Applications Closed: John Darling Fellowships 2017

JD Fellow 2015, Ima Puspita Sari
Pension Piper a short documentary by JD Fellow 2015, Ima Puspita Sari

The John Darling Fellowship is supported by the Herb Feith Foundation and was first offered in 2013 and again in 2015. The fellowship is designed to train emerging Indonesian documentary filmmakers in Australia so that their film making skills, commercial knowledge and awareness of archiving principles are enhanced.


John Austin Campbell DARLING (1946-2011)
Filmmaker, poet, academic

Australian-born John Darling studied history at both ANU in Canberra and Oxford. In 1969 he began living and researching in Bali for some 20 years. Beginning in 1978 he directed, produced and researched 9 documentary films about Indonesia, that have been screened internationally. They include Lempad of Bali about a 116-year-old Master-Artist with Lorne Blair, the 3 part Bali Triptych series on Balinese culture, Bali Hash and Below the Wind. After the 2002 Bali bombings, he co-produced with his wife Sara, The Healing of Bali. Darling also wrote books and poetry on Bali.


Two emerging (21 – 40 years) Indonesian filmmakers with university qualifications, or the equivalent of 3 years experience working in the film industry, who are proficient in English (both spoken and written) will be sponsored to participate in an intensive postgraduate filmmaking course at the School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash University in Melbourne, 19 June-7 July (Nb. dates TBC).

In addition, the sponsored students will attend sessions encompassing film distribution, marketing and archiving. The filmmakers will screen the film they create during the unit at a  public event at Monash University.


The application form can be accessed here. The deadline for applications is 1 November 2016. Application forms must be received by the Project Manager by the due date (1 November 2016). In order to be considered, applicants must submit all accompanying forms as listed on the application form checklist by the due date.

The John Darling Fellowship Committee will only consider late applications in very exceptional circumstances. Also the Committee reserves the right to assess the suitability of all applicants for acceptance to the project.



‘Video-making as Research’  approaches documentary video as a specific language that researchers can acquire and apply as a research tool in projects across a wide range of disciplines and areas of study. Students will be introduced to basic filmmaking strategies in ethnographic, observational, expository and essayistic/poetic modes of documentary film. It is an intensive practice-based unit that will provide training in basic video techniques through a series of in-class exercises enabling research students to use a video camera and record sound with confidence. The emphasis will be upon the use of video to create knowledge significantly different from that of written texts, rather than merely gathering visual records. Students will also be given the opportunity to critically reflect on their work and video as a medium more broadly. The course assumes no prior knowledge of video-making but can also accommodate students who have professional experience.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will have:

1. Basic skills in using a video camera, including in recording, sound and voice-over.

2. An understanding of filmmaking strategies in ethnographic, observational, expository and essayistic/poetic modes of documentary film.

3. A recognition of the diverse ways in which the moving image fundamentally differs from written texts.

4. The confidence to create a documentary video work as an integral part of their disciplinary methodology and research interests.