On the Road: East Gippsland Screenings

In February, our ACMI in the Regions team returned to East Gippsland for the premiere screenings of nine new documentaries. Each piece was filmed last year in October and captures the stories of local people living across Omeo, Swifts Creek, Lakes Entrance, Orbost and Marlo.

ACMI in the Regions Producer, Csilla Csongvay, talks more about the enthusiasm and buzz surrounding the screenings below:

With the support of Arts Victoria in partnership with the local shire council of East Gippsland, we created nine short films to showcase and celebrate regional life in the area.

The films were made with the assistance of local communities to ensure that the subject of each film chosen was relevant to each town and the people who live there.

A still from the 'Welcome to Cape Conran' documentary

A still from the ‘Welcome to Cape Conran’ documentary

Having completed the films, we returned to East Gippsland and over three busy nights shared their stories: local fishing identities; indigenous history; the magic of living and working in Cape Conran; the extraordinary contributions of a Bush Nursing Centre; the massive volunteer hours of rebuilding the PS Curlip; Jeff Cooper and his love of Omeo local history; Swifts Creek artist, Deirdre Jack; the volunteers of the Lakes Entrance Surf Life Saving Club; and a film about what it means to be a local in Orbost.

The picturesque township of Omeo

The picturesque township of Omeo

Our first stop was Omeo. There was a great turn out with many locals in attendance, even with the threat of a fire at the door step. As you can see from the image, a red hue was cast over the picturesque town.

The screening was held in the Omeo Soldiers Memorial Hall and the event ran smoothly thanks to Andrea Court, Arts and Culture Coordinator, and Ben, the AV support officer, from the East Gippsland Shire.

There was much applause and laughter for the three local films, with general consensus that all nine films captured the character and essence of their towns.

ACMI Director and CEO, Tony Sweeney (second from the left) visiting Lakes Entrance with AITR Executive Producer, Kim Montgomery

ACMI Director and CEO, Tony Sweeney (second from the left) visiting Lakes Entrance with AITR Executive Producer, Kim Montgomery

The screenings then moved on to the riverside town of Orbost to a packed house at the Exhibition Centre and finished at the Surf Life Saving Club in Lakes Entrance, itself the subject of one of the films.

ACMI’s Director and CEO, Tony Sweeney made the trip down to Lakes Entrance to meet the local celebrities and to launch the screening.

A definite highlight was the surprise screening of excerpts from a 1962 tourism film called Gippsland Honeymoon during each premiere.

A treasure from ACMI’s collection, it was jointly made by the Tourist Development Authority of Victoria and the Gippsland Lakes and Alpine Tourist Promotion Council. By the end of the screening, the audience was excitedly talking about fisherman Joe.

Lakes Entrance Life Saving Club members at the screening of their short film

Lakes Entrance Life Saving Club members at the screening of their short film

At every screening there was a sense of celebration and pride as local communities saw themselves and their neighbours featured in stories that show why their town is unique and why they chose to live there. Thank you to the East Gippsland Shire and its people for sharing their stories with us, we are thrilled to be sharing it with the rest of the world.

– Csilla Csongvay, ACMI in the Regions Producer, ACMI

All these films are now available in the Australian Mediatheque and on our website.

 

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