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Selection Panel + Prize Announced! Makers’ Film Festival.

We are delighted to announce the Selection Panel + a Prize for the 2021 Makers’ Film Festival:

Mary Ellen Cliff and Carola Akindele-Obe, the ‘dynamic duo’ who produce Maker&Smith including the new Makers’ Film Festival, will be joined by two fellas who bring a breadth of knowledge (and connections) in visual story-telling to the table – and we are so pleased to award one film with a Peoples’ Choice Award of $1000, after the screenings in Western Australia.

John Collee, Berlin Film Festival

Screenwriter, Novelist & Storyteller JOHN COLLEE
Prior to becoming a successful screen writer, John Collee worked as a doctor in remote locations including in Madagascar and the Solomon Islands.  He is a founding member of climate change group 360.org and of Hopscotch Features; and is known for feature films including Master & Commander, Happy Feet, Hotel Mumbai, Tanna and Creation.

Ron Bradfield JnrStoryteller, Maker & proud Bardi man RON BRADFIELD JNR
Ron Bradfield Jnr is a saltwater man from Bardi Country, north of Broome. He lives and breathes story-telling; indeed he is known for yarn-ing, and encouraging everyone to share their stories in his workshops and sessions with Yarns R Us.  Ron has also supported artists to develop their craft and stories across country in WA for over 15 years and is also a maker of things.

If your film explores making, skills and materials, the selection panel would like to see it.

The deadline for short film submissions is fast approaching on 30 November 2020. It’s encouraging to see entries coming in and we are really looking forward to more – especially as in recent COVID-19 times, people have been making use of film-making a lot more as part of their presentations for exhibitions, international forums, and fairs. So – please share the call-out widely with your networks (we want to make sure John and Ron have plenty to watch!).

What will the selection panel be looking for?

We are looking for films with a strong creative narrative. And to bring together a collection that illustrates the breadth and wonder of craftspeople’s lives, skills, environments and materials from across cultures in Australia, New Zealand and countries of the Indian Ocean Rim*.

All genres are encouraged, from documentaries, to story-led films to hand-made animation. We are keen to see a range of approaches in both craft and film-making. Maker & Smith encourages submissions from every corner of our community and which celebrate the diversity of life.

Quick Info Reminder
  • Films must have been made since 1 January 2017.
  • Short films only. They can be a few seconds long, and although we’d prefer no longer than 10 minutes, we will accept up to a maximum of 15 minutes including credits.
  • Easy to submit. Just fill out the online form and send us a link.
  • Deadline for submissions: 30 November 2020.
  • Entry Fees and T&Cs apply: $55 (inc GST) per submission.

The Makers’ Film Festival is due to launch in May 2021 in alignment with the program launch for the first Indian Ocean Craft Triennial (aka IOTA21). The intention is that the compilation of films will then travel around Australia, as Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival has done since 2018, and then traverse the waves for screenings, particularly in countries where films originated.

Read our previous post about the MFF and how its brand came together.

Makers Film Festival information and easy submission form.

*AUSTRALIA, BANGLADESH, COMOROS, INDIA, INDONESIA, IRAN, KENYA, MADAGASCAR, MALAYSIA, MAURITIUS, MOZAMBIQUE, OMAN, SEYCHELLES, SINGAPORE, SOMALIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SRI LANKA, TANZANIA, THAILAND, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, YEMEN.

Featured image: Luthier in Workshop. Photo by Endri Yana from Pixabay

Q&A – maker of the week: Neil Turner

Turner by name, turner by nature.

Neil Turner Artisan

An ‘atronym’ is the word for when a person’s name ‘is regarded as amusingly appropriate to their occupation’. Neil Turner introduced us to this term. He could have been called ‘farmer’, based on his previous work, however his destiny, it seems, was to become a wood turner.

Neil Turner was a farmer all his life, but from the age of 18, he pursued woodturning as a creative outlet, working in his shed at the end of every day. Upon retiring, he has been able to dedicate his time entirely to creating highly complex turned pieces from native Australian wood.

Neil is a man of few words, but here in this short & sweet Q&A he hints to the meditative enjoyment of working steadily in his workshop, and the joy he finds in timber and nature. To learn more about his craft, click the links below to watch the short story film ‘Neil Turner Artisan’ and find Neil in our Directory too.

Read on for a glimpse into Neil Turner’s woodturning life.

What is your craft? How do you like to describe yourself?

Artistic wood sculptor; woodturner; fine furniture maker.

Your studio – where and what is your studio/workspace like?

My workshop space, in the south-west of Western Australia, is broken into areas for furniture making, carving and woodturning. I don’t have a showroom to display finished products.

Which of your tools do you love the most and why?

The spokeshave – I enjoy using this tool as I feel it’s an extension of my hands.

Your inspiration – what really pumps your creative heart?

Beautiful pieces of timber & nature’s simplicity of design.

What was the spark that made you choose this particular medium?

I’ve always enjoyed timber, not sure why; it just resonates for me. Timber allows me to use creative designs but with limitations.

Your working style – how do you like to start on a project and then progress it? Do you stick to a working schedule 9-5 or flex around a bit? Do you play loud music? Are your pets welcome in your space?

I may have two or three pieces on the go at one time, moving from one to the other. I have ear phones with music on but occasionally I do enjoy the quiet time. Besides the occasional kangaroo that pokes it’s head into my workshop we don’t have pets anymore.

What are you working towards right now?

I’m catching up on work that has been neglected for ‘Turner + Turner’. I’m always trying to catch up; making many pieces at once is rare. Because there are no markets at the moment, only online, hopefully I can “get ahead”.

For ‘Neil Turner Artisan’ I’ve been creating pieces for collectors in the USA with a few more sculptures still to make. I’m designing a lectern and presentation table to make before the end of the year. Also designing pieces for the Craft Triennial exhibition in 2021.

 If you could land the dream commission/exhibition/project, what would it be?

To make a piece for Parliament House Canberra.

[Collected 22 May 2019.]

View a snapshot of work by ‘Neil Turner Artisan’ and Turner+Turner’ in our Directory – with links to websites, shop  and outlets.

Watch short film ‘Neil Turner Artisan’. Film-maker Rae Fallon; Music by Joel Ritchie. (Vimeo 02:50)

Watch a carving and texturing demonstration by Neil Turner for the Rocky Mountain Woodturners  (Recorded 4 June 2015. YouTube 1:37:46).

This is a standard set of questions that we ask of all our guest presenters and ‘makers of the week’. They are deliberately low-key.

Post script anecdote…

We first met Neil through a referral to photographer and film-maker Rae Fallon when we were scouting for local films about makers for ‘Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival‘. Rae submitted the short film she had just completed with Neil and we were delighted that it was accepted for the 2019 edition of the Festival (which, by the way, is still touring Australia – its dates extended due to the pandemic.) This film from WA was one of three films from Australia to make the cut alongside two animations by Tjanpi Desert Weavers, and 30 other international films.

Anyway, when we premiered ‘Real to Reel 2019’ at The Backlot in Perth last year, we were delighted that Neil and his wife Suellen were able to join us (they live in a coastal town, about 175km south of Perth). Neil had a busy schedule in Perth that weekend as he is always in demand to give talks and demonstrations at the WA Wood Show; he even crammed in a radio interview with Bec Bowman on ArtBeat at RTRfm. Rae was also amazingly able to make it too, with husband Shane, having just welcomed baby Tully a couple of weeks before.

Regional screenings of Real to Reel

Hi all,

Real to Reel – coming to a screen near you soon. See our events page for upcoming dates in March 2020 for screenings in regional centres in South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales.

Real to Reel adds more dates to its Australian tour

‘Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival’ is touring Australia with more dates being announced…

The next screening will be on Friday 1 November 2019 in Cowra (NSW), hosted by Cowra Regional Art Gallery and showing at Cowra Civic Centre Theatrette. Here’s the ticketing link and see our Tour Listing for more details.

It’s really empowering to see, in our second year hosting this short film festival about craft, that interest is growing – we’ve had several enquiries from regional centres and craftspeople about hosting a screening of the 33 films. As a result we are looking forward to announcing more dates soon – likely in Northern Territory, South Australia, New South Wales and regional WA.

If you are interested in hosting a screening – let us know ASAP, as time will run out in March 2020 for this international selection.

The Makers’ Short Film Festival 2020 – an Australian selection of films about craft and makers.

We’ve said it out loud, so we are now charged with compiling an Australian film festival about craft in 2020. The UK Crafts Council is taking a break, so we’ve hopped into the gap and decided to give a platform to some of the amazing films we know are out there about makers in Oz. We will announce the call-out for submissions soon – so subscribe to our newsletter for first info.

Until then – and as it’s suddenly winter again out there – keep making!