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MQFF Sidebar

By | Uncategorized

I am currently curating a sidebar of innovative moving image work about sex and gender for the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, with support from the VCA and the University of Melbourne.

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I’m looking for short work that responds to Jack/Judith Halberstam’s treatise on queer challenges to the status quo in The Queer Art of Failure. If you have any material, please get in touch!

The sidebar will include a skillshare in cutting edge and experimental film and video techniques, video installation work and an academic panel responding to issues about moving image culture raised in the program.

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Film Fatales Cinematography Workshop

By | Social Change Media, Uncategorized | No Comments

I helped Amy Browne and Film Fatales Melbourne put on a Cinematography workshop last night, led by Sky Davies.

The workshop was designed to demystify both the technical side of cinematography and its creative implications, pitched at directors and other film creatives. This is a primary vector for discrimination against women in the film and television industry – the presumption that women aren’t comfortable with technology. The onus therefore ends up being on women to ensure that this is not the case, as we are generally expected to prove we are more knowledgeable than our male counter-parts in order to be taken seriously.

It was a hit, the audience fully engrossed in deep technical details of camera technology for 2+ hours, revealing the appetite and need women filmmakers have for technical knowledge.

ACMIX Film Fatales Cinematography Workshop

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My new short film MyMy was just awarded the Renegade Films “Most Daring and Innovative Film” Award at the VCA Graduate Film Awards at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Thanks to Renegade, VCA, and our cast and crew!

By | Current Projects, Film Projects | No Comments

MyMy (14mins, 2014) completed

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

My most recent short film MyMy is now complete!

In a mythic parallel reality, a lonely young man yearns for affinity and connection. In this age of digital avatars, he crafts a version of himself that is far more corporeal – by stitching together parts of himself to become his own cyborg twin. He calls this miraculous being into existence with a techno-magick concoction of symbology and code, and for a while they enjoy a strange and touching get-to-know-you-better of the self. But the cyborg twin has been corrupted by a cyberfeminist virus. This Other self embodies a dangerous idea: that there are parts of ourselves beyond our control.

This lo-fi sci-fi short film is an experimental hybrid of documentary, fiction and performance art. The story plays out in an affective cinematic mode, largely based on a lexicon of imagery and gesture. It features two transgender men, playing a very queer version of their own characters as they perform aspects of themselves onscreen. Throughout the film they are haunted by a chimera, a post-human personification of the desires, fears and possibilities that form who we might be in the future.

The film takes us back to a cyberfeminist future, looking into the black mirror of a possibility beyond identity, where 1990s visions of our cyborg destinies echo like ripples in a pool. Gentle and provocative, the film explores the radical potential to create the self.

Stay tuned for trailer, website and full credits.

Emerging Filmmaker Award at My Queer Career – Mardi Gras Film Festival

By | Festivals, Film Projects, Short Film | No Comments

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This week we had the honour of being awarded the Emerging Filmmaker prize at Mardi Gras Film Festival’s My Queer Career competition, for our short film “Continental Drift”. Thank you Queer Screen, and as always my Producer, Ruth Morris, and all our cast and crew!

I’m looking forward to engaging in a mentorship which was the prize we were awarded.

 

Melbourne International Film Festival, Accelerator – Continental Drift

By | Short Film | No Comments

“Continental Drift” my VCA graduate short film had its Australian premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival recently. It was great to catch up with some cast and crew, and see the film again in front of a packed cinema audience.

I did an interview with MCV about the MIFF screening, in which I mentioned how great it was to have my Australian premiere at MIFF in Melbourne where I live. You can check out the interview here.

I also flew back from overseas to take part in the intensive Accelerator program, which is designed to boost selected filmmakers from a shorts to features career. I saw some interesting films, heard some interesting talks and met some great filmmakers.

MIFF Accelerator provides four days of workshops, screenings, seminars and networking events on the business and creative aspects of the film industry by leading local and international film practitioners for 15-20 short film directors seeking to make the transition to feature film making.

MIFF Accelerator occurs during the MIFF weekend of shorts screenings which includes public screenings of the Accelerator participants’ short films in specially-tagged Accelerator Screenings to the general public and concludes with the MIFF Shorts Awards.

Submissions: Aust Shorts for Bangalore Queer Film Festival

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Randy Freaked-Out Psychedelic Homosexy Koalas

There’s been an explosion of queer film in recent years, with festivals and web shows popping up all over the place. Gaymazing!
But as queer films have expanded the niche, have they lost their radical edge? I don’t think so, help me prove it.

I’m currently putting together another program of Australian queer short film, documentary and video art for the Bangalore Queer Film Festival 2012, like this one from 2009. Like last time, I’m open to anything about any aspect of queer life, sex or gender, that exists beyond the edges of mainstream gay culture – funny, wacky, serious, challenging, thought-provoking, moving or just plain weird.

I’ll be including some amazing films from a program I put together a few months ago entitled “Randy Freaked Out Psychedelic Homosexy Koalas” – from slutty musicals, to arty fantasies about hot babes in the lockup referencing the 90s explosion in gay indy filmmaking, to a gentle comedy about cute girls having an awkward per-zine style literary romance, to digital stories by sex workers.

Get in contact asap and let me know if you’ll be submitting your film, submissions close 20th January 2012.

Contact me here.

Please send a link to a digital version if possible, or you can post a DVD to:

Anna Helme, 191a Smith St, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065

Continental Drift DV Footage

By | Current Projects, Film Projects, Photography, Short Video | No Comments

Things have been very quiet on this blog for months, as I’ve been in pre/production for my short film Continental Drift. Plenty of interesting stories to tell from the process, but for now, while still in post, here’s a snippet about some of the footage we have been collecting for the project.

Most of the film is shot on Super 16mm film, however the protagonist, Adele, shoots video on her DV handycam throughout the film – a comment on how she as somebody with intimacy issues mediates her experiences through the camera, and the voyeuristic nature of being a tourist, as well as a way of getting inside her head as a character. Most of the time the footage is diagetic, inherent to the film, as video she or others is clearly shooting as part of the action. At some other particular times we are using DV footage as emotional atmospheres.

Michael Williams, our wonderful DOP, and myself went down to the bay in Melbourne last weekend to capture some sunset over the water and later the moon, both important textures in the film. Speaking of textures, some of the way the DV camera handles the light on water and other parts of the landscape is just beautiful! Who really needs all that resolution, all the time? This is ungraded, raw DV handycam footage.

Some pictures of our expedition…

Michael Williams, DOP, Fine Art Photographer, Beach Lover

Michael Williams, DOP, Fine Art Photographer, Handycam Appreciator

Continental Drift (working title)

By | Current Projects, Film Projects | One Comment

I’m just starting pre-production on my VCA graduate film “Continental Drift”. I’ll be taking a bit of a European, understated approach for this film, and creating a richly atmospheric visual style. The script is very close to final draft, and we’re beginning to look at casting, crew and securing our locations. I’m really happy to have the lovely Ruth Morris as my Producer, and Kathy Helme (my sister) on board as my fantastic Production Manager for the third time. Very exciting to be getting into the swing of things!

Coastline Settings in Continental Drift

Synopsis

Adele is a young Australian woman struggling to find herself after a break-up. She travels in Croatia in 2001, not long after Yugoslavia was torn apart by war. Staying in an empty hostel by the sea, she meets Antonija and Aleks, whose stories of love and loss reveal some of the painful fractures these conflicts created within families and communities. Contrasts between cultures and experiences mean that Adele becomes a catalysing force, creating change in the lives of people she has these intense, yet brief, encounters with. This moody, romantic drama, set amongst beautiful landscapes, and the rich culture and passionate people of the region, explores the uncanny intimacy that can develop between strangers, and the poignancy of ephemeral romance.

Coastline References for Continental Drift

Production Details

Director: Anna Helme
Producer: Ruth Morris
Shoot Dates: September 2011
Duration: 15mins (approx)
Shooting Format: Super 16mm Film
Location/Studio: Melbourne Metro & Bays