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Emerging filmmakers David Chesson, Many Corunna and Perun Bonser watching
Emerging filmmakers David Chesson, Many Corunna and Perun Bonser watching

ICS is one of the world’s biggest and most significant collections of indigenous cultural heritage, with FTI using digital technology to record and preserve indigenous oral histories, songs, dance, art, dreaming stories, traditional rituals and languages.

The episodes are part of a wider agreement between FTI and NITV that allowed three emerging WA indigenous filmmakers and three promising high-school students to attend FTI earlier this month in order to learn about the intricacies of digital editing.

FTI marketing manager Michael Ellis said the ICS was formed in 2008 as a partnership between FTI and ScreenWest, with Rio Tinto and Leighton Holdings coming on board in 2011.

‘We work closely with indigenous communities in regional Australia and each of our respective organisations has witnessed the threat facing indigenous culture firsthand,’ he said.

‘With the permission of the indigenous story owners featured in the ICS recordings, the three emerging indigenous filmmakers work with industry professionals to use the ICS source material to make the six narrative documentaries.

‘With access granted by the story owners, we saw this as an opportunity to develop some very talented indigenous screen artists, connecting them to some of Australia’s most important cultural stories.’

Mr Ellis said FTI were planning on recording 100 stories to be preserved for the next 100 years, with 46 story collections already recorded and 400 hours of digital hours of oral history recordings still to be done.

He said the editing intensive finished on Friday and that it gave the participants a taste into future careers in the industry.

‘It is a lot to learn in a short amount of time but as screen artists seeking a career in the industry, they are all 100 per cent committed to the process and on their way to making some great film,’ he said.

‘For the emerging screen artists, this initiative is an opportunity to build on their already impressive skill sets, working to the very high standards of a national broadcaster in NITV.’