Australia India Council Annual Report 1999–2000
Print and electronic media and film
The objectives of the CouncilÂs print and electronic media and film program are to increase understanding of Australia in India, and of India in Australia, through the print media and radio, television and film.
The major Council film initiative during 1999Â2000 was the Journey Festival of Australian Films in New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Calcutta from 10 January to 19 February 2000. The first part of a planned bilateral exchange of film festivals managed by Cinemedia Victoria and curated by the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), Journey included six Australian feature films (Amy, Doing Time for Patsy Cline, Head On, In a Savage Land, Radiance and The Interview) and four short films (HarryÂs War, Tulip, Slim Pickings and The Calling), which showcased challenging and sophisticated work created between 1997 and 1999 by both prominent and emerging Australian film-makers.
Journey was a joint project between the three Australian project partners and, in India, the Directorate of Film Festivals and the International Film Festival of India. Following a visit to India in January 1999 by Ms Amree Hewitt of Cinemedia for preliminary discussions on the proposed film exchange, the Council provided funding for Journey as the first stage of the exchange.
The Australian films were accompanied to New Delhi for the opening of the Festival by leading participants in the films including Nadia Tass, director and producer of Amy, her son John Parker-Tass who acts in the film, and Hugo Weaving, the principal actor in The Interview.
Another 1999Â2000 initiative was the CouncilÂs decision to provide funding for the Medialink news media exchange program, conducted by the Asialink Centre. The Medialink program, to commence in 2000Â2001, involves three- to nine-month exchanges in each direction between a wide range of news media personnel from Australia and India. The aim of the program is to strengthen country-to-country relations by promoting dialogue and cooperation in the region, directly and through enhanced public understanding.
The Council provided funding to the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) to enable Associate Professor John Carroll, Lecturer in Communication at Charles Sturt University, to visit the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune in February 2000 to advise on the introduction of the InstituteÂs new film and television curriculum. Professor Carroll had substantially contributed to the new FTII curriculum during a previous Council-funded visit. The project also included a visit to the FTII by Ms Maree Delofski of AFTRS to conduct a course on screen studies. These visits have strengthened the relationship between the key film and television schools in Australia and India.
The Council also provided funding to Sydney-based film maker Ms Kay Rasool to enable her to participate in the screening of her film My Journey, My Islam in the Mumbai International Film Festival during February 2000.