South Australian First Nations filmmaker Ngarrindjeri man Josh Trevorrow has been awarded the Documentary Australia Foundation’s (DAF) Centralised Indigenous Fellowship for 2021, part of the bold and ambitious South Australia and Northern Territory cross border screen initiative Centralised.
Now in its second year, the Fellowship is a contributing partnership between the Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF), Screen Territory, the SAFC, National Indigenous Television (NITV) and the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS Indigenous).
As the second Fellow awarded under the initiative, Josh will receive a grant of up to $30,000 for professional development and mentoring, and development of his documentary project Kondoli- Ngarrindjeri whale project (working title), as well as up to $10,000 of in-kind support to attend training opportunities at AFTRS.
In taking up the year-long bespoke fellowship Josh aims to unearth the hidden stories of the Ngarrindjeri peoples’ pivotal role in the American, British and European whaling trade which took place on their country and waters, now known as Victor Harbor and Encounter Bay in South Australia, from the early 1800s onwards. In respectful collaboration with Elders, this documentary will have a focus on nature, celebrating truth and reconciliation, and explore the costs of these relationships and the spiritual compromises for people who have always seen the Kondoli (whale) as a Ngatji (totem).
Josh Trevorrow is of Ngarrindjeri descent and his father was a survivor of the Stolen Generation. He is a passionate storyteller and advocate for more First Nations characters on screen, across all genres. He has been an avid participant in the Centralised program since its launch in 2019, first as part of the Centralised Web Series Development workshop, held at Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) in Alice Springs with mentors including Wayne Blair, Dylan River, Adele Vuko and Christiaan Van Vuuren, and then later joining the Centralised Bunya Talent Incubator at the SAFC’s Adelaide Studios. Josh recently completed a paid attachment in the Electrics Department of South Australia’s biggest ever screen production, Mortal Kombat. He is currently developing a number of solo and collaborative projects, and together with his wife, screenwriter, producer and emerging director Katharine McPhee, is developing a collective slate of work within their co-founded bespoke production company, Untold Productions.
Josh has been awarded the second of three consecutive years of DAF Indigenous Fellowships, following the selection in 2020 of Tamara Whyte from Nhulunbuy, in the Northern Territory as the Inaugural Fellow. The final fellowship will be announced in 2022.
2021 DAF Indigenous Fellow Josh Trevorrow said “As a Ngarrindjeri man on my own path to seek answers about my past, I want to bring to light the truthful and concealed histories of our people. Stories of Ngarrindjeri harpooners and their combination of physical and spiritual gifts need to be told. This Fellowship is the springboard for bringing this passion project to life, and I want to do the South Australian Film Corporation, Documentary Australia Foundation and all the Centralised partners proud.”
Kate Croser, CEO, South Australian Film Corporation said “Congratulations to Josh Trevorrow on being selected from an outstanding field of applicants for this Fellowship. Josh is an extremely talented and motivated emerging filmmaker with a unique perspective. SAFC is pleased to support his development and this project has real significance in further uncovering the untold histories of the First Peoples of South Australia.”
Dr Mitzi Goldman, CEO, Documentary Australia Foundation said: “It is exciting to see the calibre of candidates applying for the fellowship and the range of stories and voices emerging. We are honoured to be able to support the professional development of First Nations people in documentary storytelling and look forward to listening, learning and sharing.”
Kyas Hepworth, Head of Commissioning and Programming, NITV said: “NITV is excited to be working with our partners on this important initiative, as part of our commitment to providing pathways and developing the next generation of First Nations talent in the Australian screen sector. Josh’s project is a powerful and beautiful example of unique storytelling that explores and celebrates First Nations culture, and we are pleased to support him as it develops in the months ahead.”
Jennie Hughes, Director, Screen Territory said: “The DAF Fellowship is a wonderful way to foster and empower a new generation of Indigenous screen practitioners to share their stories and perspective of the world. We view the Centralised Initiative as an important part in building creative bridges between the Northern Territory and South Australia, and we congratulate Josh as the second DAF Indigenous fellow and look forward to seeing his career progress.”
Dr Romaine Moreton, Director of First Nations and Outreach, AFTRS said: “AFTRS is honoured to be supporting First Nations storytellers who have the courage to tell their truths and to be part of the ancient continuum of speaking for Country.”
Centralised, developed by the South Australian Film Corporation and Screen Territory together with collaborating partners Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF), AFTRS Indigenous (Australian Film, Television & Radio School), ABC and NITV delivers a range of opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screen creatives, creating clear pathways for emerging talent including mentoring, workshops, attachments and internships. Find out more here.