Press release from AIDC

This 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 rigour and innovation in documentary cinema.

Announcing the Fellowship Kim Williams said “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 endeavour and in doing so commemorate my parents who were special people. It is a link they would have valued."

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.

Documentary is a powerful cinematic form, one in which the filmmaker plays a central yet often invisible role. Given the limitless availability these days of factual audiovisual material covering every subject 24/7, the role of the thoughtful independent observer and creative interpreter of reality is a crucial one.

This Fellowship provides the recipient up to $20,000 with which to explore, expand and challenge their filmmaking practice and raise the bar of excellence in Australian documentary cinema.

The selection of the recipients is to be decided on the basis of past work and future ambitions.

To be eligible the filmmaker must be an Australian Permanent Resident and have made at least one critically well regarded and/or commercially successful documentary of fifty minutes or more duration. There is no entry form. Those under consideration will provide a one page statement outlining how they might utilise funding to move to the next level in their practice of documentary filmmaking.

Copies of previous work should also be provided. The Fellowship will be administered in a flexible manner by a small panel looking primarily for evidence of imagination, initiative and engagement with the documentary form in a twenty first century context.

The Fellowship will be 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.

Full details of the Fellowship will be available in March on the AIDC website. It is envisaged that the first Fellowship will be announced in early June 2011.

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