Matthew Bate: 2012 recipient of David and Joan Williams Documentary Fellowship

02 March, 2012 by IF

Press release from AIDC

Bob Connolly, co producer and director of last years hit Mrs Carey’s Concert, today announced the 2012 recipient of the David and Joan Williams Documentary Fellowship at the launch of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC). The recipient is Matthew Bate, director of the award winning Shut Up Little Man. The Fellowship, decided annually by a small industry panel, provides $25,000 to its recipient and is the most substantial annual award available in Australia for documentary practitioners.


Matthew Bate's documentaries deal with obsessive people, pop-culture and outsider artists of which are marked by unique storytelling devices and a bold visual style.

His 2006 film What The Future Sounded Like, is a visually and sonically experimental exploration the genesis of British electronic music from Dr Who to Pink Floyd. Matt’s 2010 short film The Mystery of Flying Kicks, unearths the relationship between telephone wires sneakers and murder, drugs, sex and politics, and was made entirely from contributions of imagery and phone message bank stories from the global online public. It premiered at the 2010 SXSW Festival and won best short documentary at the 2010 Melbourne International Film Festival and New Zealand Documentary Edge Film Festival.

Matt’s first feature-length documentary, Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure, premiered in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at Sundance 2011, and was recently selected in the 40th New Directors/New Films at the MOMA and Lincoln Center New York. The film was acquired for US distribution by Tribeca Films and screened theatrically in over 20 states in the U.S. Most recently Matt completed Stunt Love a biopic about Australian silent film director J.P McGowan and his pioneering work creating daredevil action films in early Hollywood. Stunt Love premiered at BAFF 2011 and took
part in the Adelaide Produces Screenings at MOMA New York. Matt is currently in pre production on his latest Feature documentary Sam Klemke’s Time Machine, which deals with a man who has recorded his entire life on film.

The Fellowship has been established by Kim Williams AM to honour his parents’ involvement with the creative process, cinema and Australian culture. The Fellowship, which will usually be awarded annually, is intended to reward creative ambition, intellectual rigor and innovation in documentary cinema. “For me much of the most important work in film in Australia has always reposed in documentary – the heartland of our national consciousness and sense of what makes Australia. I am delighted to be able to enable a modest contribution which honours the continuing work of the diverse women and men working in this vital area of creative endeavor and in doing so commemorate my parents who were special people. It is a link they would have valued."

This Fellowship provides the recipient up to $25,000 with which to explore, expand and challenge their filmmaking practice and raise the bar of excellence in Australian documentary cinema.The Fellowship is given in the form of grants and overseen by respected film practitioners Bob Connolly and Victoria Treole and administered under the auspices of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) by a panel
initially consisting of Bob Connolly, Victoria Treole, AIDC Board member Julia Overton and AIDC Executive Director Joost den Hartog.

David and Joan Williams were people for whom creativity was a fundamental part of life. David Williams AM had an irrepressible love for film and joined Greater Union as an office boy and rose to be managing director until his retirement in the early eighties. His lifelong association with Australian cinema helped bring about its regeneration in the sixties and seventies. David was honoured in his lifetime with the Raymond Longford Award from the Australian Film Institute – Australia’s highest film honour and was also made a member in the Order of Australia for service to the industry he treasured. Joan similarly loved film and was also involved in myriad craft activities which she also undertook with enormous flair and enthusiasm.