School of English, Communications and Performance Studies, Monash University)
  • Centre for Australian Indigenous Studies (Monash University)
  • Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)

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