Master of Arts: Film, Television and Digital Media Documentary, 2007
Filmmaker Jolyon Hoff returned to Adelaide in 2020 after spending the last 15 years living and working in Nigeria, Indonesia, Nepal, and Washington DC.
His feature documentary, The Staging Post, was awarded Highly Commended for ‘Best Stand-Alone Documentary’ by the Australian Director’s Guild and was one of best performing documentaries in Australian cinemas across 2017/18. The film helped inspire a refugee community and raised over a million dollars for refugee-led education in Indonesia.
Previous films include Searching For Michael Peterson about the 1970s Australian surfing legend, Morrowind Babies which looked inside revered computer game company Bethesda Softworks, and Aceh – Ten Years After the Tsunami for USAID, which is now on permanent display at the Aceh Tsunami Museum.
During the pandemic, Jolyon brought to life the vision that had seeded many years prior, with the realisation of The Surf Film Archive.
Historical surf documentary You Should’ve Been Here Yesterday is soon to be released, and Watandar, My Countryman is due to premiere at the 2022 Adelaide Film Festival. The later takes a look at 160 years of Afghan cameleers in the South Australian desert.Pre-production will soon commence on two more features, including an adaptation of true story Linden Girl – a love story that from the communities celebrated in Watandar, My Countryman.
There were many highlights and it’s hard to pick one. One moment I remember, and repeat often, is Bob Connolly saying ‘In a documentary you tell the general through the specific’. That stuck.
Career highlights are usually just little things that are personal to me. Sometimes I meet someone who was inspired to do something because of one of my films. They might donate to support the refugee-led initiatives in Indonesia because they watched The Staging Post. Or a film lecturer who uses my music clips as examples in their lectures. I love that Aceh – Ten Years After the Tsunami is on permanent display at the Aceh Tsunami Museum. Little things like that are always meaningful.
Being awarded Highly Commended for ‘Best Stand-Alone Documentary’ by the Australian Director’s Guild for The Staging Post was also pretty special.