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Archive for April, 2009

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Warwick Thornton talks film!

Warwick Thornton loves the nervousness and adrenaline in putting together a film. Warwick has won a number of awards including Best Emerging Talent; he also won Best Short Film at the 2007 Inside Film (IF) awards in Queensland as well as the 2008 Best Short Film award at the prestigious Berlin International Film festival for his short film ‘Nana’. Warwick Thornton is currently preparing for his first feature film to hit the big screen, Samson and Delilah which features in cinemas around the country on the 7th May 2009.

Where did you grow up & where do you hang your hat?

Alice Springs

In your own words, what do you do?

Work to fill my fridge.

Where did you learn your craft?

On the job at CAAMA in Alice Springs. Then studied Cinematography at AFTRS in Sydney.

Who inspires you?

Inspiring people.

Childhood Memories:

TV Show – Captain Harlock, Astro Boy

Hobby – Moto cross desert racing

Food – Soya chicken

Fear – High places. Low places.

People – Drunks & dope heads.

Defining moment – Realising I can do whatever the fuck I want.

Schooling memories, chore or cherished?

Chore: Evil teachers
Cherish: Angel teachers

Where is the most beautiful place in Australia you have visited?

Coober Pedy

From the hours of 9am to 5pm, what do you get up too?

Get up, have a coffee, take my daughter to school. Work a bit, make lunch, wander ‘round. Work a bit more, sometimes. Pick my daughter up from school.

You seem to have a passion in making movies about your community & sharing this on the big screen. What messages do you want people to digest?

No messages – just that we all belong on the same planet and should look out for each other.

Love is the most important thing. And survival. It was really important in Samson & Delilah that they survived through their love for each other and that they saved themselves and solved their own problems.

Who are your favourite film personalities? And is there anyone we should keep a look out for in Australia?

I don’t really have favourite film personalities. The little girl in My Year Without Sex is pretty cool.

Where can people see your work?

In cinemas from May 7th – Samson & Delilah.

For love or money?

I love money.

What future endeavors are in the pipeline?

Breath, eat, drink.

Shooting and directing a doco series Art & Soul about Aboriginal art with Hetti Perkins.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Alive, happy, older.

If you could invite 3 people to chat over coffee, who would they be & why?

My wife Beck, daughter Luka and producer Kath and all their split personalities.

Coffee or Tea?

Bushells Leaf Tea, two white sugars and powdered milk.

You can also check out our film reviews written by two of our young writers.

Samson & Delilah – Film Review by Hayley Van Es

Samson & Delilah – Film Review by Ryan Nance

Fashion Palette 2009

From the outside, the world of fashion can appear glamorous, mysterious and impossible to break into. Watching leading Australian designers show their collections at fashion week can be an inspiring and exhilarating experience for the few lucky enough to get their hands on a ticket.  Now the Australian fashion community will have the chance to soak up the skills and knowledge of some of the worlds most prominent fashion figures at this new and exciting event.

In addition to the two-days of presentations from leading fashion figures, Fashion Palette will host a design competition, catwalk show and after party, all designed to offer networking opportunities and to celebrate newly discovered talent.

Collect your key to access the ins and outs of the previously untouchable fashion industry with Fashion Palette in Sydney on the 1st to 2nd May 2009. Let the speakers take you on a journey through fashion design, illustration, accessories, digital, print, swimwear and everything in between. See the likes of Peter Morrissey, Insight, Mimco, Daniel Herman, Rodd & Gunn, Alpha60, Style Hunter, White Sands and Instyle Magazine bring all of these amazing corners of the fashion industry together to make up Fashion Palette 09…

We hope to see you at the Fashion Palette for a weekend we will remember forever. CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW!

Samson & Delilah (2009) – open your eyes!

This film hit me where it hurts.

Ever since I was old enough to have even the very beginnings of a social conscience, I felt that the colour of my skin automatically aligned me with a group of people who seemed to consistently invade lands, and hurt the people who lived there. In school you were taught about Australian history as it pertained to settlers migrating from the “motherlands” of England, Ireland, Scotland, etc. Never about how the people who ALREADY lived here used to go about their lives before that migration, *cough*, invasion… Never about their languages, beliefs, customs and traditions. Never.

This film depicts the all-to-real reality of what it’s like to be born into a downward spiral. Samson, a 15 year old Walpiri boy, and the film’s leading man, lives a monotonous and isolated outback life. His day begins with a compulsive inhalation of petrol from a can. Whilst a repetitive reggae riff is played outside his bedroom window by his brother’s band. The rest of his days are spent trying to stave off complete boredom – more often than not, unsuccessfully. The altered state of consciousness that petrol-sniffing brings is his only escape – and his only hobby.

In the same town is the teenage Delilah, with whom Samson is completely in love. Delilah is a mature-beyond-her-years young woman, who spends her days caring for her only apparent relative and companion, her nana, Kitty. Delilah wakes Kitty each morning to take her medication. She wheels Kitty to the local health clinic and church, then spends the rest of the day helping her to paint the dot-paintings that are in such high demand. The utter poverty in which they are forced to live is made all the more poignant when, later on, you discover how much these dot-paintings are sold for in the cities.

There is little more than a few sentences of dialogue in the entire film, perhaps less than half of that is in English. The lack of conversation between characters makes every gesture and glance feel as though it were magnified. The director, Warwick Thornton’s, attention to visual detail amplifies this even more. He is also the screenwriter. For someone who loves dialogue and conversation – I was surprised that I didn’t want to hear anyone speak. Like there was a danger it might detract from what was unspoken.

The beaten-black-and-blue love story between Samson and Delilah barely equates to more than a smile and a quick peck on the forehead, but rarely have I been so moved by an on-screen love as I have with these two.

This film must come with a warning: it will confront you and, quite likely, move you to tears, as it did me. You’re likely to feel the absolute desperation that these kids are living. You might ask yourself, ‘how did we come to this?’ and you might, like me, want to slap a few smug cafe-dwelling whities… I guess I should start with myself?

Samson & Delilah opens in Australian cinemas April 30th.

Director: Warwick Thornton
Screenwriter: Warwick Thornton
Cast: Rowan McNamara, Marissa Gibson, Mitjili Napanangka Gibson, Scott Thornton, Matthew Gibson, Steven Brown, Gregwyn Gibson, Noreen Robertson Nampijinpa

Article written by Hayley Van Es. You can catch Hayley on 3CR community radio as a co-presenter on the program ‘Girly is Good’.

Miles Franklin Literary Award 2009

The Miles Franklin Literary Award is an annual literary prize for the best Australian ‘published novel or play portraying Australian life in any of its phases’. The award was set up according to the will of Miles Franklin (1879 – 1954), who is most well known for writing the Australian classic My Brilliant Career (published in 1901) and for bequeathing her estate to fund this award. The prize is now worth over $40,000.

The award was first given in 1957 to Patrick White for Voss. Some of the more notable winners in the intervening years have been, Dirt Music by Tim Winton (2002), Jack Maggs (1998), Oscar and Lucinda and Bliss (1981) by three time winner Peter Carey, Poor Fellow My Country, Xavier Herbert (1975) and Sumner Locke’s 1963 winner, Careful, He Might Hear You.

Check out all of the past winners right here. The shortlist for the Miles Franklin Award for 2009 is as follows: –

Breath by Tim Winton
The Pages by Murray Bail
Wanting by Richard Flanagan
Ice by Louise Nowra
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

Children get arty for World Environment Day

Children are invited to get arty for World Environment Day and enter the City of Sydney’s third annual Children’s Fine Art and Digital Art Competition and Exhibition.

This year’s theme – ‘Green Transformers – Your Planet Needs You!’ – asks children aged 5 – 12 to explore the idea of people as ‘Green Transformers’, saving the world through environmentally sustainable solutions including energy, water, waste and biodiversity.

“The World Environment Day competition gives young people a chance to express their unique view of what we can do to create a more environmentally aware City,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP.

This year’s competition has been expanded to include both fine art and digital art. Fine art entries can include paintings, charcoals, pastels, watercolours or collages. The new digital media category includes digitally composited or manipulated images, short animations and films.

The competition is open to entries from both individuals and primary school groups and offers a range of great prizes.

The individual category has three age groups: 5 – 7, 8 – 10 and 11 – 12 years. Each age group winner will have the choice of either a collection of fine art materials or an art course at Pine Street Creative Arts Centre.

The primary school category invites schools in the City of Sydney Local Government Area to create a group artwork. The winning school will receive six portable planter box systems plus teaching resources to help students learn about growing food. The school will also win a compost bin, worm farm, compost turner and training workshops.

Runners up will receive an environmental show bag and certificate of achievement.

Entries close at 5pm on 15 May 2009. Winners will be announced at the exhibition launch at CarriageWorks on World Environment Day, Friday 5 June.

The exhibition is free and will run from Saturday 6 June until Saturday 13 June at CarriageWorks (245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh). Opening hours are Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm, and Saturday 9am – 1pm.

For more information including judging criteria and entry forms, please visit: and follow the links.

Fashion Week event

You can check out the new Spring/Summer range from our friend Bethany Joy. If you missed the interview with Bethany, please follow the link here.

Young refugees find a voice through the lens

A new photographic exhibition of works by young asylum seekers and refugees gives insight into the hope, happiness and fears of starting a new life in Australia. The exhibition is a result of the Youth in Harmony Photographic Program, a forum for youth to express themselves, promote dialogue and foster awareness by challenging stereotypes.

Twenty-one year old Yazin from Somalia says his photo shows that he is happy; “I’m in a safe place. There are no landmines. My heart is not tormented now.” The series of intimate photographs were taken by young people from countries including Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Kenya.

Ibrahim Conteh is 15 years old and from Sierra Leone. He said: “I chose these photos because they make me think about my future, because I want my future to be very bright. I also chose them because they express that whatever I put my head to, I can do it. You have to be strong to accomplish your goals. If you do not show any sense of what you want to do, you will never be successful.”

The Program is a partnership between Red Cross, City of Sydney and Ethnic Communities Council of NSW. The exhibition is also part of the City of Sydney’s Living in Harmony Festival.

Living in Harmony Photographic Exhibition
When: 22nd to 30th April 2009
Times: Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm
Saturday 11am – 4pm
Where: Pine Street Creative Arts Centre, 64 Pine Street, Chippendale
Cost: Free

The Presets Australian tour

The Presets are a Sydney-based Australian dance punk duo, consisting of Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes. In September 2005, they released their debut album, Beams, to positive critical response.

Their second album, Apocalypso, was released on 12 April 2008. The album was a commercial and critical success, winning the ARIA Awards for “Best Dance Release” and “Album of the Year” that year. The mighty Trojan horse that is Apocalypso continues to command and conquer, with The Presets 2nd album now having enjoyed an entire year in the Top 30 status of the ARIA Album Chart.

Adding to this is first single from Apocalypso, the unstoppable My People, has now refused to leave the Top 100 ARIA Singles Chart after a staggering 71 weeks. To celebrate they are offering My People to buy for just $1 across the iTunes, Bigpond, Nokia + getmusic digital stores.

From the 6th May to 6th June 2009, the curtain will come down on the Apocalypso tours, when The Presets mount their most far-reaching Australian tour so far, and their final tour for 2009. Check out tour dates and venues right here.

Up & Coming Design Expo

Paddington Markets has over 250 stalls showcasing the very best of Australian contemporary art, craft and fashion, directly by the artists and craft makers themselves. Paddington Markets is Sydney’s creative cutting edge. Emerging design, art and fashion students compete for an opportunity to launch their name on the Sydney art, design and fashion scenes.

Thursday 23rd to Saturday 25th April 2009
Paddington Markets
395 Oxford Street Paddington, NSW

Cathryn Wills from Mimco chats with Two Flat Whites

Two Flat Whites recently had the pleasure in interviewing fashion identity Cathryn Wills who is the Creative Director at Mimco. Cathryn started her fashion career at Benetton working the retail floor, then moved to JAG Australia, before heading back to school, to study fashion design at RMIT. Upon graduating, Cathryn was employed by Country Road in the knitwear team, eventually becoming Design Manager for the category. She then worked as a freelance designer for several businesses.

It was at Mimco where Cathryn Wills found her niche, starting her career with the brand as a freelance knitwear designer in 2004, and working with the founder and former owner, Amanda Briskin. After nearly 5 years with the business, Cathryn is now the Creative Director, overseeing design, visual merchandising and marketing directives. With a love for the world of creativity in all its forms, Cathryn believes that the approach to design should be innovative and spirited – always with the aim to surprise and inspire.

Where did you grow up & where do you hang your hat?

Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, upstate New York, back to Melbourne… in the Docklands.

In your own words, what do you do?

Have ideas, write stories, draw pictures, manage a team, critique & refine designs with the team, work on all creative aspects of what the Mimco brand says to the general population from store design through to product.

Where did you learn your craft?

On the job, over the years from a multitude of people, and formally at RMIT doing a 3 year degree in fashion design.

Whose work do you relate to most? Who inspires you?

Art, fashion styling & writing speak louder to me than fashion design on its own.  Del Kathryn Barton, Samantha Everton, Carrie Chau….   The editorial genius & styling of Numero, Another Magazine & Purple Magazine.  People on streets everywhere, with special mention going to downtown Shibuya.

What inspires you to create?

The pleasure of having ideas, collaborating with creative minds in the team & seeing all of these concepts manifest in a tangible ‘thing’ is very rewarding – and each time, making it better.

Tell us about your speaking opportunity this May with Fashion Palette?

Fashion Palette approached me to speak about Mimco & my experiences that bought me to this point.  The premise of speaking to an audience of students & burgeoning designers was appealing to me, as it’s a forum that supports new, young talent.  I think it’s important we nurture ideas & creativity – there’s too much homogenization out there!

What can we expect in fashion this winter?

We’re all about the mix of an Uptown Viking & a Shambolic Princess this season at Mimco.  Tribal references of fringing, studding, scarification inspired laser cutting, water creature shapes such as swans & mermaids – clash with an old manner house, eccentric mood of crystals, pearls, tweed, patent & glazed leathers.

What advice can you give to an aspiring young fashion designer?

Be proactive about your path – decide where you want to be & work towards that goal.  Work hard, listen, watch, and learn.  Go above & beyond the call of duty.  And learn to type & draw, best two things I did for my career!

Childhood Memories:

TV Show – Countdown

Hobby – drawing & roller-skating

Food – Carvel Ice cream cakes for birthdays

Fear –   The Dark….still not my favourite thing

People – Mum, Dad & my 3 sisters

Defining moment – Moving to New York, being forced to come out of my shell…there is no escape in American schools!?

Where is the most beautiful place in Australia you have visited?

Byron Bay

From the hours of 9am to 5pm, what do you get up too?

A multitude of things, all of which occur in the Mimco office…meetings, range presentations, more meetings, store visits, research, thinking, running, ranting, raving.

For love or money?

Love….but money always helps with the shoe collection.

What future endeavors are in the pipeline?

Lots of creative projects at Mimco….and if I can get some balance into my life, then a warm blooded pet, as fish are not doing it for me any more.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Poolside, doing my business remotely.

If you could invite 3 people to chat over coffee, who would they be & why?

Plato, my dad Stafford Wills, Picasso..…all no longer in the land of the living, we’d talk mathematics, philosophy & art and how they’re all connected.  Well, they’d talk, I’d listen.

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee with rice milk.

As the last of fashion week models stomp down the runway on 1st May 2009, the inaugural Fashion Palette Event will open its doors to the public at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, running from the 1st to 2nd May 2009. Cathryn Wills will be one of the guest speakers, don’t miss this great event, buy your tickets right here.

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