News

Magazine

The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

  • Written by The Southern Cross

The 6th Melbourne Documentary Film Festival runs for the entire month of October and you can stream the entire program online.

Here: https://watch.eventive.org/mdff

Pick 2, 3, 5, 10 or Binge passes can be purchased here:https://mdff.eventive.org/passes/buy/

With more than half the content coming from Australia, the festival also showcases the very best documentaries from Sundance, Venice, SXSW, Slamdance, Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, Doxa, Hot Docs, Vancouver International Film Festival, Harlem International Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Check out our Top 5 Picks:

1: Inferno Without Borders

The unprecedented bushfire crisis that struck Australia during the 2019-2020 summer sparked numerous controversies and its abnormality revealed underlying major issues with bush management and Australia’s part in contributing to global warming.
The nation-wide disaster enflamed by years of drought, drier fuel, unusually high temperatures and severe winds, was the worst in world history. As the population is faced with devastating losses, a number of questions arise:
• Could more hazard prevention methods have been implemented in order to reduce the severity of the natural disasters? If so, would these have been effective?
• Could it have been beneficial to reintroduce traditional fire management techniques stemming from Aboriginal cultures? By adopting these practices, could future generations look forward to an Australia of regenerated wildlife and healthy landscapes?

Experts in politics, ecology and land management stress the importance of adjusting to the new reality of extreme weather conditions and most importantly adopting methods to reduce global warming. Can our past save our future?

2: Finding Creativity

To be creative can be incredibly rewarding, yet the process of creativity can be arduous and fraught.

Finding Creativity is a captivating exploration of the creative process through the eyes of established glass artist Holly Grace, celebrated chef and restaurant owner Coskun Uysal, talented singer/songwriter Henry Brett and accomplished social entrepreneur Jan Owen. The subjects’ personal stories allow for an enlightening and informative look into how they came to work in creative fields and how they actively seek out inspiration. We hear firsthand accounts of their successes and struggles as they share their respective approaches to creativity. From this, we more deeply understand what it means to be creative and how all of us have the capacity to embrace it.

Interwoven throughout their stories are rich insights shining a light on the history and pragmatic process of creativity from Dr. Tim Patston, a passionate creativity researcher. Tim concedes creativity is not a “form of genetically endowed magic” but is indeed something which can be taught, learned and assessed. And alongside the words of the films’ subjects, it becomes clear that making a living in any creative field can be difficult, yet extremely exhilarating and rewarding work

3: Meeting the Beatles in India

Filmmaker Paul Saltzman retraces his journey of 50 years ago when he spent a life-changing time with the Beatles at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's ashram on the banks of the Ganges River. In 1968, he discovered his own soul, learned meditation, which changed his life, and hung out with John, Paul, George and Ringo. Fifty years later, he finds "Bungalow Bill" in Hawaii; connects with David Lynch about his own inner journey; as well as preeminent Beatles historian, Mark Lewisohn; and Academy Award nominated film composer, Laurence Rosenthal. We also meet Pattie and Jenny Boyd. And much of this is due to Saltzman's own daughter, Devyani, reminding him that he had put away and forgotten remarkably intimate photographs of that time in 1968.

4: Batoor: a Refugee Journey

Film highlights refugee crisis
An epic journey to safety Afghani photojournalist Barat Ali Batoor won a Walkley Award for the images he captured on his own refugee boat journey. One of Afghanistan’s leading photographers, Batoor first won international acclaim in 2011 for his powerful photo essay exposing one of his country’s darkest secrets – the scandalous and brutal trade in young ‘dancing boys’ used for entertainment and prostitution. But his work made him a target of the Taliban and the powerful warlords who control the evil trade. Forced to flee, he took refuge in the Pakistani city of Quetta. But with the targeted killings of Batoor’s own Hazara community on the rise in the city, he again became a target of assassins. With imminent death threats against him, Batoor was forced to flee along an asylum seeker route taken by thousands before him. He embarked on an epic journey that saw him traverse three continents, be people smuggled over multiple borders, survive a shipwreck in the open seas, become lost in the jungles of Indonesia, escape from imprisonment and spend months living undercover as an illegal immigrant. Remarkably, Batoor recorded his entire journey, creating a compelling record of his own journey and the lives of asylum seekers in a perilous world of cross border trafficking and risky sea voyages. Finally granted refugee status in Australia, the 37 year-old has retraced his 13-months journey creating a powerful account of his odyssey and turning his film footage and Walkley-winning images into a stunning 90 minute film. ‘Batoor: A Refugee Journey’ tells the harrowing story of one person’s struggle to find freedom and safety while also probing moral issues around human displacement, people smuggling and migration policy. The film highlights the powerlessness and the precarious lives of the world’s 70 million displaced souls; and is an attempt to give a voice to the planet’s most vulnerable people.

5: Mental as Everything

Damon Smith has estimated that he has spent around 50 thousand hours of his life, so far, participating in absurd ritualistic behaviours associated with his obsessive Compulsive Disorder. With a diagnosis of both, OCD and Bipolar Disorder, and with the help of his anxious friend, Adam, these two touring, Australian musicians, will share, with original music, preposterous humour and outlandish animations, the intricate and debilitating nature of what it is like to live and talk about mental illness in a world where it’s ok to talk about a broken arm but not ok to talk about a broken mind.

Support the filmmakers, festival and industry and lets watch the worlds best documentaries together!

Magazine

The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

The 6th Melbourne Documentary Film Festival runs for the entire month of October and you can stream the entire program online. Here: https://watc...

How to Make Your Café More Instagrammable

Great coffee, friendly staff and practical location will make or break your business, but they won’t make you go viral. If you want to blow up, yo...

Law Council calls for more clarity about proposed family violence regimes

While the Law Council of Australia strongly supports the intent of the Family Law Amendment (Federal Family Violence Orders) Bill 2021, there are se...