The New Normal International Film Festival 2020 has arisen in response to the unprecedented times we currently find ourselves in. At a time of vast social isolation, the festival aims to keep the spirit of cinema alive, fostering a sense of community and celebration in filmmakers and lovers the world round.
Through a live stream of short films and engagement with the filmmaking community the festival will explore the concept of the ‘New Normal’, aiming to discuss what is considered as ‘normal’ both in the past and present, whilst looking to a possible shared future.
The festival emerged from the Media studio ‘The Festival Experience’, which has been closely monitoring and responding to how film festivals are changing modalities to cope with lockdown. The festival is sponsored by RMIT, The Capitol Theatre, RMITV, Finger Food People, SYN Radio, and Fix ‘N’ Chips.
Studio leader Cerise Howard, and students Jaie McGuiness and Amelia Leonard appeared on Primal Screen on 3RRR on 1 June to discuss the festival — listen here!
The “Room With A View Media” studio was hard-hit by COVID-19, given they had planned to produce the long-running 3RRR show of the same name as part of their studies into radio production and programming. Once 3RRR suspended in-studio activity, the studio was left in the lurch.
However, some quick thinking and hard work by studio leader Heather Jarvis and the students involved has led to the Conversations in Isolation podcast, now available on all podcasting platforms.
The podcast features in with lawyers, musicians, fellow students and more on how they’re keeping busy and spending their time during lockdown.
Congratulations to Media student Anna K Miers who has recently returned from an amazing adventure in India as part of a global experience. She put together this video documenting her experiences.
Anna also sent through this summary of the tour:
“We spent a few weeks travelling around India: from Delhi, to Agra, Jaipur and then Mumbai – visiting various NGOs, tech startups, and cultural sites. Spending the day at Sheroes in Agra, Jaipur Foot in Jaipur, and the Dharavi slums in Mumbai, were the three absolute highlights of the trip, and provided amazing insight, especially as someone who is pursuing a career in documentary film & photography, into connecting with people, learning and documenting within a relatively small amount of time.”
The Audiovisual Media Design studio from Semester 2 has resulted in a wonderful campaign for Uniting called Food for Families. The studio was responsible for the video content, created across the semester (and well into November!) and now distributed via Uniting’s various media platforms.
Over the last few months the students have worked tirelessly to develop these captivating short videos to demonstrate the impact of ‘giving a little’ to others this Christmas. We’re delighted to share the students’ hard work. We hope these videos inspire you give a little and mean a lot to someone who really needs it this Christmas.
Interactive documentaries by a group of RMIT Media program undergraduate students have been selected to screen by Maroondah City Council’s ArtSpace.
The works are part of the ANZAC: through the eyes of young people exhibition supported by the Department of Veteran Affairs, Anzac Centenary fund.
RMIT lecturer and studio lead Dr Seth Keen worked with ArtSpace curator Lisa Byrne and RMIT students on remixes of a documentary made by the Walkley Award winning filmmaker, Andy Drewitt, on a 2016 youth theatre production, ‘Carrying Home’.
“The partnership with ArtSpace happened when I saw the opportunity for students to work at a professional level with a filmmaker, theatre director and curator,” he said.
“This studio was a challenge in regards to facilitating the students to work with the complex real-world technical and creative constraints of the exhibition brief.”
Byrne said the collaboration was about creating a voice for ANZAC through an intergenerational engagement with some stories that had their origin in Maroondah.
“The students provided more specific engagement with this documentary material through topics such as loss, trauma, women, memory and remembrance,” she said.
“The resulting works that were chosen for the show reflected a thoughtful and engaged consideration of what it was like, particularly for women left at home and the issues they faced.”
The students sourced and added extra material to support their ideas within the films to tell multilinear stories around ANZAC, producing a contemporary, youthful engagement and voice on ANZAC.
RMIT student Eloise Large in the Bachelor of Communication (Media) is one of the producers of a selected interactive documentary, and joined City Councillor, Mike Symon, and theatre director Sharryn Mullens as a guest speaker at the launch of the exhibition.
“We, as a collective, were given an opportunity to produce a visual art piece that represented what ANZAC meant to us,” she said.
“For my team, the outcome was unexpected in relation to producing a perspective on trauma, through the use of frame-by-frame animation.
“In our studio, there was a wide variety of perspectives created on ANZAC, and our project is just a small portion of the amazing work completed in our studio.”
Maroondah Mayor Mike Symon said this unique ANZAC exhibition is a refreshing, contemporary engagement with an important part of Australia’s history.
“The collaborative creative process of this exhibition provided RMIT students with the ability to reflect on the emotions of people living during World War One,” Councillor Symon said.
The themes present a contemporary engagement with some of the prominent people of World War One that have a significant legacy in the City of Maroondah.
The ANZAC exhibition runs until Sunday 21 May at ArtSpace Realm, 175 Maroondah Highway Ringwood.
Congratulations to current final year BComm Media students, Daina Anderson, Grace Hardy, Rose Ng and Fabiana Weiner whose research article on ‘Diversity in Australian Media: Production, Content and Representation‘ has just been published in the latest issue of AustralianMosaic (produced by FECCA – Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia).