MELBOURNE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
MDFF : SHORT DOCUMENTARIES - SESSION 2 - (Saturday 9 July)
Short Documentaries Featured:
- Building One (27 mins)
- Skin and Bone (8 mins)
- Vacant (4 mins)
- Home (11 mins)
- Kooyong (4 mins)
- Synchronicities (8 mins)
- Chasing Canguro (10 mins)
- The Great Forrest (13 mins)
- Island Odyssey (8 mins)
- Lolly (4 mins)
Building One - 27 mins
Building One in Auckland, New Zealand, was originally built in 1865 as a psychiatric hospital, and since 1992 houses the Design and Visual Arts Department at Unitec Institute of Technology.
Filmed inside this landmark building, also known as Oakley or Carrington Hospital, former staff and patients, along with current staff and students, share their moving and at times humorous experiences of working and living in Building One. Rarely seen historical images support their stories.
This film intends to lift a certain amount of the veil of obscurity, by presenting the human side of the people involved, while showing how this place has transformed into a place of learning.
At the same time this film alludes to the uncertain future of the place, as this monumental building is not earthquake proof.
Skin and Bone - 8 mins
TO CUT OR NOT TO CUT? ...THAT IS THE QUESTION. Bariatric weight loss surgery isn't the 'magic pill' that it's made out to be in the mass media - clamoring for "ratings-grabbing" fairytale weight loss stories. The rarely spoken about after effects of these increasingly popular surgical procedures, can be quite psychologically damaging. Rather than being the solution to a serious societal obesity problem - in many instances, the resulting weight loss creates a whole new set of problems and issues for those who choose to go through with these life-changing procedures. "Skin and Bone" is a short documentary film which follows the story of someone who has successfully achieved their weight loss dreams through bariatric surgery, but who is still unhappy with what they see in the mirror. Their decision 'to cut or not to cut?' plays heavily on their mind for various reasons. Do they proceed with the radical cosmetic surgery, or finally learn to love the skin they're in?
Vacant - 4 mins
A car park so great it should have it's own postcode. This film explores the beauty & emptiness of Australia's largest car park. In broader terms it explores what urban sprawl & transport means for sustainable living and its implications on a city's cultural identity. Soundscape & images recorded on location at Melbourne's International Airport car park.
Home - 11 mins
A portrait of Melbourne's ageing Irish community as they embrace social media to narrow the distance between Australia and Ireland.
Kooyong - 4 mins
An examination into contemporary issues to do with Melbourne Trams
Synchronicities - 8 mins
Synchronicities is a short documentary that takes us into the life of Peter Maxwell Slattery, a 31 year old UFO contactee and experiencer from Melbourne, Australia. Peter doesn't believe in aliens, he knows they exist. Is Peter a bit crazy? Or at the core of it, is there something profoundly loving in the message he is trying to get out into the world?
Chasing Canguro -10 mins
Chasing Canguro follows Alex Luther as he retraces the remarkable life of his late grandfather, Harry Luther, the Australian marathon water-skier who rose to fame during the golden age of the sport in the 1970s. Harry eventually went on to win the title of World Champion and set a World record that remains unbroken to this day.
The culmination of Alex's journey is an attempt to re-create his grandfather's greatest achievement - his World-Record-setting marathon water-ski for a distance of 5,010 kilometres, which Harry completed in 10 days, 5 hours, and 36 minutes in 1970. The route begins at the tip of Africa and tours the coasts of Spain, France, Monaco and Croatia, finishing in Italy - the country that gave Harry the affectionate name 'Canguro' (kangaroo) after his Australian heritage.
Many things stand in the way of Alex achieving his goal, none more so than Alex never having water-skied before in his life. In order to prepare physically for this daunting feat of endurance, Alex dives into a gruelling training routine and takes his first steps out on the water.
In parallel, he begins discovering what kind of man Harry Luther was. Having only vague memories of his grandfather, who passed away when Alex was aged 7, he is guided by the scrapbook passed down by his mother, Chondelle. The scrapbook is an anthology of Harry's life and achievements, from his dazzling early career in the waters around Sydney, the burning determination which fuelled his fast rise to international fame, to his tragic death in a cycling accident in Perth in 1988.
This treasure trove of pennants, congratulatory telegrams, photographs, magazine articles, and newspaper clippings document Harry's success during a time when competitive waterskiing was at the height of its popularity, attracting sponsorship from the likes of Pepsi, Mercury, BP, Fiat, Speedo, Polaroid, and Dunlop Tyres. Nostalgia for that time is re-awakened in those who were part of the sport then and to whom it was a way of life, including individuals who travelled and competed as part of Harry's team.
Chasing Canguro will revisit that sporting age, embodied in Harry's fiercely competitive character, spirit, and physical talent, and re-lived by Alex as he follows in his grandfather's footsteps and takes his own place in Harry's incredible legacy.
The Great Forest - 13 mins
An ancient Australian forest invites us into her rapidly changing world, where rare life is discovered and inevitable death unfolds.
Island Odyssey - 8mins
An exploration of the landscapes and wildlife of Kangaroo Island in South Australia. The film takes viewers on a journey through inland, coastal and underwater wilderness areas to observe the island's natural wonders.
Lolly 4 Mins
84 year old Lolly is a fixture on Melbourne's busking scene. "I have played the violin for 76 years... except for 3 years when I played machine gun in the Russian Army"