Film maker shares life experiences with local audiences

Film maker shares life experiences with local audiences

ASPIRING young Perth filmmakers could be well-served by listening to the life experience of Poppy van Oorde-Grainger, who has been travelling Australia working on her latest project filming in communities.

WA-based Community Arts Network (CAN) has engaged her to speak to young people to encourage them to follow their dreams as she has done in achieving her goals of becoming a community-based filmmaker.

Her latest projects involve helping Aboriginal youth in Narrogin to film a clip for their hip-hop song called Djarlinj, which they have written in two languages – English and their own indigenous dialect.

It is also interspersed with a social message about listening to their elders.

CAN manager for Aboriginal programs Michelle White said it was hoped van Oorde-Grainger would inspire young people to follow their dreams.

Much of van Oorde-Grainger’s work has been with Aboriginal communities .

She has also worked with Maryse Alberti and Alex Gibney in the Pilbara near Parnngurr, where they shot a Netflix series called Cooked.

“Maryse Alberti has been a role model for me,” she said in Midland, on a break from the project in Narrogin.

“We shot in the Pilbara for three days and I learned so much working with them and also with Alex Gibney and Curtis Taylor, who is a legend in documentary and filmmaking circles,” she said.

“I’ve been filmmaking since 2001 and always admired the work of Phil Crawford, so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to work with them in Wollongong on Rites of Passage.“

One of her first community projects was building a life-size cardboard utility with 400 children for an arts festival in Beverley.

Since then van Oorde-Grainger has been completing a professional development project in Sydney with production house Beyond Empathy as a cinematographer and helped with Rites of Passage, a film shot in a housing estate in Sydney over a three-year timeframe.

“It’s a whole new way of making community cinema,” she said.

“The first year they meet the characters and build relationships with them and the second year they shoot the film. The third year they edit it.

“Often the stories are derived from real events in the community so it is a very organic way to make films.”

There will be a workshop on how to apply for funding on August 11, with up to $15,000 available for community arts projects and up to $10,000 available for community artists.

Catalyst manager at CAN Jill Brown said the group had “funding to give to artists and community groups for arts projects”.

Van Oorde-Grainger will also speak on August 18 at the CAN’s Artist Forum, which will be held at the State Theatre Centre in Murray Street in Perth.

“This is a session designed to give applicants as much information as possible,” Ms Brown said.

For more information on either event, call 9226 2422 or go to canwa.com.au/what-we-do/ catalyst/.