AIAS film-maker to be honoured at film festival

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Cover of film Waiting for Harry

Kim McKenzie, former film-maker with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies (AIAS), will be honoured at the Canberra International Film Festival on Saturday 28 October 2017.

McKenzie, who passed away in 2013, was employed by the former AIAS (now AIATSIS) Film Unit from 1975 to 1998 to produce and edit films for release and distribution.

The film-maker produced two AIAS films which have been remastered to Digital Cinema Print (DCP) standards by Ronin Films and will be screened at the Arc Cinema at the National Film and Sound Archive, followed by a half-hour panel discussion.

Panel members include:  

  • David MacDougall (former Director, AIAS Film Unit 1975-1991 and Honorary Professor, Research School of Humanities & the Arts, ANU),
  • Robert Levitus (anthropologist School of Culture, History and Languages at the Australian National University)
  • Frances Peters-Little (Kamilaroi/Uralarai woman, historian and Research Fellow at the Centre for Indigenous History, ANU),
  • To be chaired by Kelly Wiltshire (Senior Archivist, Moving Image, Collection Management and  Development, AIATSIS)

The remastered AIAS films

Waiting for Harry (1980) - Directed and produced by Kim McKenzie. Based in Arnhem Land, east of Maningrida, Frank Gurrmanamana waits for Harry Diama to undertake a final mortuary ceremony for his brother who passed away six years before. The film is highly acclaimed for typifying a collaborative film-making style where Anbarra people - in particular Frank Gurrmanamana - were active contributors in the production and post-production. The film won the 1982 Royal Anthropological Institute Film Award for "the most outstanding film on social, cultural and biological anthropology or  archaeology".

Yorky Billy (1980) - Directed and produced by Kim McKenzie. At Ngurgdu (Spring Peak) in the East Alligator River region of Arnhem Land, 80-year-old William Alderson (known as "Yorky Billy") reflects on his life in the outback.

Last reviewed: 8 Apr 2019