12th January- Flickerfest shorts: Kamambo and Nullarbor

In this episode of Something Else, Maren chats to two directors of films in the Australian Shorts Competition of Flickerfest 2012. Victoria Goodyear’s film on West Papuan refugee ‘Kamambo (Butterfly)’, and Alister Lockhart’s animated race through the desert, ‘Nullarbor’.

Still from Kamambo, Goodyear, 2011

Victoria Goodyear is the director of ‘Kamambo (Butterfly)’ which is based on the true story of a young West Papuan refugee in Australia whose story, and that of 18 other West Papuans, caused an international incident in Indonesian and Australian relations. The film is shot all in and around Melbourne, in English and in a native West Papuan tongue.

Goodyear on set with Townsend who plays Kamambo, Goodyear, 2011

‘I met Anike who was this little West Papuan Asylum seeker who, with her father, came here to Australia back in 2006… she was a very energetic amazing little girl who just needed a bit of girl time.’ – Victoria Goodyear on the inspiration for Kamambo (Butterfly)

Kamambo is inspired by the true story of a ten year old West Papuan refugee adjusting to life in Australia before an incident that would change her life, create headlines around the world and potentially lead to the controversial clause in the Lambok treaty between Indonesia and Australia which specifies that Australia respect Indonesia’s sovereignty in matters of human rights. The film runs to ten minutes and gracefully navigates the intersection between the personal and the political through the experiences of Kamambo, played by young actor Magenta Townsend.

Still of Waddy from 'Nullarbor', Lockhart & Sarell, 2011

Alister Lockhart is co-director and co-writer of ‘Nullarbor’, along with Patrick Sarell. The animated ‘tortoise and hare’ race between a brash young punk and an old digger set in the longest stretch of straight road in Australia, won Best Animation at both Sydney and Melbourne Film Fests, received a Special Jury Prize at Palm Springs, a Grand Prix in Bradford Animation Festival and was accepted into Annecy International Animation Festival.

Still of Bernie from 'Nullarbor', Lockhart & Sarell, 2012

‘The thing about this story is that we could have shot it live action. The logistics, I think, they would have been different, and of course you can’t just take an old classic car like that and then just explode it without needing an awful lot of insurance!’ – Alister Lockhart on the making of Nullarbor

The film has utilises no dialogue to tell the story of Waddy and Bernie, and builds tension subtly by initially focusing on the laid back rambling atmosphere of the Australian desert, summed up by Waddy’s composure, before launching into the more outrageous physical comedy one expects from an animation. At eleven minutes, it’s as funny as it is visually impressive. A short preview of what to expect is available here.

Flickerfest is running for a couple more days until the 15th of January, get down there soon to see some great local and international films. For the full program go to the Flickerfest website. Check out their facebook pages to keep updated on where else you might see Kamambo or Nullarbor in the coming months.

To download this or previous episodes of Something Else, paste this link http://www.cpod.org.au/feed.php?id=308 into your iTunes Advanced Podcast Subscription search bar or other podcasting software. Hope you enjoy it and don’t forget to tune your radio to 89.7FM next Thursday at 6pm, or listen online through the Eastside FM website.

– Maren (twitter)

EDIT 16/01/12: Congratulations to Alister and the Nullarbor team for picking up an AACTA (AFI) award for Best Short Animation and the award for Best Sound Design at Flickerfest! Very well deserved, and I wish you all the best for the future!