With our Hothouse applications closed, it’s time to announce the participants for this year’s program.
The standard of entries was exceptionally high this year making our selection team’s job extremely tough. A big thank you to all who entered!
We’re very pleased to declare the following young people as our 2013 Hothouse group:
As a sneak peek into what awaits our students, ACMI Hothouse Coordinator, Hermione Merry, met with another one of this year’s program mentors, Paola Morabito.
Paola is an award-winning filmmaker who has collaborated with many international and local industry professionals.
Working on the Oscar®-nominated film Bright Star, creating her own debut feature film, making documentaries and leading major advertising campaigns are all experiences which Paola will use to mentor the newest Hothouse group.
Hermione Merry: When did realise you wanted to become a Director and who were your early influences?
Paola Morabito: I realised I wanted to become a director at high school while studying theatre. I read a play called The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Brecht and I remember the thoughts flooding in as to how I would approach it. The world of theatre excited me, it was full of possibility.
I finished school, became a hairdresser, and found myself pursuing a career in film. By chance or fate, I don’t know which, it all began.
The great Italian filmmakers are still a big influence on me. The neo-realists Visconti, Passolini, Fellini and Antonini who, despite the adverse economic conditions of the time, were able to make important films that reflected the spirit of everyday life, its hardship, its mystery and its moments of passion.
HM: What was the first film that you made? What did you learn from the experience?
PM: The first narrative film, My Sister and I, was made in my masters year at the Australian Film and Television Radio School.
I learnt a most crucial lesson: the idea that film was a marriage between form and content and what houses your story, the tone, the choreography of camera and performance must come together very naturally to be personal, good or original.
HM: Who has been your most influential mentor during your career so far and why?
PM: I was very fortunate for Jane Campion to come into my life and guide my way through filmmaking, life’s mystery and absurdity. I’ve learnt with her to be both courageous, disciplined and most of all to be free with your work.
I have worked alongside her for over eleven years. We’ve created two feature films together, In the Cut and Bright Star, and still continue to support each other.
HM: What is the most challenging thing about Directing?
PM: I’d say the most challenging thing about directing is having to say no to other things you love doing when you’re working.
HM: How do you build a rapport with your actors?
PM: Giving them the opportunity to express themselves is a great way to start to earn trust. I’d say that about working with all people in every department of the film making process.
HM: What is your favourite thing about Directing?
PM: My favourite thing about directing is the shoot; knowing you’ve done all you can to get it there. Then starting all over again in the edit, where you really have to surrender to the story all over again.
As you can see, Paola’s going to be a fantastic mentor and we can’t wait for this year’s group to learn about narrative filmmaking from all our experienced industry professionals.
– Hermione Merry, Hothouse Coordinator, ACMI
Applications for Hothouse 2013 are now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered this year.