Josh Trevorrow.

South Australian First Nations filmmaker Josh Trevorrow is the second recipient of the Documentary Australia Foundation’s (DAF) Centralised Indigenous Fellowship, allowing him to further develop his documentary Kondoli- Ngarrindjeri whale project (working title).

A three year initiative, the fellowship is a partnership between DAF, Screen Territory, South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC), NITV, and AFTRS Indigenous.

As part of the initiative, Trevorrow will receive a grant of up to $30,000 for professional development and mentoring, as well as up to $10,000 of in-kind support to attend training opportunities at AFTRS. 

His documentary project aims to unearth the hidden stories of the Ngarrindjeri peoples’ pivotal role in the American, British and European whaling trade which took place on their country and waters, now known as Victor Harbor and Encounter Bay in South Australia, from the early 1800s onwards.

Trevorrow, who is of Ngarrindjeri descent and the son of a Stolen Generation survivor, said stories of Ngarrindjeri harpooners and their combination of physical and spiritual gifts needed to be told.

“As a Ngarrindjeri man on my own path to seek answers about my past, I want to bring to light the truthful and concealed histories of our people,” he said.

“This fellowship is the springboard for bringing this passion project to life, and I want to do the South Australian Film Corporation, Documentary Australia Foundation, and all the Centralised partners proud.”

Trevorrow has been a participant in the Centralised program since its launch in 2019, first as part of the Centralised Web Series Development workshop, held at CAAMA in Alice Springs, and then with the Centralised Bunya Talent Incubator at the SAFC’s Adelaide Studios.

He recently completed a paid attachment in the electrics department of Mortal Kombat, and is in the midst of developing a number of solo and collaborative projects, including a collective slate of work within Untold Productions, which he founded with his wife, Katharine McPhee.

SAFC CEO Kate Croser paid tribute to Trevorrow on being selected from an “outstanding” field of applicants.

“Josh is an extremely talented and motivated emerging filmmaker with a unique perspective,” she said.

“SAFC is pleased to support his development and this project has real significance in further uncovering the untold histories of the First Peoples of South Australia.”

Trevorro follows the selection of Tamara Whyte from Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory as the Inaugural Fellow in 2020.

DAF CEO Mitzi Goldman said it was exciting to see the calibre of candidates applying for the fellowship.

“We are honoured to be able to support the professional development of First Nations people in documentary storytelling and look forward to listening, learning and sharing,” she said.

The final fellowship will be announced in 2022

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