“SER UN SER HUMANO/To Be a Human Being” Screening + Filmmaker Q&A – 21 Feb 2012

A chance conversation between a Kenyan subsistence farmer and an Australian filmmaker (Russell Porter) in 1986 planted the idea that a quarter of a century later flourished into an audacious, brilliant documentary series.

Catch a sneak preview of this new international co-production, TO BE A HUMAN BEING, introduced by the project’s initiator, Russell Porter – an Australian filmmaker working in Cuba and Chicago.

Russell is in Australia briefly, fresh from launching the series and the book in Bilbao.

As yet the series is unsold in Australia, see an episode or two, hear about it’s inception, the making of and its future distribution.

To Be a Human Being is a series of six full-length documentaries, based on six universal human needs. It is a collective portrait of humanity, told in the voices of people from eight diverse communities, and seven languages, from all over the world.

The premise of the series came from the Kenyan woman who said: “You don´t need to apologise, I know you. You are a human being, so what we have in common is very big, and what is different between us is very interesting”. She then explained the six things we all share – Sustenance, Love, Faith, Culture, Fear and Hope. These six themes form the essence of the six documentaries in the series.

The series was conceived as a collaboration between seven film schools, produced and coordinated by the EICTV (International Film and TV School) in Cuba. It was made by students and young filmmakers from many backgrounds, and filmed with the Bedouin in Jordan, an artisan community in Calcutta, the Rastro Market in Madrid, Harlem communities in New York, Polynesian families in Samoa, a remote mountain town in Portugal, an Afro-Caribbean community in the Dominican Republic and the indigenous Wayuu community in Colombia.

The films are now screening and winning acclaim around the world, including winning Best International Feature Documentary at the Icaro Festival in Guatemala, against strong professional competition.

Russell Porter is an Australian documentary filmmaker, writer and teacher with over thirty years of experience. He has won several Australian and International awards for his films, many dealing with cross-cultural and social issues, and the relationship between science and society. He recently retired from the position of Tenured Faculty member, Documentary Program, Columbia College Chicago. He is Co-Head of the Documentary Department at the EICTV (International Film andTelevision School) in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba. He has extensive international experience and recognition as a film teacher at film schools in the USA, Australia, Latin American and Europe. He is currently writing a book on documentary ideas and another on the Amazon and is developing several film projects.

The session will be introduced by cinematographer Erika Addis, currently the Cinematography Lecturer, AFTRS. Erika Addis has been a cinematographer for more than thirty-four years. One of Australia’s highly respected cinematographers, she has shot all around the world from Antarctica to Eritrea to Mongolia. Her body of creative work includes series and one-off documentary productions for cinema and television; feature length, television hour and short dramas; experimental films, education and corporate training programs. She has taught cinematography at AFTRS Sydney and EICTV Havana.


Event Information

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

WHEN: Tuesday, 21st Feb, 2012
Wine, nibbles and conversation from 6:00pm for 6.30pm start.

ENTRY: $7 (suggested donation)

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.