Remapping Indigenous Filmmaking

Event - Remapping Indigenous Filmmaking: Beyond the Remote-Urban Divide

Monday, May 19 from 1-2.30pm @Caulfield Campus – H Building, Room H8.05

Dr Therese Davis and Dr Romaine Moreton present findings from their recently completed Screen Australia Research and Publication Partnership Program project and launch the new Australian Indigenous Film and Television Digital Bibliography.

Abstract: Colonialist classification systems of Indigenous identity have a long and contentious history in Australia. In recent years official use of race-based and blood-quotom systems have been replaced by the remote-urban divide, famously illustrated by Australian historian C.D. Rowley in The Remote Aborigines (1972) as a way of dividing ‘remote’ Indigenous Australians from those who live on the ‘settled’ side of the ‘frontier’.

Image: Romaine Moreton on the set of her short film The Oysterman.  Picture: Heidrun Lohr
Romaine Moreton on the set of her short film The Oysterman. Picture: Heidrun Lohr

The ‘Rowley Line’, as it is known, has been described as a geographic representation of the ‘frontier within the Australian psyche’ that continues to shape non-Indigenous Australia’s understanding of Indigenous Australia and perpetuate colonialist fantasises of Indigenous spatial and temporal distance from the modern world.

This project analysed the impact of the remote-urban divide on the production and receptions of Indigenous screen content from government inquiries and media polices to funding determinations, film and television programming, marketing, press reviews and audience expectations.

Their analysis of the complex network of Indigenous screen producers that crosses state and national boundaries and includes a broad range of filmmaking methods provides a dynamic countermap of Indigenous filmmaking and its place in the contemporary media landscape.

The seminar will be followed by a launch of the Australian Indigenous Film and Television Digital Bibliography a unique online resource where students, teachers, researchers, filmmakers and members of the public can access a wide range of sources of information about Australian Indigenous Film and Television hosted by Monash Arts online.

Biography: Romaine Moreton was recently appointed as a Research Fellow/ Filmmaker-in-Residence in the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University. She is from the Goenpul Jagara people of Stradbroke Island and the Bundjulung people of northern New South Wales.

She was awarded a PhD from the University of Western Sydney in 2007. She is also an internationally recognised writer of poetry, prose and film. She wrote and directed the award winning short The Farm (2009), screened on ABC-TV in the “New Blak” series and The Oysterman (2013) to be broadcast in 2014 as part of the “Flashblack” series.

She has published articles on Indigenous film and television in Screening the Past and Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.

Therese Davis is Head of the Film and Screen Studies program. She is the author of The Face on the Screen: Death Recognition and Spectatorship (Intellect, 2004) and co-author with Felicity Collins of Australian Cinema After Mabo (Cambridge University Press, 2004). Therese DavisShe has published widely on Australian Indigenous film and television in journals such as Camera Obscura, Studies in Australasian Cinema, Screening the Past, Continuum and Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.

Davis and Moreton are currently working together on the ARC funded project “Australian Indigenous Film and Television: New Frames of Understanding” (2014-16) with Associate Professor Chris Healy from Melbourne University.

Click here for the Australian Indigenous Film and Television Digital Bibliography

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