Film As Practice Based Research – 14 October 2010


Exchange your producer for a supervisor, your production company for a university, sort out your own legals and finance, fill in the gaps between academia and film industry by yourself and discover your thesis film. What else is there to it? Find out with the Associate Professor Hart Cohen, Filmmaker Paulo Alberton and Composer Basil Hogios, who are working on DCA film Who We Really Are. Dr Mitzi Goldman will facilitate the discussions between the panel and the audience. Dr Karen Pearlman, Head of Screen Studies AFTRS, will contribute to the discussion from the floor. We invite students, filmmakers and academics to join us in these discussions.


Dr. Hart Cohen will introduce the session talking about the direction in which research projects are heading, what projects suit a Doctorate of Creative Arts at University of Western Sydney, and discuss the common pitfalls of film as practice-based research.

Paulo Alberton will showcase his multilayered project, Who We Really Are, which has accumulated over 60 hours of footage in the last 20 months and still has a 2-month shoot ahead, and a 12-month edit before he delivers a long form doco and a 30,000-word exegesis. How is it possible? Or is it? Find out the challenges, watch clips, give your feedback, get involved, finance it!

Basil Hogios will speak about his collaboration the director and participants in Who We Really Are, where music plays an important role in the storytelling: “The process is non-linear and is drastically different to traditional film music processes”. Basil participates as a performer, tutor, music producer and score composer.


The work-in-progress documentary by Paulo Alberton

Capoeira Angola and gangster rap compete in young African refugees’ minds and hearts as they attempt to make Australia their new home. They are introduced to the traditional Afro-Brazilian art-form of Capoeira Angola by the hands of the strict Afro-Brazilian Master Roxinho. Roxinho constantly challenges their connection to their original culture and asks them why they are dressing and behaving like North American gangster rapper 50 Cent. Roxinho says: “you have to be really careful not to get lost in this culture!”

This doco combines observational and participatory filmmaking and music plays an important role in the film’s story telling.

The observational footage brings Paulo’s perspective on the relationship Master / African refugee students. And Capoeira Angola music plays an important role in subtitling this relationship with the metaphors of slavery time in Brazil.

The participatory element helps these young refugees tell the world “Who We Really Are”, bringing their perspectives into the feature doco and giving a sense of authorship and achievement as they discover their talent for music and storytelling.

More information on, or on the project blog

Facilitated by Dr Mitzi Goldman
Mitzi has written, produced, edited and directed documentaries for over 20 years and has a wealth of experience in many aspects of filmmaking and teaching. Her films have been screened around the world in festivals in Germany, South Africa, the UK, France, Spain, the USA, and of course, at home in Australia. Mitzi’s documentaries deal with social issues, personal history and cultural heritage, and have received nominations at Australia’s AFI Awards, sold to ABC TV, Channel 4 (UK), SBS TV and won awards, including an ATOM award for Best Social Issues Documentary. Her credits include Snakes and Ladders, Things I Call Mine, Many Homes – Many Names, Hatred, Ports of Destiny, Chinese Take Away and End of the Rainbow which is an international co-production with ARTE, ITVS and SBS. Mitzi has a Phd in Cultural Studies from UWS.


Dr. Hart Cohen
Dr. Hart Cohen is Associate Professor in Media Arts in the School of Communication Arts at the University of Western Sydney, NSW, Australia and a member the Centre for Cultural Research. He is Associate Head of School and directs Research and Postgraduate Studies. He is currently a principal investigator on the ARC project, Resident’s Voices. Dr. Cohen is founding editor of the on-line journal, Global Media Journal/Australian Edition and a member of the research group CINERG based at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada co-developing projects on interactive nonlinear on-line database narratives. Recent Publications include: Screen Media Arts: An Introduction to Concepts and Practices (2009) for Oxford University Press (with Juan Salazar and Iqbal Barkat.) Knowledge and A Scholarship of Creativity, IM – Interactive Media E-Journal, vol 2010, no. #5, pp 1-8, Conceptualising Digital Heritage Databases in Remote Aboriginal Communities (Information Visualisation 2010 University of London South Bank, IEEE July, 2010). Recent presentations include, Digital archives and discoverability: innovating access to the Strehlow collection,( ITIC, Canberra, July 2010); Database Narratives: Youtube, Database and Immersive Documentary: Challenges for Re-mediated/Remixed Documentary (Visible Evidence XVII, Istanbul 2010)

Paulo Alberton
In 94, Paulo left a 7-year career as a commercial airline pilot in Brazil to become a filmmaker. He completed a Certificate in Film at NYU, Queer Film Studies at WITS University in Johannesburg and a Master of Arts degree at AFTRS specializing in documentary directing; and is now engaged in a full time Doctorate of Creative Arts program at the University of Western Sydney (2009-2011). Broadcast credits include the 10-minutes Going To The Dogs (SBS); the half-hours Give Me A Break (SBS) and Living On (SBS) and one hour’s Swapping Lives (SBS) and Drums of Maranhao (TV Cultura Brazil). Awards include Best Photography for Water and I; Film Australia special commendation and ATOM Best-multimedia award for Mijn Man; and Best Doco and Best Editing at Western Australian Screen Awards 2004 for Going To The Dogs. Since 2007, Paulo has been working on independent documentary My Father, My Master, which explores the depths of a master-disciple relationship within the world of Capoeira Angola. This film leads Paulo to the thesis film Who We Really Are, being presented in this session.

Basil Hogios
Basil is an award-winning composer and sound designer who has worked in film and television, theatre, dance, and installation. For the screen, he composed the score for the feature film Romulus My Father starring Eric Bana, for which he was nominated for an AFI Award, and has composed for many award-winning shorts, television shows, documentaries, and TV commercials. In theatre, Basil has collaborated with some of Australia’s greats on mainstage shows for Sydney Theatre Co., Melbourne Theatre Co., Company B, Bell Shakespeare, and Griffin. He is the creative director of the music and sound company FirstCut Studio, a facility in Sydney that is home to a talented and experienced group of composers and sound professionals.

WHAT: Screening, Discussion and Q&A moderated by Dr Mitzi Goldman.

WHEN: Thursday, 14 October 2010
6.00pm arrival for 6.30pm start
Wine, nibbles and conversation from 6:00pm

WHERE: AFTRS Theatre, Fox Studios,
Entertainment Quarter, 130 Bent St,
Moore Park NSW.


ENTRY : Suggested donation: Still only $5
but you can be more generous if you like too.

RSVP not required,
but be early to ensure your seat.
Please invite your friends and colleagues too!

This event is open to the public.

Parking fees discounted after 6pm, or with validated ticket from AFTRS. OzDox encourages you to participate in where you can leave comments and open discussion on each event.


OZDOX has 30 programs of events from the past 3 years on DVD ranging from 60 mins to 120mins. These programs contain many of the best of Australian documentary filmmakers, plus visiting overseas filmmakers. Only $A 24 with postage.

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