Anna Helme is a moving image maker, technologist and interdisciplinary artist based in Melbourne, Australia.
Anna has written and directed short films including MyMy (2014, 14 mins) screening at festivals internationally including Outfest Los Angeles, Frameline San Francisco, BFI Flare London, Queer Streifen (Winner, Best Short) and Continental Drift (2012, 15mins) part of the Accelerator program at the Melbourne International Film Festival, was nominated for St Kilda Film Festival’s SBS Award and broadcast nationally on SBS TV’s Shorts on Screen. M.C. G.F.C. (2009, 4mins) screened opening night at the 2010 Melbourne Underground Film Festival and the Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Art in 2009, and (with artist Arlene Textaqueen) “SNAP!” for the ACMI/SBS co-production ARTV, screened on SBS TV in 2005, and featured in the Australian Culture Now exhibition at ACMI and the NGV. Trained in camera, lighting and sound while working at SBS TV in 1996/97, in 2013 Anna completed a Bachelor of Film & TV at the VCA (1st Class Hons), for which they received a Lionel Gell Scholarship, a Friends of the VCA award and an Ian Potter Cultural Trust grant. Anna is currently undertaking doctoral research into queer moving image making at the VCA School of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne.
Anna has co-directed and shot documentaries including Cultural Flows, in collaboration with indigenous nations on the Murray Darling and Friends of the Earth, currently broadcast on NITV and Aquaporko!, winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at Sydney’s Mardi Gras Film Festival, and was a director, writer and producer on Nothing to Lose the documentary about Force Majeure’s dance work for Sydney Festival.
Anna co-founded the not for profit organisation EngageMedia www.engagemedia.org, focusing on social-justice and environmental video from the Asia-Pacific. Anna has worked extensively internationally for EngageMedia, organising Transmission video-activist conferences in Rome in 2006 and Java in 2008, presenting at Freedom Film Festival in Kuala Lumpur in 2008, and taking part in the Open Video Alliance founding meeting at Yale University in 2008. Anna completed a Myer Foundation Asialink Dunlop Asia Fellowship in Indonesia in 2007, training filmmakers in online distribution. Since 2009 Anna has project managed development of Critical Commons (www.criticalcommons.org), an online film education resource and fair use advocacy project, produced by the Institute for Multimedia Literacy at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Anna began in this field working with influential UK-based production company Undercurrents in 2000, and founded the regional video compilation Oceania Indymedia Newsreal, a precursor to EngageMedia’s work in the Asia-Pacific, in 2003.
Anna’s video installation work includes collaborative piece Mother’s Not Herself Today (single-channel video, 2015, Underbelly Arts at Cockatoo Island, f-generation exhibition at George Paton Gallery, MIX New York Queer Experimental Film Festival), and MyMy RADIX for Nightcraft at MCA Art Bar 2014. As a live audiovisual artist Anna has performed in Australia, the UK and Europe, including the PirateTV CanDU tour of the former-Yugoslavia, with Coldcut and Headspace in 2001. Anna co-wrote, co-directed, and performed the hybrid AV/theatre show Electric Dreams commissioned for Nextwave 2004, supported by Arts Victoria, and performed solo and with Spoole at venues and events such as Brisbane Powerhouse, Federation Square Melbourne, Electrofringe and dLux’s Dataterra. In 2002 Anna undertook an Australia Council supported artist placement with Coldcut assisting with interactive video installation Gridio for the Sonic Process exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
Anna also curates moving image programs that explore the radical edges, unexpected territories and community-based fringes of queer filmmaking for events such as the Bangalore Queer Film Festival in India (2010 and 2012), and the Camp Betty festival in Australia (2007 and 2011) and recently the Wildings sidebar of experimental moving images for the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (2017 and 2019).
Anna lectures in film production and co-ordinates a filmmaking subject at Melbourne University and has facilitated filmmaking workshops with Tilde Transgender and Gender Diverse Film Festival, Australian Centre for the Moving Image and Youthworx Media.