SPECIAL GUESTS OF THE FESTIVAL

JEFF DANIELS (Dir)

Jeff is a multi-award winning producer/director specialising in feature-length documentaries. His latest film TELEVISION EVENT met overwhelming critical acclaim at Tribeca 2021 and has since won multiple awards including a Special Mention for Best Australian Feature Documentary at the Sydney Film Festival. His first film, THE 10 CONDITIONS OF LOVE (2009 – ABC), made international headlines for highlighting China’s arbitrary imprisonment of the Uyghur. His film MOTHER WITH A GUN (2016 – Netflix) went inside the militant Jewish Defense League, FAIR GAME (2017 – SBS) exposed systemic racism in within the Collingwood Football Club, and CITY OF JOEL (2018 – Samuel Goldwyn Films) documented the controversial land expansion of a Hasidic community in New York.

NGARRA MURRAY –
CULTURAL ADVISOR

Ngarra is a First Nations woman of the Dja Dja Wurrung (Yung Balug), Yorta Yorta, Wamba Wamba and Dhudhuroa whose country and family is at the heart of this film. She is the Executive Lead of Oxfam Australia’s First Peoples Program, a member of the National NAIDOC committee and a Board Member of the Pastor Sir Douglas and Lady Gladys Nicholls Foundation (she is also their great granddaughter).

UNCLE JACK CHARLES

Uncle Jack Charles, is a proud Boon Wurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung, Woiwurrung and Yorta Yorta man who is also an Elder, actor, musician, potter and gifted performer, but in his 78 years he has also been homeless, a heroin addict, a thief and a regular in Victoria’s prisons. A member of the Stolen Generation, Uncle Jack co-founded the first Aboriginal theatre company Nindethana in 1972. Awards include the prestigious Tudawali Award, honouring his lifetime contribution to Indigenous media, a Green Room Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 and most recently, the Ochre Award and Victorian Senior Australian of the Year. In 2019 Uncle Jack released his memoir “Born Again Blakfella”
Uncle Jack is known for roles in Pan, Dimboola:The Stage Play, Woodley, Play School, Cleverman, Mystery Road, Black Comedy, He is an actor, known for Pan (2015), Dimboola: The Stage Play (1973) and Woodley (2012) and this year featured in an episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?”. Uncle Jack has also starred in theatre shows Coranderrk, Black Ties, Jack Charles vs The Crown.

BILL CODE (DIR)

Bill Code is a film-maker and video journalist who has worked as a shooter/producer with Al Jazeera and the BBC, while also heading up video in the early days of Guardian Australia. This is his first feature-length film, off the back of his 2014 film feature Inside Out: Indigenous imprisonment in Australia which (NITV/The Guardian). Bill directed, produced and shot the bulk of The Lake of Scars.

FESTIVAL Panelists

Letters from Bagdhad

Deane Williams / Moderator

Deane Williams is Associate Professor in Film and Screen Studies, Monash University.  Deane is a film historian specialising in documentary film history and Australian documentary authoring or editing 12 monographs and of numerous articles. From 2007-2017 he was foundation editor of Studies in Documentary Film a scholarly journal dedicated to the history and criticism of documentary. He has regularly served in leadership and community engagement positions.

Sari Braithwaite

Sari Braithwaite works across the disciplines of film and history.  Her 2016 film Paper Trails earned her a Directors Guild Award. 

She was a recipient of the 2015 AFTRS Creative Fellowship to create her first feature length experimental work [CENSORED], which was awarded Best Documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival. 

In 2020 she presented a multi-screen work for the permanent galleries at the Australian Centre of the Moving Image, titled You Will See Me. Her recently completed feature documentary Because We Have Each Other will premiere in 2022. 

Kacey Sinclair

Kacey Sinclair is a historian and heritage advisor at Biosis (Heritage Consulting). She is also a PhD candidate at La Trobe University where she investigates the experiences and legacies of non-Aboriginal women of colour in colonial Victoria. Her research focuses on Fanny Finch who was a woman of the African diaspora, businesswoman and single mother of four who resided in Castlemaine from 1852 to 1863. Finch is known as one of the first female voters in Victoria and as a voice for women’s rights during the mid-colonial period.

WRITING WITH FIRE

Tracey Naughton

Tracey Naughton’s professional experience spans crystal sets to the latest innovations in information and communication technology. Her foundation interest is in textiles arts, public art and technology, specifically the content it carries, as a means of fostering democratic participation, communication and development. Her career in community cultural development began in 1980 and has always incorporated participatory media. She has been a media producer and policy advocate for thirty years, twenty-five of which were based in southern Africa, six in Mongolia. Between 2002 and 2006 Tracey played a lead role in the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society and chaired the WSIS Media Caucus and the Civil Society Bureau.

TELEVISION EVENT

Jeni McMahon

Jeni McMahon has been involved in producing and funding memorable and meaningful factual content throughout Australia for twenty three years. 

Currently the lead investment manager for Documentary at Screen Australia, Jeni was previously a producer, executive producer and managing director of her company Rebel Films and a former investment manager at Film Victoria. Jeni has worked with many of Australia’s leading documentary filmmakers and has a deep understanding of how the industry works from both a creative and financial perspective. As an independent producer, she has worked closely with Indigenous communities to create iconic series such as Bush Mechanics and more recently the Black As web-series, which has garnered over 200 million views on social platforms. With over 20 broadcast credits for ABC and SBS, career highlights the multi-award-winning documentary Then the Wind Changed (2012 Walkley, 2012 ADG Nomination, 2013 ACCTA, 2013 Logie Nomination) and the doco-drama Coniston (2012 ATOM) and the production of Marree Man, Australia’s first “mobi-doc” a made for mobile documentary and a finalist at the 2007 Mipcom Mobile and Internet TV Awards.

Dave Sweeney

Dave Sweeney has been active in mining, resource and nuclear issues for three decades through his work with the media, trade unions and environment groups. He leads the Australian Conservation Foundation’s nuclear free campaign and is a co-founder of ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.

JEFF DANIELS (Dir)

Jeff is a multi-award winning producer/director specialising in feature-length documentaries. His latest film TELEVISION EVENT met overwhelming critical acclaim at Tribeca 2021 and has since won multiple awards including a Special Mention for Best Australian Feature Documentary at the Sydney Film Festival. His first film, THE 10 CONDITIONS OF LOVE (2009 – ABC), made international headlines for highlighting China’s arbitrary imprisonment of the Uyghur. His film MOTHER WITH A GUN (2016 – Netflix) went inside the militant Jewish Defense League, FAIR GAME (2017 – SBS) exposed systemic racism in within the Collingwood Football Club, and CITY OF JOEL (2018 – Samuel Goldwyn Films) documented the controversial land expansion of a Hasidic community in New York.

REBELLION

Suzanne Donisthorpe – Moderator 

​Suzanne Donisthorpe has been an arts broadcaster for over 30 years, working on the various incarnations of the books and arts programs at ABC Radio National. She also worked for a number of years with the sculptor Frank Veldze on a range of creative projects. Her novel Getting Up was published by Pan MacMillan in 2013. Since leaving the ABC in 2015, Suzanne has been closely involved with the local Castlemaine Public radio station MAINfm. She presented the award winning ArtSwank program and worked as the Program Manager and Board member. She currently presents two arts and current affairs shows- Hear Say and The Shout Out.

Jacinta Walsh

Jacinta Walsh has been involved in social justice and environment issues since her early twenties. She has run multiple Transition workshops for environmental groups in Victoria, Tasmania and NSW talking about climate change issues and the need to transition to a more sustainable future.

In recent years Jacinta has become increasingly frustrated with Australia’s inaction in dealing with the climate emergency. This has led her to take a more proactive approach and last year she locked herself onto infrastructure at the worlds largest coal port in Newcastle, NSW.

Jacinta says she will keep locking on, even risking jail to try and get Australia to take action on climate change. Jacinta points out that the most recent IPCC report released in April 2022, states that humankind has two or three years left to act to mitigate catastrophic climate change. 

She states, “We have literally no time to waste; we need to start transitioning our way of life right now, yesterday even!! Australia needs to immediately stop taking fossil fuels out of the ground; Australia needs to stop its extractive systems that destroy the environment.”

Jacinta feels she has no other voice but her body, and will continue to put herself on the frontline with non-violent direct action civil disobedience.

Rilka Laycock-Walsh

Rilka Laycock-Walsh: Political Climate Activist working full time (unpaid) with Blockade Australia. 

I grew up in Castlemaine, started my activism with Front line Action on Coal at Act Up in 2019,  shutting down the world’s largest coal port for a day with a mass action, and my dad. Moved to the Adani Blockade 2019 and then  Meanjin (Brisbane) a year later to focus on the whole climate crisis with Extinction Rebellion. Covid struck and mass mobisations ceased. We formed Refugee Solidarity Meanjin to protest inadequate covid protocols and the general dire situation of a group of Medi-Vac Refugees imprisoned in a cheap motel situated in the heart of the city. We started XR back up, but couldn’t get it back off the ground, so we formed Blockade Australia, aimed at cultivating a culture of sustained direct action that targets critical infrastructure to Australia, createing political agency and leverage, ultimately to prevent violently destructive climate chaos.

The port of Newcastle was blockade over 11 days. 14 actions brought the world’s largest coal port to a standstill for over 70 hrs in November last year (with my mum this time).  The port of Botany was shut down 9 times over 5 days this March.

Based in Newcastle and Sydney the past year, mobilising people to Resist Climate Inaction this June 27th to July 2nd in Sydney.

I AM SAMUEL

Hollie Fifer

Hollie Fifer is currently the Director of Australian Programs at Doc Society and Director of the arts not-for-profit Schoolhouse Studios in Melbourne, Australia.

As a documentary filmmaker, Hollie’s films have screened at festivals and broadcasted within Australia and internationally. THE OPPOSITION, Hollie’s debut feature documentary produced by Media Stockade, world premiered at Hot Docs and IDFA in 2016 before winning the Grand Prize at FIFO, screening at the UN Human Rights Council, winning Best Documentary Feature at the Oz Flix Independent Film Awards and screening in over 35 countries.
Hollie serves on the Board of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC)

Max Primmer

I am a 73 Year Old Gay Man ,I have been out and proud since I was 15 years old (1964) ,My Parents and Siblings all accepted me for who I am and I am very fortunate to be so loved ,I am now involved is as many LGBTQIAA+ projects as I can , I work with a few groups in Melb and also on Committees in Hepburn Shire ,Retired now so loads of time on my hands to be an elder of our community and be a teacher and assist people from all walks of life

THE LAKE OF SCARS

Bill Code ( dir)

Bill Code is a film-maker and video journalist who has worked as a shooter/producer with Al Jazeera and the BBC, while also heading up video in the early days of Guardian Australia. This is his first feature-length film, off the back of his 2014 film feature Inside Out: Indigenous imprisonment in Australia which (NITV/The Guardian). Bill directed, produced and shot the bulk of The Lake of Scars.

JACK CHARLES – STORYTELLER/HOST/NARRATOR

Dja Dja Wurrung elder Uncle Jack Charles provides a unique ‘storytelling’ hosting of the film, far from a static ‘narration’.

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