Maestros of the Archive – ‘the art of archival documentary’





Gathering, manipulating and presenting archival material is an art form, one that is sometimes overlooked. Through archival film making, a seasoned story teller can tap into our nostalgic tendencies, our memories and collective subconscious with precision and eloquence.

Ozdox proudly presents MAESTROS OF THE ARCHIVE to showcase some of Australia’s leading documentary Directors and Producers who specialise in the creative use of archival material. Their work represents the gamut of archival documentary film making, from entertaining to immersive, historic to academic.

Paul Clarke creates what he describes as ‘hip pop culture films’. TV documentary series Bombora – The Story Of Australian Surfing, and Wide Open Road – The Story Of Cars in Australia combined archival footage with classic Australian rock music. The feature length documentary Lillian Roxon – Mother of Rock was selected for Toronto, New York, Melbourne and Rome International Film Festivals. Recent two part ABC TV documentary Whitlam, The Power & The Passion is an example of Clarke’s innovative style that combines Australian’s core musical anthems with his seasoned knowledge of the ABC and NFSA archives.

Girt By Sea director Shane McNeil drew on the extensive visual collections held by the National Film and Sound Archive and ABC Archives along with a mass of crowd-sourced home movies, to weave a lyrical and contemplative interpretation of Australia’s coastal history. A musical and cinematic love letter to the coastline of Australia, Girt by Sea is a visually poetic celebration of our connection to the sea over the past 100 years with the soundtrack by ARIA Award–winning band The Panics. (PIAF website)

Filmmaker, writer, film valuer and lecturer Jeni Thornley’s distinctive poetic documentaries Maidens, To the Other Shore, the co-directed feature documentary For Love or Money: a history of women and work in Australia and Island Home Country, which explores Tasmania’s colonised history, have screened widely both in Australia and internationally. Between 2002 and 2013 Jeni lectured in Issues in Documentary, at UTS, focusing on documentary history, changing forms and ethics, completing her PHD in 2011. She is currently developing an archival documentary film project, Memory=Film, based on her own super 8 collection and documentaries.

Nicole O’Donohue is an award winning Sydney based independent film producer, whose debut feature film Griff The Invisible screened at the Toronto and Berlin International Film Festivals. In 2010 Nicole was selected to attend the prestigious Binger Film Lab in Amsterdam as a Creative Producer. Nicole’s debut feature documentary The Last Impresario premiered at the BFI London Film Festival and screened at the Dubai and Sydney International Film Festivals. The Last Impresario features over 200 pieces of archival material sourced both locally from Australian sources and international outlets.

MAESTROS OF THE ARCHIVE is part discussion, part screening. Each panellist will screen a sizeable chunk of their work. Moderated by veteran Documentary producer Tom Zubrycki, Concept by Brendan Palmer, MAESTROS OF THE ARCHIVE is an Ozdox forum not to be missed.

Shane McNeil’s non-narrative archival film Girt by Sea will be screening in installation-mode in the AFTRS theatre from 6pm as the audience enters before the forum. Come early to enjoy a fine example of Australian Archival Documentary.