Indigenous writer-director Erica Glynn was today named the recipient of this year's David and Joan Williams Documentary Fellowship.
Glynn, whose latest film In My Own Words is screening at the Sydney Film Festival, played a central role in the development of Indigenous filmmakers and their work through the Indigenous Unit of Screen Australia.
The fellowship is bestowed by former News Limited, Foxtel and Fox Studios Australia CEO Kim Williams in honour of his parents, and is worth $50,000.
Inaugurated in 2010 through the Australian International Documentary Conference, management of the fellowship was transferred to the Documentary Australia Foundation in 2015, when it became biennial.
The recipient is selected by a panel comprising Bob Connolly, Victoria Treole and Julia Overton, supported by DAF CEO Dr Mitzi Goldman.
The fellowship is intended to give an independent filmmaker enough money and time to reflect and prepare for his or her next work or to undertake relevant study and research.
Previous recipients are Jennifer Peedom, Matthew Bate, Juliet Lamont, Lynette Wallworth and Al Hicks. The fellowship also supported the visit to Australia by the US documentarian Joe Berlinger, who gave classes across the country under the auspices of AFTRS several years ago.
Glynn’s credits include the award- winning short My Bed, Your Bed and documentaries including Ngangkari, about spirit healers in the Central Australian desert, and A Walk with Words, made with writer, poet and filmmaker Romaine Morton.
In My Own Words, an exploration of the transformative power of reading and writing in the Indigenous community in Brewarrina, NSW, was produced by Darren Dale and commissioned by NITV with Screen Australia as part of the Moment in History initiative.
Noting Glynn’s work with the Indigenous Unit of Screen Australia, Williams said at a DAF lunch today: “I know that I’m not alone in being very happy that she has now returned to telling her own stories on the big and small screen.
“Documentary matters now more than ever before, because it is about us and our society and its aspirations (and often our failings). Above all it speaks to us in our myriad voices and offers fresh perspective on the issues and activities that make up contemporary Australia. “
Glynn received the award at the lunch, which also celebrated the DAF Award nominees at this year’s SFF and the inaugural SheDoc recipients.
SheDoc, a DAF and Screen NSW initative, supports travel, research, mentoring, residencies, skills development, seeding new work and the development of impact strategies using documentary.
Among the recipients is producer-director Justine Moyle, who will travel to the US to work for up to six weeks with twice Academy Award-nominated documentary director Lucy Walker and her team.
Documentary filmmaker Gemma Quilty will further develop a slate of observational documentaries from western and south western Sydney, mentored by Tom Zubrycki.
Georgia Quinn, a young film graduate and social activist, will continue to research a slate of films with video journalist and filmmaker Yaara Bou Melhem, a freelance documentary director for SBS, ABC, CNN and Al Jazeera English. They will then travel internationally to produce a range of documentaries for Al Jazeera’s 101 East documentary strand, among several other broadcasters.