MIFF Talks - Telling Other People’s Stories Unclassified 15+
A panel of critics and filmmakers discuss if there are certain stories that cannot – or should not – be told, except by artists of a particular race, gender or lived experience? Should storytellers be discouraged from writing about characters and worlds that are different to their own? How do we make space for minority voices while fostering greater diversity in the mainstream?Panellists: K Austin Collins, John Harvey, Sophie Hyde and Sharon Whippy; moderated by Bec Peniston Bird
K Austin Collins has been a film critic for Vanity Fair since 2018. His writing has appeared in The Ringer, where he was the staff film critic for two years; the Los Angeles Review of Books; Reverse Shot; and the Brooklyn Rail. He writes crosswords for The New Yorker, The New York Times and the American Values Crossword Club. He lives in Brooklyn and is a (dormant) Ph.D. candidate at Princeton (English department).
John Harvey is of Saibai Island and English decent and is a director, producer and writer across screen and stage, as well as the Creative Director for Brown Cabs. John is the writer and director of Out of Range and is the director and co-producer of web series Kutcha’s Carpool Koorioke. He wrote and directed the short drama Water (MIFF 2018). He has directed two half hour documentaries for ABC TV – Light from the Shadows and Menny and the Bundaroos – and several short-form documentaries for NITV. He produced Warburdar Bunun: Water Shield. John produced the feature film Spear (TIFF, Adelaide Film Festival). He was a producer on the ABC TV series The Warriors (Arenamedia). He produced the chapter ‘Sand’ for the omnibus feature film The Turning (Berlinale, MIFF 2013) and has produced six Indigenous short films for screening at international film festivals and broadcast. In theatre, John wrote and produced the highly acclaimed and sold out season of Heart is a Wasteland (Malthouse Theatre, 2017). He produced My Lovers' Bones for the 2014 Melbourne International Arts Festival. He directed of A Little Piece of Heaven (Orana Arts, Yirramboi Festival). As the former General Manager of Ilbijerri Theatre, he produced over a dozen new works including Jack Charles V the Crown (Melbourne International Arts Festival).
Sophie Hyde’s credits include directing and producing Animals and also producing the feature documentary In My Blood It Runs. Her debut fiction film, 52 Tuesdays, was set and shot every Tuesday for one year and won the directing award in World Cinema Dramatic at Sundance and the Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. Sophie’s first episodic series, F*!#ing Adelaide, which she created, produced and directed, screened at Berlin Film Festival and Series Mania in 2018; it also screened on ABC1 and was the most watched show made specifically for their iView platform. She produced and co-directed the acclaimed feature documentary, Life in Movement, winner of the Australian Documentary Prize in 2011 and the Cinedans Jury and Audience prizes. She has just finished production as creator/director/producer of The Hunting, a 4x1 hour series for SBS.
Sharron Whippy is Fiji born, Auckland raised and now Melbourne based, and she traces her roots to Mavana, Vanua Balavu, Lau, Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji, New Caledonia and New Zealand. She has been writing most of her life, poetry, prose and short stories, and recently collaborated with her sister Nicole Whippy on the script for the Fiji vignette – one of eight vignettes – that make up the feature film Vai (pictured), a part of this year's program. Vai was written and directed by nine Pacific female filmmakers and is testimony to the power behind storytelling.
Bec Peniston Bird is an award-winning writer/director whose short films have screened at some of the world’s most prestigious festivals, including Berlin, London, Palm Springs and Series Mania. Bec’s feature screenplay, Petrova, won the Australian Writers' Guild INSITE Award and has received Screen Australia development funding. Her documentaries include Keith Haring Uncovered for ABC Television and Nick Cave: Abusing the Muse, which premiered at MIFF in 2008. Bec is an alumnus of the Berlin International Film Festival’s Talent Campus and MIFF’s Accelerator Program. She directs commercials through Melbourne’s Truce Films.