I caught the film programming bug during my undergraduate studies, when I researched, curated, and projected a session of short 16mm Australian government films about migration for the Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities conference in Adelaide, South Australia.
In the UK, I have curated and/or introduced screenings at the British Museum, Kennington Bioscope Weekender (Cinema Museum, London), and South West Silents (Bristol).
I am currently engaged in two ongoing programming projects:
In 2017/18, I devised and curated a screening series to run in parallel to the more traditional seminar series held by the Menzies Australia Institute at King’s College London. The inaugural series draws inspiration from the seminar series theme ‘Scaling Australia’, and seeks to broaden understandings of the transnational nature of Australian cinema, and of Australia’s place in global cinema. At each event, I give a contextual introduction, and lead a discussion following the screening.
The 2017/18 Menzies Screenings took a broad approach to Australian cinema in a transnational context, focusing on the lives of Australians abroad and Australia’s history of neo-colonialism; post-war migration and depictions of Australia in Italian cinema; collaborative film-making in the Pacific; government funding of anti-immigration films and the politics of discouragement; and, the role of ‘diasporic’ British film-makers in helping to share the stories of Australia’s First Nations Peoples.
For the 2018/19 academic year, I returned to the Menzies Australia Institute to curate and present a second series of screenings, this time focusing on ‘imperial’ and ‘national’ productions in settler colonial spaces. Expanding beyond Australia, this series sought to compare and contrast a postwar British production and a product of the local industry across three national contexts: Australia, Canada, and Aotearoa New Zealand.
In 2019/20, a third series of Menzies Screenings, focusing on re-centring Indigenous narratives within the settler history/s of ‘Australia’, was unfortunately cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For Spring 2021, however, the Menzies Screenings returned in an online form, with a trio of documentaries + filmmaker Q&As themed around the Institute’s current theme of ‘Bearing Witness’. That theme continues in the current 2021/22 Menzies Screening series.
LONDON AUSTRALIAN FILM SOCIETY & FESTIVAL
Since 2017, I have worked as a programmer for the London Australian Film Society, where I currently serve as Co-Programmer (alongside LAFS director Laila Dickson). As well as regular one-off screenings at venues across London, the society celebrates new and classic Australian cinema at the London Australian Film Festival (formerly the OZ Film Festival), held annually at Regent Street Cinema in central London.
Highlights have included a sold-out screenings of Sweet Country (Warwick Thornton, 2017), The Final Quarter (d. Ian Darling, 2019) and The Australian Dream (d. Daniel Gordon, 2019), liaising with Rolf de Heer on an anniversary screening of his extraordinary film Bad Boy Bubby (1993), hosting David Wenham at the UK premiere of his directorial debut, Ellipsis (2017), and introducing British audiences to an array of great Australian cinema.
In August 2019, I curated a special screening for the UK premiere of Partho Sen-Gupta’s Slam (2018). As well as screening a short poetry film by UK-based poet and filmmaker Shagufta K Iqbal before the feature, I also chaired a panel discussion after the film on Muslim representation, Islamophobia, and white supremacy in Britain and Australia.
LAFS and LAFF are both on hiatus due to the pandemic, but we will be returning soon!
If you’d like to hire me to curate or programme a season; present a one-off screening, festival, or screening series; or help your institution devise and offer a cross-programme screening strand, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.