form y Two Bob Mermaid single work   film/TV  
Issue Details: First known date: 1996 1996
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Koorine is a young fair-skinned Koori girl growing up in a country town in 1957. At that time, Aboriginal people were not welcome in public swimming pools and had to sit separately at the movies. Koorine desperately wants to enter the 'million dollar mermaid' swimming contest. She has a choice because she 'looks white.' Then a fight breaks out at the swimming pool between her Koori friends and her white friends. She has to decide what is more important to her, her white friends or her Koori identity.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Core Films , 1996 .
      Link: Two digital extracts from the original cinematic release. Australian Screen (Sighted 29/04/10)
      Extent: 11 min. ; colourp.
      Series: form y From Sand to Celluloid Australian Film Commission. Indigenous Branch , Film Australia (publisher), SBS (publisher), Canberra Australia Lindfield : Australian Film Commission SBS Television Film Australia , 1996 Z1583394 1996 series - publisher film/TV (taught in 3 units)

      An initiative of the Indigenous Branch of the Australian Film Commission (AFC), From Sand to Celluloid comprises six films that have been packaged and distributed by Australian Film Institute Distribution (AFID) and Film Australia. The initial conception for the series came from the Indigenous Drama Initiative, set in 1994 with the express intention of advancing the development and production of films created by Indigenous Australians and increasing their participation in all areas of the film and television industry. The first project initiated was the development and production of six ten-minute dramas for television. Expressions of interest were called for from Indigenous Australians nationally. The ten applicants chosen (from forty seven) attended a visual storytelling workshop held in Melbourne in 1995. The Initiative utilised the assistance of all the state film assistance agencies and a pre-sale from SBS with an agreement to broadcast on SBS in July 1996, as well as the full participation of Film Australia through its funding of one of the productions. Five projects were further selected to go into production, along with Sally Riley's film Fly Peewee Fly (produced by Film Australia), and were delivered to the AFC on 30 March, 1996. Indigenous Australians were employed in both cast and crew positions.

      In order to encourage a wider recognition and appreciation of the work of Indigenous Australians, the AFC supported the national distribution and exhibition of the films through the Australian Film Institute Distribution (AFID). AFID distributed the films as a package under the title of From Sand to Celluloid and the films screened at twenty-four locations, from as far afield as Cooper Pedy in South Australia to Broome in Western Australia, and were attended by a total of approximately 7,200 people.

      As a unified collection, the films offer more than a two-dimensional victim-oppressor approach. They challenge viewers at all levels: as fellow citizens, as parents, as observers, and as fellow members of Indigenous communities. From Sand to Celluloid challenges viewers with many uncomfortable aspects of Australia's too-recent history. These include the active discrimination practised against Indigenous people in public places such as swimming pools and cinemas in country towns around Australia and the 'stolen generation': children taken away without their parents' consent and placed into homes or in white foster homes, with devastating effect on them and their families. The series is an essential resource for Indigenous studies, Australian history film studies, English legal studies, human relationship courses, and social studies.

      [Source: Australian Film Commission, http://www.afc.gov.au/archive/annrep/ar95_96/indig.html]

Works about this Work

Between Worlds : Indigenous Identity and Difference in the Films of Darlene Johnson Therese Davis , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Camera Obscura : A Journal of Feminism and Film Theory , vol. 29 no. 85 2014; (p. 81-110)

'The article looks at the contributions of writer and director Darlene Johnson to an emerging Australian Indigenous cinema. It discusses the ways in which Johnson draws on her experience as a young, urban Indigenous woman and her knowledge of Aboriginal culture to explore the postcolonial subjectivity of being caught between two worlds in her documentary and short fiction films, including River of No Return (2008), Gulpilil: One Red Blood (2002), Crocodile Dreaming (2006), and Two Bob Mermaid (1996). It argues that these films offer unique insights into the history of Indigenous involvement in cinema as a global system, and into the complexity of contemporary Indigenous filmmaking in Australia as a specialist sector that operates within while remaining different from the state-funded national film industry.' (Publication summary)

Darlene Johnson Australian Film Commission , 2007 single work non-fiction
— Appears in: Dreaming in Motion : Celebrating Australia's Indigenous Filmmakers 2007; (p. 38-39)
A History of Indigenous Futures : Accounting for Indigenous Art and Media Faye Ginsburg , Fred Myers , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Aboriginal History , vol. 30 no. 2006; (p. 95-110)
Indigenous Film Makers will Show Their Stuff 1996 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 13 March no. 121 1996; (p. 3)
Darlene Johnson Australian Film Commission , 2007 single work non-fiction
— Appears in: Dreaming in Motion : Celebrating Australia's Indigenous Filmmakers 2007; (p. 38-39)
A History of Indigenous Futures : Accounting for Indigenous Art and Media Faye Ginsburg , Fred Myers , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Aboriginal History , vol. 30 no. 2006; (p. 95-110)
Indigenous Film Makers will Show Their Stuff 1996 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 13 March no. 121 1996; (p. 3)
Between Worlds : Indigenous Identity and Difference in the Films of Darlene Johnson Therese Davis , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Camera Obscura : A Journal of Feminism and Film Theory , vol. 29 no. 85 2014; (p. 81-110)

'The article looks at the contributions of writer and director Darlene Johnson to an emerging Australian Indigenous cinema. It discusses the ways in which Johnson draws on her experience as a young, urban Indigenous woman and her knowledge of Aboriginal culture to explore the postcolonial subjectivity of being caught between two worlds in her documentary and short fiction films, including River of No Return (2008), Gulpilil: One Red Blood (2002), Crocodile Dreaming (2006), and Two Bob Mermaid (1996). It argues that these films offer unique insights into the history of Indigenous involvement in cinema as a global system, and into the complexity of contemporary Indigenous filmmaking in Australia as a specialist sector that operates within while remaining different from the state-funded national film industry.' (Publication summary)

Last amended 28 Sep 2012 12:35:45
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