Reminiscing about the Seen & Heard Festival
Archived content from 2012 -2014


For a number of years this was the official website for the Seen & Heard Festival based in Sydney and Melbourne that showcasing films by women in major production roles: directing, writing and producing.

Content is from the site's 2012 -2014 archived pages (as well as from other outside sources), offering a glimpse of what this festival offered.

FYI: Last posts on their Facebook page was from 2018.

 

March 6, 2016 Sydney Film Festival Facebook events page

Seen & Heard Film Festival returns for a one-night only screening after a two-year hiatus from Sydney.

Not only are they getting together again to celebrate women in cinema, but on this special night they'll be asking you to help us raise money for charities supporting refugees in Australia.

~~~

Seen & Heard Film Festival returns for a one-night only screening after a two year hiatus from Sydney.

Not only are we getting together again to celebrate women in cinema, but on this special night we'll be asking you to help us raise money for charities supporting refugees in Australia.

Tickets are on sale now and they are by donation: pay as you feel.

 

 

 

Seen and Heard Film Festival 2014

This festival has made its way down from Sydney to celebrate the ladies of the film world.

WHEN:
Thursday, November 13, 2014 - Sunday, November 16, 2014

The film industry has a gender problem. While women make up more than half of the world's moviegoers, just 16 per cent of last year's 250 most successful films had female directors. In Hollywood specifically, that number is halved. It's dire statistics like these that inspired the Seen and Heard Film Festival, an event designed to showcase the best that female filmmakers have to offer.

After original launching in Sydney back in 2009, this year marks the festival's inaugural Melbourne season. Hosted at ACMI, the four-day event features three short film streams, including one dedicated to school-aged filmmakers and another to short form horror. There's also a selection of full-length movies on offer, including Desiree Akhavan's biting relationship comedy Appropriate Behaviour, the critically acclaimed immigration drama Under the Starry Sky, and Regarding Susan Sontag — an eponymous doco about the seminal feminist theorist. We can almost guarantee all films pass the Bechdel test.

 

2014

Seen & Heard is a festival that is coming back for a fifth year of screening exciting new films made by women from around the globe. Whether directing, writing or producing, Seen & Heard promotes the message that films made by women are not just for women, but are films that should be seen by everyone. The films that will be shown during the three day festival address issues relevant to all: race relations within Australia, the treatment of those with disabilities, issues relating to class, gender and sexuality, as well as the everyday challenges of friendship, self-discovery, joy and loss. And some of the films have none of these redeeming features, except for good ol’ fashioned fun!

/images/after-the-class.jpg

According to the Centre for the Study of Women in Television & Film:

  • In 2011 women made up only 5% of directors in the top 250 domestic grossing films (U.S.), a 1% decrease from 2010, and almost half the percentage of women directors working in 1998.
  • 38% of films employed no women in any major productions role (writing, producing, directing, editing or cinematography.)

We believe that the lack of women in the film industry is an impoverishment to our culture, one that can only be rectified once we recognise that the dramatic underrepresentation of women amongst both cast & crew is a problem.

So come and take a small step to a resolution: be Seen and Heard.

Our History

Seen and Heard first began in January 2009 at the Sydney art gallery Blank_Space in Surry Hills.

Opening night featured speaker and activist for accessibility in the arts filmmaker Sarah Tracton and the screening of her film White Sound, exploring the notion of a ‘soundless’ existence. Sarah is now an advocate working for Arts Access Australia.

The programme ran for ten nights, included two afternoon tea sessions, with shorts showcases, sessions dedicated to features as well with four main streams: women and work, queer, Indigenous women in filmmaking and accessibility and disability. Filmmaker Margot Nash participated in two forums during the festival, discussing women and work and films by Indigenous Australians.

Our 2010 program ran for four nights at Sydney’s prestigous underground venue, The Red Rattler, and featured filmmakers Sunny Grace and Gillian Lehay and an epic performance by Sydney band Fag Panic on our gala night.

 



Submissions are now open for our Melbourne Festival

April 23, 2014 by Lucy

Seen & Heard Film Festival is dedicated to celebrating the diverse and immense works from women working in an industry that under-represents their art.

We are currently taking film submissions from any female-identifying filmmaker (including directors, producers, editors, cinematographers, screenwriters, and production designers) wishing to apply. Shorts or features, animation, genre, documentary, comedy, experimental, horror, musicals, sci-fi, drama, silent cinema, and more are all welcome for what promises to be an thrilling and diverse festival in Melbourne, 2014.

Please note that premieres will be looked upon favourably, however we are happy to receive submissions that have screened at other festivals as well.

Conditions

To be eligible for consideration, all films must adhere to the following:

  • Films must have been completed after 1st January 2010 (and not before).
  • Films must be in their original language, with English subtitles if the original language is not English.
  • If you are submitting multiple films to the festival, you will need to fill out multiple forms (i.e. one submission form per film).
  • Submissions after the due date will only be accepted with a fee, as determined by the festival.
  • You must provide a preview of your film, either as an uploaded password-protected video on Vimeo (preferred) or YouTube, or sent to us directly as a file via WeTransfer.
  • If successful in your submission, you must mail a physical copy of your film into us (to be returned by us at the festival’s end). The accepted formats are currently TBA, but our preference will most likely be DVD/Blu-Ray or DCP.
  • Our selection decisions are final and we do not provide critical analysis or feedback to films that are not selected.

By submitting your film to our film festival, you are agreeing to the above conditions.

Entry is free, so all you need to do to enter your film is fill out the form and we will be in contact shortly. If you have any queries about the form, please contact us here.

 

2014 Festival

S&H;: Let Them Stay Fundraiser Screening

Thursday, 31 March 2016 from 7:30 PM to 10:30 PM
Red Rattler Theatre - 6 Faversham St, Marrickville, NSW 2204

Seen & Heard Film Festival returns for a one-night only screening after a two year hiatus from Sydney. Not only are we getting together again to celebrate women in cinema, but on this special night we'll be asking you to help us raise money for people seeking asylum in Australia. Loud and proud, we say let them stay!

 

Seen & Heard Film Festival: 6-20 March 2014, The Red Rattler Theatre, Marrickville.

6 March 2014: Opening Night

Queen of the Desert

by Alex Kelly, Australia



Queen of the Desert trailer
Starlady is not your ordinary youth worker -- with fabulous hair and outrageous outfits she is training young indigenous people in the art of hairdressing.

Not only has she got pink extensions, painted on eyebrows, glitter stockings and superman hotpants, Starlady’s a youth worker in some of Australia’s most remote and challenging places. And she reckons that hairdressing can improve people’s lives.

Like a real life Priscilla, Starlady takes us on a Queen of the Desert journey to Areyonga, an indigenous community in Central Australia, where she?ll work with a group of curious and cheeky young people.

By this River

by Melissa Anastasi, Australia



By this River - Trailer 2014
Trailer for the short film 'By this River' directed by Melissa Anastasi

A young boy builds a raft to reach his mother in the land of the dead, which he believes is at the end of the river that runs alongside their property.

Don’t bury my heart

Saba Vasefi, Iran
A sensitive but chilling account of the practice of child executions in Iran. The film introduces us to two families: one whose son waits on death row until his 18th birthday to face punishment for a crime he committed when only a teenager, the other the family of the murdered brother and son.

Buy tickets to Opening Night

13 March 2014

Madam with a Movie Camera: Queer filmmaking and queer thinking

This Thursday: Madam with a Movie Camera

MARCH 12, 2014
Tomorrow night we’ll be interviewing pornography performer, academic and filmmaker Zahra Stardust.

Zahra Stardust, BA (Honours), LLB, MA (Gender and Cultural Studies) is a queer feminist porn star, Penthouse Pet, award-winning stripper and pole dance instructor. Her films have screened at the Berlin Porn Film Festival (honourable mention), Perv Queerotic Film Festival in Sydney (audience favourite), Cinekink in New York and Porny Days in Zurich, as well as featuring on Petra Joy’s Her Porn DVD (volume 5). She holds 3 degrees, including a Masters thesis on striptease, and is currently doing a PhD on the legal regulation of queer and feminist pornography in Australia.

Advocating for the decriminalisation of sex work, she has run for parliament 3 times for the Australian Sex Party for House of Representatives, Senate and Lord Mayor of Sydney. During their campaign, she and Angela White made history as the first candidates from a political party to film a porn scene together.

Zahra’s awards include Best Adult Star Eros Shine Awards 2012, Pole Dance Champion at Miss Nude Australia 2011, Miss Pure Platinum 2011, Miss Centrefold Oceania 2010, Australian Pole Dance Doubles Champion 2009 and Most Unique Entertainer at Miss Nude NSW 2009.

During the daytime Zahra works as policy officer for Scarlet Alliance, the Australian Sex Workers Association. She has presented at events such as: Sexual Cultures Conference (Brunel University, London), Erotic Screen and Sound Conference (Griffith University, Brisbane), Sex Worker Open University (Glasgow), The Unacceptable Conference (Macquarie University, Sydney), Slut Walk Sydney, UN Youth Summit (University of Technology, Sydney), Down and Dirty: Sex Gender Media (Next Wave Festival, Melbourne), The Feminist Conference (Teachers Federation, Sydney), Sex Camp (Melbourne), and Camp Betty, Sheila Autonomista and Femme in the Frame (Red Rattler). She has articles forthcoming in UK journal Porn Studies and edited collections Queer Sex Work and How to Come out Like a Porn Star: Adult Industry Essays on Family Matters.

In 2014 Zahra will launch her website featuring scenes with genderqueer porn star Jiz Lee, queer porn icon Courtney Trouble and feminist pornographer Liandra Dahl. She has had the pleasure of collaborating with many other Australian pornographers, including Ms Naughty, Sensate Films, Naughty Nerdy and Morgana Muses.

 

Talking Pornography

Is pornography bad for women? How does industry impact on the porn product? How does the product influence the consumer? And in this process – what role do women play?

Join us for an intimate Q&A with pornographer, politician and PhD candidate Zahra Stardust. We will be talking about women’s filmmaking in the porn industry and the power and autonomy filmmakers can maintain in an industry fuelled by money and strained by legality.

Please note: this session contains explicit material and is not appropriate for people under 18 years of age or for the faint of heart.

Waiting For Sunrise

Vered Argaman, Israel
A deep and sensitive look into the story of a boy in his pursuit in discovering his gender identity. Yuval an 11 year old boy, lives with his family in a working class neighborhood in Beer Sheva, Israel and deals with the limits of reality with the help of his mother who embraces and raises him with warmth, love and unconditional acceptance.

Buy tickets to Night Two: Madam With a Movie Camera

20 March 2014

Feminist: Stories from Women’s Liberation

Jennifer Lee, USA

  • Winner Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival
  • Winner of “Best of the Fest for Documentary at the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival
  • Official selection, Cincinnati Film Festival

“There are many ways to construct the narrative of this history, but Jennifer has put together one of the best.” – Professor Ellen Dubois, UCLA Department of History

Drops of Smoke

Ane Siderman, Brazil
Bibi (Araci Esteves) is a widow who lives alone with her cat in a small apartment. At the age of 70 and living in her own world, she only interacts with her neighbors. In the midst of her loneliness, she decides to help her neighbor Juliet (Fernanda Moro). They end up having a relationship that borders the limits of loneliness and they both have an identification with the anguish of waiting for death.

A Day of Any Size

Natalie Penova, Australia
Ken Johnson is like every other person. He is educated, kind and talkative, works hard, tries to live somewhat healthy and cares for his family. He is also homeless.

 

Grave Goods

Leslie Tai, USA



Grave Goods: Trailer 2013

 



 

A lot can change in five years

February 25, 2014

In late 2008, I was finishing my honours year and was full of outrage regarding women’s participation in the boys club industry that was Hollywood. How could women comprise such a dismal statistical presence in filmmaking, an art that arguably represents people and ideas to the masses more widely than any other medium.

It was obvious to me, as a hopelessly ambitious twenty-one year old, I just had to do something.

Seen & Heard 2009

Filmmaker and disability advocate Sarah Tracton talks about her film WHITE SOUND and deaf filmmaking at Seen & Heard in 2009

For the first two weeks of January 2009, I occupied a gallery space in Surry Hills, screening films mainly by local filmmakers. These were certainly modest beginnings for what certainly looks more like a festival event today, though I can assure you, Seen & Heard continues to be modest in its form.

This event began because myself and others passionately believed in promoting women’s filmmaking and bringing to light industry prejudices that may not be so clear to the consumer.

When Seen & Heard first began, a woman had never won an Academy Award for Best Director. Nobody talked about the absence of women in production roles in mainstream media. These waves of change that have taken place certainly have been happening far, far away, far away enough from here to Hollywood to listen, and coincidentally have happened over the course of this festival’s lifetime. Women in Australia have campaigned for their place in film for decades as activists and as film collectives: we are lucky now to be part of a more mainstream conversation.

It has come from many people’s hard work, however, not luck, that people are sitting up, taking notice, asking questions. The work is not over. As feminism returns to the mainstream, so do our opportunities to be seen and to be h

 

 

This Thursday: your last chanch

MARCH 18, 2014

This Thursday, Seen & Heard Film Festival comes to a close not just for another year, but we’ll be on hiatus in Sydney in 2015. Do not miss your opportunity to be a part of our last night! Buy your tickets online or at the door.

Feminist: Stories from Women’s Liberation

Jennifer Lee, USA

  • Winner Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival
  • Winner of “Best of the Fest for Documentary at the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival
  • Official selection, Cincinnati Film Festival

“There are many ways to construct the narrative of this history, but Jennifer has put together one of the best.” – Professor Ellen Dubois, UCLA Department of History

Drops of Smoke

Ane Siderman, Brazil
Bibi (Araci Esteves) is a widow who lives alone with her cat in a small apartment. At the age of 70 and living in her own world, she only interacts with her neighbors. In the midst of her loneliness, she decides to help her neighbor Juliet (Fernanda Moro). They end up having a relationship that borders the limits of loneliness and they both have an identification with the anguish of waiting for death.

A Day of Any Size

Natalie Penova, Australia
Ken Johnson is like every other person. He is educated, kind and talkative, works hard, tries to live somewhat healthy and cares for his family. He is also homeless.

Grave Goods

Leslie Tai, USA
During her lifetime, Leslie Tai’s grandmother amassed a mammoth collection of fashion, accessories, decorative objects and homewares. When she died, she took some of her things with her into the afterlife, but what happens to the things she left behind? Leslie Tai imagines the luscious visual world in which these objects existed in her grandmother’s mind—precious, larger-than-life, quirky, glamorous and beautiful—as she searches for her grandmother’s mark on her life.

 



 

2013 NEWS

 

Dear Prime Minister Abbott, Minister For Women

September 30, 2013By Lucy 

Dear Prime Minister Abbott,

I write to you in your capacity as Minister For Women, firstly to applaud you for acknowledging the importance of this portfolio by taking personal responsibility, and secondly to ask for your support for the Seen & Heard Film Festival. Seen & Heard is a festival that takes place every March at the Red Rattler Theatre in Marrickville, and has showcased the best short films that have been written, produced or directed by women for four years now. I know that you won’t hesitate to throw your full and unqualified support behind this endeavour, because you have always publicly paraded your wife and daughters in a shameless grab for votes made your position on matters relating to women so clear in the past.

505796-121006-tony-abbott-and-family

To those who tell me that your uptake of this important ministry is a cynical ploy to deflect criticism of your broad disregard for women’s concerns, I respond with nothing but scorn. Clearly they have misunderstood your stated position on a number of issues of great importance to the people of Australia, woman and man alike.

“What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing[i]” is that you had only their best interests at heart when you stated that, “I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas…[ii]” The ingratitude of those who took exception is mind-boggling, especially since you were simply trying to shield the women of Australia from having to deal with the horrors of ‘power’ or ‘influence’, horrors you know only too well.

You should be commended on having maintained this stance, as your recent Cabinet appointments have demonstrated. I do hold grave concerns for Julie Bishop however, and can only hope that you have appointed a team of virile young men to stand between her and any visiting dignitaries with a folding Japanese screen, in order to preserve her womanly innocence.

4560488-3x2-940x627

I am also aware that you have a grand vision for the arts in Australia, and feel that you were unfairly criticised in the lead-up to the election for responding to all ten of Fairfax Media’s arts policy related questions with “Declined to comment[iii]”. I can’t help but feel that your critics are unfamiliar with your love of conceptual performance art, and missed that this was your sly but knowing nod to both Ono and Duchamp. You’ve already done so much, but as Minister for Women I would like to encourage you to further demonstrate your support for women in the arts by supporting, perhaps even attending, our little festival this coming March.

Prime Minister Abbott, it is one thing to pay lip service to the concept of equality, it is quite another to be Seen & Heard.

Yours sincerely,

Seen & Heard Film Festival
Thursday 6th, 13th and 20th March 2014
Red Rattler Theatre
6 Faversham St
 Marrickville NSW 2204

Nick Gunn has spent a great deal of his life lurking around the periphery of the arts, occasionally finding the inspiration to write on performance, film and music. Nick supports Seen & Heard because he thinks it’s about time that the other half of the story gets told.


[i] 8/2/2010, in reference to the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme.

[ii] 15/3/2010 on the Four Corners program

[iii] 6/9/2013 in The Age

Taking submissions for 2014

September 9, 2013By Lucy 

Seen & Heard Film Festival is aSydney based festival showcasing films by women in major production roles: directing, writing and producing. 6-20 March 2014, The Red Rattler, Marrickville.

Seen & Heard in 2014, its fifth year, will showcase short films of all genres challenging class, race, ability and disability, gender and sexuality. Celebrating the diverse and extraordinary work of women filmmakers along with their not-to-be-underestimated diverse and extraordinary audiences.

Entry conditions

We are taking submission fees ($AU 27.49)   in 2014 to assist in building the framework of our festival. We are not-for-profit, non-funded and our proceeds go to Life Force Cancer Foundation.

Please register your film with us and we will be in touch to obtain a copy of your film.

  • Entries are open from 9 September 2013 through to 25 October 2013. Our 2014 festival takes place in March in Sydney, Australia.
  • We are taking submissions for films 60m and under. If you are looking to submit a feature, you can email us at info@seenandheardfilms.com.
  • Films must have been either written, directed or produced by a woman*.
  • Films must have been made within the last 5 years. Please indicate on the form their premiere status.
  • For multiple entries, submit a single form with single payment and contact us to register further films.
  • People under 18 can register free by >emailing us.

<>Please register your film here.

What Seen & Heard is about

The winner, Kathryn Bigelow, despite a relatively long career of making big-budget films, was virtually unknown by name until The Hurt Locker. Before her, only three women in more than eighty years had been nominated for Best Direction. In the words of Australian filmmaker Jane Campion, a previous nominee: with five nominations per year over eighty years, “you do the math”.

In fact, according to the Centre for the Study of Women in Television & Film,  in 2011 women made up only 5% of directors in the top 250 domestic grossing films (U.S.), a 1% decrease from 2010, Bigelow’s winning year, and almost half the percentage of women directors working in 1998. Meanwhile, 38% of films employed no women in any major productions role (writing, producing, directing, editing or cinematography.)

We believe that the lack of women in the film industry if an impoverishment to our culture. One that can only be rectified once we recognise that the dramatic underrepresentation of women amongst both cast & crew is a problem.

Why is it a problem?

Film is like no other medium. Many try to discredit film as a common media, a medium that is commercial beyond the point of artistry or intellectual credibility. Regardless of what credibility you care to give to film, there is no doubting its potential to speak to people. “Whether we like it or not, cinema assumes a pedagogical role in the lives of many people. It may not be the intent of a filmmaker to teach audiences anything, but that does not mean lessons are not learned,” writes author Bell Hooks. “It has only been in the last ten years or so that I have begun to realise that my students learned more about race, sex, and class from movies than from all the theoretical literature I was urging them to read.”

Given its pedagogical powers we have to ask: what is contemporary film teaching its audiences? Currently, only 10% of protagonists in the top 100 grossing films worldwide are female. Less than a third of ensemble casts include one prominent female character and less than a third of all speaking roles are acted by women. That means for every 2 men you see on screen you might see a woman. Of those women you do see, at least 1 in every 5 will be hypersexualised, making female characters 3 to 5 times more likely to be sexualised than male.

The underrepresentation of women behind the scenes, directly correlates to the representation of women on our screens: Films with at least 1 female director increases the women on our screen by 25%, while at least 1 female screenwriter increases female roles by 33%.

And yet, Bigelow, the first woman to win an Academy Award for best direction, is a director known for her male-orientated action pictures, a director who won her award for a film in which there was merely one speaking role for a woman.

But, maybe women just don’t make good films.

There is no statistical difference in box office grosses when comparing films which employ women in at least one major production role, and those that don’t. Similarly, there is no statistical difference in box office grosses when comparing films that feature a prominent female characters and those that don’t. In fact, the only statistical difference, is that those films that feature a prominent female character have a significantly lower budget, 42% smaller than those featuring only male leads.

But, maybe women just don’t want to work in film.

On average, film school admission record a 50/50 split of male to female students. Women do want to make films, so why don’t they? Sadly, films cannot be made without financial backing, to even get a short film of the ground is more than an arduous task, it is massively expensive. Given the historical discrimination against women in business, it is no surprise that few women find the funding to produce big budget films. Moreover, as mentioned above, the industry is biased against films featuring a prominent female character, resulting in a smaller budget, and women are statistically more likely to produce films with female speaking roles (and why not?).

Given this innate discrimination against women in the film industry, it is no surprise that one of the most famous, contemporary, female filmmakers is Sofia Coppola, the daughter of Francis Ford, Hollywood directing royalty. Despite a short career in film (director of four films, all of them big budget, incredibly rare for any filmmaker working in the industry for less than fifteen years), Coppola was the first person ever allowed to shoot a film in the Palace of Versailles, indicative of her pull. Sofia Coppola is an exception born of blood right.

What can we do?

As is the case with any product that is unethically produced, our buying power can have an influence: ask any filmmaker distributing a film by cinema, and they will cry, kiss and beg for you to buy a ticket and to tell all your friends to buy a ticket. Buying power at the cinema is massively strong – the duration of a film’s cinema run will depend on its success in its first few weeks. Whether you’re a filmmaker or not, consider who’s making the films you’re buying tickets to see – what kind of films are you supporting? And hence, what kind of film industry?

Consider signing up to the First Weekenders’ Group, a mailing list which will inform you what films made by women are up for release. If you are a female film student and you feel a gender difference in the way you are being treated in class, speak up, whether you speak to your student centre or faculty to make a complaint, write anonymous letters, or make anonymous phone calls. Support film festivals that support women filmmakers (there are many out there), including ours, Seen & Heard Film Festival, running 6-20th of March 2014, at The Red Rattler, Marrickville, Sydney.

 

Seen & Heard joins Sydney Fringe Festival

August 15, 2013By Lucy 

As we are fast approaching our fifth year, we’re very pleased to announce that the best of Seen & Heard Film Festival will be holding a one-night event as part of this year’s Sydney Fringe Festival that will be screening the best of our shorts over the last four festivals.

The Best of Seen & Heard

Adult: $12
Concession: $12
Newtown Hotel
Thu 26 Sep, 8:00 PM
Duration: 90 min

Among the highlights:

After the Class

After The Class

Fereshteh Parnian
Iran, 12 minutes
On the same day that Mrs Ansari, a high school teacher is promoted to be the school’s principal, her young daughter shows up to inform her of her unexpected decision.

Sophie Lavoie

Sophie Lavoie

Sophie Lavoie is the story of a young woman, who, when interviewed by her doctor, gradually exposes her past and a vulnerable emotional core.

About the Filmmaker: Anne Émond is a Montreal-based screenwriter and filmmaker. In 2005, she earned a Bachelor Degree in Film production from Université du Québec à Montréal. In the last five years, she has written and directed seven short flms. At the 2009 Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois, she was awarded the Best Direction Coop Vidéo Award for her short film L’ordre des choses. The short film was also nominated for the Jutra award. Naissances was selected for Canada Top Ten 2009 Palmares, and won the prize for Best narrative short film at the last edition of Brooklyn International Film Festival. Her first feature film, Nuit # 1, will be released in 2011.

13 Related Sewing Machines

13 Related Sewing Machines

Why can’t I hear the sound of sewing machines anymore? In 13 Related Sewing Machines director Anna Linder meets with her family to explore the secret history of their sewing machines.

“A tribute to my mother, grandmother & to all the women who suffer from a constant bad conscience for not being good enough.”

About the Filmmaker: Born 1967 in Storuman, Lapland, Anna Linder lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. She is active in the field of film, music and art. Since 1990 she has taken part in various cultural projects, working as a producer and manager for art shows, events and concerts. Her work has been selected for festivals and art exhibitions, in Sweden as well as abroad. Her first film Cum pane – the one you share your bread with has been screened at the ICA in London, The Modern Museum and The Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm, Arsenal Experimental in Berlin and at several film festivals around the world.

Join our mailing list to receive further line-up announcements!

Tickets are now available.

See another side of the picture, hear the rest of the tale.

 

Join Amnesty International Australia for Torture: The Main Feature Q&A Discussion

June 14, 2013By Lucy 

As part of United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 26 June), join us for a discussion about if, and how, film has influenced our perceptions of, and opinions about torture.

Have films such as Zero Dark Thirty contributed to a normalisation of torture and enforced the idea that torture works?

While many people maintain that torture should be rejected without argument as a gross human rights violation, in the recent past we have seen growing discussion about whether torture should be used.

The evening aims to question whether film has contributed to torture’s growing acceptability or whether our ethical standards merely been lowered? Is further discussion about torture a good thing, raising people’s awareness and forcing people to take a moral stance? Do films and media have the power to change our mind about what is acceptable behavior by governments and individuals?

The discussion panel will consist of three influential thinkers with various backgrounds in Cultural and Film industries, Journalism, and Cultural Theory:

  • Cynthia Banham – Former Fairfax correspondent, Lawyer and PhD candidate at ANU.
  • Jason di Rosso – Film Critic and Host of Radio National’s The Final Cut
  • and chaired by Richard Ackland
 

45 hours left to save The Red Rattler!

June 12, 2013By Lucy 

Slider Image - Red Rattler Theatre 

Since its inception, the Red Rattler Theatre (affectionately known as the Rat) has shown the resilience, mettle and cunning of the furry creature it has been nicknamed for.

Now it needs your help!

The Marrickville warehouse that is home to the Rat was originally purchased by the 5 founders of the Red Rattler, to realise an alternative creative space and live performance venue that wouldn’t be at the mercy of landlords and developers.

Five years on, two of the founding partners prepare to move on to new projects and the Red Rattler is embarking on a journey to become a self-sustaining, community-owned space.

With Sydney’s live performance venues constantly facing the threat of survival, supporting the Red Rattler will help to ensure a viable future for the Theatre, where it can become fully self-sufficient and community owned – and not under risk of suffering the fate that other iconic Sydney venues have recently been faced with.

Donate NOW to the venue that has for three years been making Seen & Heard a possibility!

It’s very nearly a wrap… Don’t miss it!

March 20, 2013By Lucy 

Tomorrow night is the closing night of Seen & Heard for 2013 and we’re ready to be shedding a tear.  Before we do though, and before our final farewell, we have another massive night ahead of us – it’s been a big year, our first with guest performers each night and our biggest range of international films.

Tomorrow will also be our biggest night of performances so far: we’ll be featuring musicians Bron Watkins and Si of Golden Orb, comic Greta Lee Jackson, magician Belladonna and band Persian Lovecake.

Alongside the talent, we’ll be screening films from the UK, Germany and Australia. We’re particularly pleased to be screening our headliner for the night, Gabi, a Puerto Rican film screened at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival. A Puerto Rican saying haunts single women in their 30s: “If such a woman is not married by this time, she must be a slut, a lesbian, or a prude.” This is the story of that woman. Gabi Padilla lives a life of pleasure and independence. But after her mother’s unexpected death, she is forced to return to her rural hometown—a place where Gabi’s sensual flair is not welcome. View the Gabi trailer.

Thank you for being a part of everything so far – it’s not over yet! Come to the Red Rattler tomorrow night from 7pm to get your $15 worth.

 

See you tonight at Night Two!

March 14, 2013By Lucy

By Nick Gunn

The second installment of the Seen and Heard film festival takes place at the Red Rattler in Marrickville tomorrow night, and it couldn’t be more topical or timely…

  • Last Friday saw International Women’s Day celebrated across the globe.
  • The Academy Award for Best Director has STILL been awarded to a woman ONLY ONCE in the entire 85-year history of the awards.
  • The ceremony itself was hosted this year by Seth Macfarlane, whose off-colour humour raised the ire of many a feminist critic.
  • In 2011 women made up only 5% of directors in the top 250 domestic grossing films (U.S.), a 1% decrease from 2010, and almost half the percentage of women directors working in 1998.
  • 38% of films employed no women in any major productions role (writing, producing, directing, editing or cinematography.)
  • The HBO series Girls has been the must-see series of the last two TV seasons. Playing like an update of Sex and the City, but skewing towards a younger demographic, Lena Dunham’s creation has been hailed for it’s realistic portrayal of modern urban life, and for shining a spotlight on issues faced by women the big city.

Last week’s opening instalment of the festival played to a capacity audience who were experienced edgy comedy, an astonishing glass-walker, thought-provoking poetry and, of course, three amazing films that highlighted the incredible work being done by woman in film.

So don’t miss out this week: be Seen and Heard.

Starting from 7pm.

  • Festival Passes: $35
  • Buy Adult Ticket – $15
  • Buy Student Ticket – $10

Nick Gunn has spent a great deal of his life lurking around the periphery of the arts, occasionally finding the inspiration to write on performance, film and music. Nick supports Seen & Heard because he thinks it’s about time that the other half of the story gets told.

 

Don’t miss out on Seen & Heard this Thursday

March 12, 2013By Lucy 

First week has wrapped up, and what a success! Thank you all for coming to our Opening Night last Thursday. If you missed out, fear not, there are still two massive nights to go.

This Thursday we’ll be screening shorts from Australia, the UK and Sweden, along with a documentary by Australian Walkley award-winning filmmaker, Ali Russell, Keeper.

Keeper is the story of two Aboriginal women living in the small town of Ceduna on the far-west coast of South Australia. When more than 20 mining companies start drilling nearby for gold, uranium and mineral sands, Jacinta and Sue’s family is bitterly divided over million-dollar Native Title deals.

Ali was previously on board with ABC’s Hungry Beast and has been creating stories and films since for SBS, Seven Network, Nine Network, Fairfax, NITV and online.

We’ll be featuring more short performances on the night so be sure to buy your tickets online or at the door.

 

Lynsey Miller: style in the making

March 3, 2013By Lucy 

UK filmmaker Lynsey Miller, screening three films during Seen & Heard this year, is a woman of style. Her dramatic visuals and delicate pacing make her three films a rich contribution to this year’s offerings.

We speak to Lynsey about the course she’s run as an emerging filmmaker.

After graduating I took a year out to travel before moving to London in 2007 where I began as an intern on a reality TV series, working in a pub in the evenings and weekends to fund myself.  From there I got a job as a runner on a factual show then moved into researching.

How did you come into filmmaking?

After graduating I took a year out to travel before moving to London in 2007 where I began as an intern on a reality TV series, working in a pub in the evenings and weekends to fund myself.  From there I got a job as a runner on a factual show then moved into researching.  

 

Talking suicide prevention in Australia and making “Keep Me Safe Tonight”

February 12, 2013 By Lucy 

Every ten minutes, someone in Australia attempts to take their own life, and the effects of each attempt are traumatic and far reaching. In KEEP ME SAFE TONIGHT, three Australians take us to the heart of the tragedy.

KEEP ME SAFE TONIGHT is a ½ hour documentary that is in development in association with the ABC. The project was conceived by a team of passionate young filmmakers – Jiao Chen, Corrie Chen and Michelle Law – who want to start a mature conversation about suicide – a subject that has been stigmatized for too long.

KEEP ME SAFE TONIGHT is fundraising on Pozible for the next three weeks – we speak to filmmaker Corrie Chen about the project in its development.

How did you come to collaborate on this film?

Jiao, Michelle and I have been collaborating on a couple of different projects over the past year, after meeting through various sources in the small pond that is the Australian film industry. We’ve been lucky enough to have develop a rapport with each other where we can trust each other’s idea but also tell them when we disagree! For this project we were shortlisted by ABC to develop a 1/2 hour documentary idea, and from there this film was born.

How did suicide become your subject?

Around mid last year Julia Gillard participated in a Google+hangout, and one of the questions asked what the federal government was doing for the mental health industry, and raised the statistics of male suicides in this country. We were shocked at the incredibly high numbers, and after further research we realised the reality of the situation is far more chronic than any one of us knew.

We couldn’t believe we didn’t know that suicide was the leading cause of death in our own demographic. We couldn’t believe that every 10 minutes, someone in Australia attempts to take their own life.

That was when we realised this documentary had to be made – in a medium that could reach a large audience and awareness.

What is your aim in making this film? Who is your audience, and what message do you want to send to them?

Education, and awareness. We hope by tackling this subject matter in a sensitive but unflinching way, we can start removing some of the social stigma attached to mental health illness and suicide. A stigma that has made it harder to people to speak up and seek help. Hopefully after watching this, we can all be better informed and comfortable to talk about this with anyone in our own lives who might be suffering in silence.

Don Ritchie, one of our inspirations, prevented 160 people from taking their own lives at a cliff near his house, often by offering them cup of tea and a friendly chat. We hope to highlight that you can never know what someone is going through, and that you can never underestimate the power and warmth of a small act of kindness.

What place does crowdfunding have in filmmaking in Australia today?

The pros and cons of crowdfunding has been well-documented, and both sides have its merits. I think documentaries can benefit greatly from crowdfunding because they often highlight a cause, a world, or simply a side of a story that has never been told before. It can tap directly into an audience of people who are passionate about that topic, and alert them to its existence sometimes before its even made.

Crowdfunding certainly has established an important place for itself in Australian filmmaking, and it is evolving everyday.

For us, our crowdfunding campaign is crucial because we are facing a shortfall in our financing that we can’t get anything else. As the filmmakers, we have all invested financially into the project as well, we just need this final part to bring this documentary to television.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012), Suicides, Australia 2010
 
National 24/7 Crisis Counselling Services 
Lifeline 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

 



 

SeenAndHeardFilms.com