Big stories, small towns: Port Augusta, South Australia

Potter, Martin, Grieve, Anna, Mchawala, Sieh and Lee, Jeni 2009 Big stories, small towns: Port Augusta, South Australia, video recording, [Adelaide, S. Aust.], Film Australia, Media Resource Centre and Big Stories Co..

Title Big stories, small towns: Port Augusta, South Australia
Creator(s) Potter, MartinORCID iD for Potter, Martin
Grieve, Anna
Mchawala, Sieh
Lee, Jeni
Year presented 2009
Year created 2008
Edition 1
Series 1
Event name Big stories, small towns: Port Augusta, South Australia
Publisher Film Australia, Media Resource Centre and Big Stories Co.
Place of publication [Adelaide, S. Aust.]
Description of moving image Films, photographs, website, social media, exhibitions and other
Keyword(s) participatory media
digital storytelling
community media
South Australia
Port Augusta
Summary Big Stories, Small Towns, conceived of and produced by Martin Potter is a heartwarming portrait of Port Augusta, "the crossroads of Australia." The project's aim is to "shine a light on locals who cared for the people around them." Two filmmakers-in-residence, Jeni Lee and Sieh Mchawala worked in partnership with the community of Port Augusta, South Australia, to tell its stories through both the eyes of the filmmakers and through the eyes of its long-term residents. Digital Storytelling workshops and other participatory media programs were also run with local people to facilitate them to tell their own stories. With a focus on unsung heroes in the community, the project draws out themes of social and emotional wellbeing. The backdrop for the stories is a range of primary health care models such as the men’s shed, the aged care facility Wami Kata (cultural environment: ATSI), and the young Indigenous fathers’ group. These are stories of a community that supports people through life’s stages, bringing them together across age, race and economic fortune.This work was commissioned through Film Australia's National Interest Program ($102,000 cash grant, $40,000 equity). Additional funding was received from the South Australian Film Corporation ($40,000), Country Arts SA ($20,000) and Port Augusta City Council ($3,000). Films produced during the project premiered at the Adelaide Film Festival and were selected for 10 International film festivals between 2009 and 2010 including the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA DocLab 2009). Outputs from the project are held in the National Film and Sound Archive, and have been identified as a working prototype for large scale participatory media including ABC Open.
Notes Big Stories, Small Towns: Port Augusta is the result of filmmakers in residence creating stories with the community, not about them. Members of the community participated in digital storytelling workshops and other media programs to facilitate the telling of their stories. The value of participatory media in this context was demonstrated by bringing out themes of social and emotional wellbeing as expressed by the participants. This project resulted in a media rich website including 48 short documentaries, 9 photo essays and 6 archival films. Other outputs included DVDs featuring story 'threads' from the project.
Language eng
Field of Research 190205 Interactive Media
190204 Film and Television
200212 Screen and Media Culture
Socio Economic Objective 950204 The Media
HERDC Research category J1.1 Major original creative work
Copyright notice ©2009, Film Australia, Media Resource Centre and Big Stories Co.
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