Pauline Clague.

Storyteller and producer Pauline Clague is the recipient of this year’s $20,000 Natalie Miller Fellowship.

Announced today at the virtual Australian Independent Distributors Association (AIDA) Conference, Clague will use her fellowship to do more concentrated work on the theories she has been writing around Indigenous archetypes, structures and genres in cinema.

Upon receiving the grant, shesaid: “It is such an honour to be the recipient of the Natalie Miller Fellowship for 2020. This year has been so turbulent for our industry and so much of the arts has had a hit during this time of Covid-19.

“For me, the privilege has been in not being just a hashtag but raising the voice of Indigenous youth and communities during the Black Lives Matter and Deaths in Custody rallies.

“I look forward to writing works around Indigenous narratives and finding ways to influence and engage our lens in a different way through my work. This Fellowship will allow me to engage with the lens with innovation. To be supported by a fellowship named after a strong woman, Natalie Miller, who introduced foreign cinema to Australia, I am hoping to show the lens of Indigenous cinema in a new light to be a part of enhancing our identity and to continue to shape our next generation of filmmakers.”

A Yaegl woman from North Coast NSW, Clague’s 25 year career in screen has seen her work across a variety of roles.

Clauge is the founder and artistic director of Winda Film Festival in Sydney, was a programmer imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto and is co-creator of The NATIVE Slam, a 72-hour Indigenous film challenge held at Maoriland Film Festival in Otaki.

As industry associate professor and cultural resilience manager at the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous education & research at UTS, Clague leads communities to strengthen their voice through the medium of screen and story.

Clague also works with creative entrepreneurs via Creative Plus Business, and as a NSW Treasury-endorsed creative specialist, helps independent filmmakers and other creative people to strengthen their financial sustainability.

The Natalie Miller Fellowship, sponsored by Village Roadshow and Kojo, is open to all women working in the Australian screen industry, and offers up a professional development program that will deliver significant benefits to the applicant and the wider Australian screen community.

Natalie Miller Fellowship president Sue Maslin said: “Pauline has been a trailblazer, teacher and mentor among First Nations filmmakers for many years and we are delighted to champion her important work to the wider industry. We look forward to working with Pauline to build more leadership and career development opportunities for Indigenous women going forward.”

Previous recipients of the fellowship include: Rachel Okine (managing director, Aquarius Films), Harriet Pike (head of production & development, WildBear Entertainment), Rebecca Hammond (post production manager, Beyond Productions), Courtney Botfield (head of distribution and sales, Bunya Productions), Sasha Close (program manager, Gold Coast Film Festival); Kristy Matheson (director, film programs ACMI), Miriam Katsambis (legal counsel, Entertainment One) and Anna Kaplan (producer and impact producer, Greenfield Pictures).

Earlier this year, NMF organisers encouraged more Indigenous women to apply for the fellowship.

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