The Digital Ethnography Research Centre Cinema proudly presents a screening of Maria Stratford’s film – presented as part of her recently accepted PhD submission.
Maria Stratford’s documentary is a subject that has been part of her personal and professional life for nearly four decades – the Rastafari movement and the issue of repatriation to Africa. The documentary film, which forms part of Maria’s PhD, Rastas’ Journey ‘Home’ explores the success or otherwise of the act of repatriation of Rastafari to Africa, specifically in this instance, to Ethiopia. The film includes interludes of still photographs accompanied by reggae music that celebrates the issues of repatriation (going home), Africa, Rastafari and Ethiopia, as well as candid interviews with Rastafari who have made the journey to Ethiopia and now call it ‘home’. Maria is currently working on another documentary film, which will be shot in Jamaica called Priest Isaiah.
Dr Maria Stratfordworked in the film industry as a stills photographer and documentary filmmaker for 17 years and has produced a reggae music radio show (3CR Community Radio) for 15 years in Melbourne. Over the past eight years Maria has been teaching in the School of Media and Communication in a variety of programs including Photography, Media, Journalism and Professional Communications.
DERC Cinema presents Andrew Sully’s documentary film ‘The Spirits of Tasi Tolu ‘ (or Three Lakes in Tetum).
The documentary The Spirits of Tasi Tolu, produced over several years in Timor-Leste, focuses on a specific location called Tasi Tolu (or Three Lakes in Tetum) on the Western edge of Dili. Tasi Tolu is allegedly the site of a series of extrajudicial executions and clandestine burials of independence activists by Indonesian security forces between 1975 and 1999: the period of Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor. Currently a Singaporian developer has plans to build a hotel and golf resort complex, called Pelican Paradise, in Tasi Tolu. This development will bring investment and employment opportunities but will displace thousands of residents who depend on the lakes, and the land around it, for their livelihood. With a concern about the claims of human remains in Tasi Tolu, the East Timorese government commissioned an international forensic team to investigate the area prior to the commencement of the development.
Within the framework of these events the film presents the testimony of a number of residents of Tasi Tolu, the ongoing forensic investigation and the landscape itself as part of a broader dialogue about memory and genocide, empirical evidence and local memory practices, and place as focal points for overlapping and competing notions of community, identity and nationhood.
Andrew Sully is an award-winning filmmaker working in both drama and documentary. Recently he completed a PhD at Macquarie University in the department of Media, Music, Communications and Cultural Studies. In 2015 he directed Bespoke, an innovative three-part series for ABC TV about the global Maker movement. Before that he wrote and directed Devil Island, a six-part natural history series for ABC TV, ITV and France 5. In 2009 he made the documentary Anatomy of a Massacre for ABC TV about a forensic investigation in East Timor to find the missing protestors from the 1991 Santa Cruz Massacre. He also made Feral Peril for ABC TV, an ecological detective story about the threat of introduced feral carnivores in Tasmania. It won three awards at the 2009 International Wildlife Film Festival in Montana, USA. His short films have won an ATOM award, Best Film at the St Kilda Film Festival and the Critic Prize at the Poitiers Film Festival. Recently he directed an EU-funded 20-part drama series in Timor-Leste. He is currently producing and directing a one-hour Catalyst special for ABC TV about twins.