Not everyone can come to ACMI to experience all the great exhibitions, screenings and programs that we have to offer, so ACMI in the Regions (AITR) takes some of our projects on the road.
Funded by Arts Victoria, the AITR project encourages arts and community strengthening in regional towns. We forge partnerships with representatives from the communities to produce short documentary films that tell the story of what it’s like to live in regional Victoria.
In June this year, our crew travelled further than ever before to capture stories in the Mildura region. Driving there allowed for some spectacular views of the Australian bush, in particular the last 100km from Ouyen to Mildura. If you get the chance to drive that way at sundown or sunrise, you will see colours and texture and movement that only nature can create.
Working with the local community, and Mildura Rural City Council’s LEAP Project Coordinator Jill Antonie, we chose nine stories to film in the region.
In Ouyen we spent an evening at the Roxy Theatre and met the dedicated volunteers who restored the once-regal cinema; rode with Ross Missen, the only taxi driver within 100 kilometres; and met with a local group working to make Ouyen environmentally sustainable.
In Colignan and Nangiloc we met organic farmer Marion Peters, who gives back through community projects, visited wine-maker and third-generation farmer Lance Milne, and met volunteers from the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) who are first on the scene of accidents.
Filming in the regions is always a great experience for our crew, but it’s at the return screenings that we really have the opportunity to share our passion and love of filmmaking and storytelling with the towns and communities.
In Mildura, the films were screened at the Deakin Cinema Complex alongside Kath & Kimderella, The Sapphires and The Expendables. Our MC for the evening was Eric Holowacz, Arts and Cultural Development Manager for Mildura Rural City Council.
The community supported the films with a great turnout and following the screening there was discussion about the importance of capturing these stories, giving a voice to regional people, and the importance of the work that ACMI is doing.
In October, ACMI in the Regions moves to the Shires of East Gippsland and Wangaratta, to produce stories in the towns of Omeo, Lakes Entrance, Orbost, Greta, Whitfield and Eldorado. No doubt we will meet extraordinary people, discover more beautiful locations and bring back regional stories that will resonate with everyone, regardless of where they call home.
– Csilla Csongvay, ACMI in the Regions Director