Wangaratta has a passionate arts community with a diverse range of visual arts experiences offered through the Wangaratta Art Gallery and many other local Galleries along with regular innovative cultural development initiatives delivered throughout the municipality.
ACMI in the Regions (AITR) is funded by Arts Victoria’s Touring Victoria program and in partnership with Rural City of Wangaratta, produced nine short films with a focus on people, memory and place. The mini documentary project recorded the documentaries that celebrate and document the people, character and heritage of regional Victorian townships.
Pre-production of the films began in August 2012 with local community workshops held in each of the towns to develop the concepts for these documentaries. Ideas for the films were then distilled into nine short stories - three films in each township - that capture the essence of regional Victoria and the people and places that make up part of the fabric of the modern Australian identity.
"ACMI is proud to have made these films in the regions and about life in rural Victoria. The uniqueness of our approach is that it involves the local residents and community groups, helping them to document their histories and capture their own stories about why they live, work and play in their towns. The films are not only an important legacy they also contribute to our social heritage. The resulting short documentaries are moving and fascinating records for the region, for Australians and the world," AITR Executive Producer, Kim Montgomery explains.
The nine short films ACMI has created showcasing Wangaratta and surrounding areas feature the following:
1. Eldorado Museum- Sue Phillips, Sandra Buchan and Geoff Milne take us on a tour of the Eldorado Museum and share the rich history of the pioneering families who brought infrastructure & made the town of Eldorado what it is today.
2. Folk, Rhythm & Life- We meet the Skermer Famliy who have been running the Bilyana Folk Rhythm & Life Festival since 1996 raising funds for local and international charities. The festival has always been environmentally sustainable, with the original “drop dunnies” inspired by Hamish Skermer now being used not only in Eldorado but also at festivals in Australia and overseas.
3. Artists of Eldorado- Meet local artists Maureen Hearn, Denise Ellison, Thea Day, Sandra Buchan and Sam Anderson, and learn about their inspirations and artistic practice.
1. Bunyip Newsletter- We meet local volunteers who deliver the local newsletter as they shed a unique light on Greta’s history and community.
2. Greta Craft Group- Women come from great distances bringing their knitting needles, sewing machines and a good yarn to the weekly Greta Craft Group.
3. Greta Swamp- The area surrounding Greta used to be a swamp, home to wildlife and the mythical “Bunyip” creature. Meet the locals that are revegetating land, restoring balance to the environment.
1. The Pizzini Family- An Italian family made unique by three generations of winemakers and master chefs.
2. Cook’s Family Farm- Meet the Cook family and spend time with three generations as they muster and milk cows.
3. The Whitlands Plateau- Distance is no barrier to this active group of entrepreneurs who have a rich history of community spirit. The films premiered in each of the towns in December 2012 and have now become part of the ACMI Collection and are available for viewing in the Australian Mediatheque.
Rural City of Wangaratta Mayor Rozi Parisotto said, “We are thrilled to have had a role in bringing the ACMI project to our local community and their support, engagement and enthusiasm has been outstanding. We encourage everyone to view the films and see the culmination of our local community’s hard work.”
The films are now available for all to see on the ACMI website. Limited copies on DVD are also available, for more information contact Council’s Cultural Development Officer on 5722 0847.
The Culture Victoria Project was funded by Arts Victoria and aims to capture the local history of Wangaratta through a series of short films and photographic images. Those stories include:
These stories have been uploaded to the blogs page of the ‘Culture Victoria’ website. This project was completed on June 30, 2011.