By Lola Pinder
Craig Boreham is an Australian film director, producer and writer. He currently works at Metro Screen as the Projects and Production Coordinator.
Influenced by indie, lo-fi, filmmaking and New Queer Cinema during his studies in Sydney in the 1990s, Boreham’s films reflect on desire, marginalised sexuality and youth. In 2007 Boreham and Dean Francis co-directed the short Stray, produced by Channel Free, Metro Screen’s Youth Production Unit and Twenty10- Gay and lesbian Youth Support. The film worked with youth from the Twenty10 organisation to create stories of country versus urban living and teenage sexuality. The film was well received, screening at the acclaimed NewFest- The 19th New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Film Festival and Frameline31-San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival and being picked up for American and European distribution.
I was able to talk with Craig about film and television in today’s ‘digital age’. I asked about his thoughts on the advent of the video camera and online social platforms for streaming content -- Boreham was most optimistic about the democratisation of voices in filmmaking, particularly against the “old guard” of Australian film and television. He identifies how we are still in the early stages, so to speak, of online multi-platform spaces. Boreham believes in the power of story telling in filmmaking, explaining that the craft of compelling story telling is bound to prevail amongst the onslaught of amateur content now available online, ‘it doesn't matter if you create it with high end HD cameras or shoot it on your phone, it will still find an audience’. He suggests that these accessible and innovative distribution models might give the film and television landscape ‘a much needed shake up’.
I asked Boreham whether he thought there was still a place for the weekly TV show or an outing to the cinema? He describes how audiences are much more demanding in watching content on their terms, which is particularly evident with iView, Netflix and other VOD platforms. However, he confidently states that “I don't think cinema is going anywhere. There is something uniquely social about sitting in a space and experiencing a film with an audience that you can't get at home no matter how big your screen is”. Boreham talks of tugg.com, amongst other distribution models, as a format wherein an audience may have control and still maintain a social celebration of long-form filmmaking.
Boreham is currently completing his first feature film, Teenage Kicks, an extension of his earlier short Drowning (2009, funded by Screen Australia). This feature tells local stories of youth, grief and desire.
The film was funded through a Pozible Campaign, demonstrating the value of crowd funding for the future of independent Australian film. Online funding campaigns such as the one for Teenage Kicks also present the interesting potential for communication between filmmakers and the public. This interactive avenue is a great development of Australian cinema today, in that it allows engagement with potential audiences and for the viewer to participate in the film-making process, as well as connecting film-makers with supporters as well as connecting filmmakers with supporters, hearing corroborating stories and gaining feedback on their project.
Boreham graduated from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). Boreham has won several prestigious prizes, including the Teddy Award nomination at the 2005 Berlin Film Festival, Best Film Melbourne Queer Film Festival and Best Film at Sydney Mari Gras. He has screened internationally with many of his short films including Transient (2005) And Everything Nice (2006), Drowning (2009) Ostia- La Notte Finale (2011). In 2008 the Fundación Triángulo in Madrid held a retrospective of Boreham’s short films; Cinema of True Poison.
Boreham's film Teenage Kicks is to be released later this year
This post is part of the Art Month event Creative Paddington taking place on March 7th in conjunction with Metro Screen and UNSW Art & Design.
Image: courtesy and © Craig Boreham