Darebin Arts Documentary Series by La Trobe University

Image by Stephanie Sawaya

Film students at La Trobe University were challenged to make short documentaries that profile how COVID-19, social isolation and financial pressures are affecting artists and their practice in the Darebin area. What do artists think are the most important influences, how has their practice changed, what external supports exist, and how useful are they for artists?

In the process, they have captured the creation of some great art – and great film making…..


Content warning: films may contain themes and language suitable only for adult audiences


Film 1: Contemporary connection

Our film tells the narrative of professional dancer, Sarah McCrorie. Living in Darebin and barely into her 20s, Sarah has had a roller coaster start to her professional career.

Director - Lily Smith

Producer - Anna Smith

Editor - Oluwademilade Adesina

Lead Artist - Sarah McCrorie


Film 2: The cartoon story of real life comics

A little bit of bittersweet with stomach-hurting laughs, two comedians tell the tale of their journey of self-discovery during COVID.

Director - Luke Green

Producer - Morgan-Belle Bradshaw

Editor - Jack Busuttil

Lead Artists - Sweeney Preston and Ethan Cavanagh


Film 3: Musicians in lockdown

Three musicians adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic and finding ways to continue their musical career in a situation where the art industry struggles more than ever.

Director - Jamie Wagner

Producer - Jeoung Uk Na

Editor - Angela Makalovska

Lead Artists - Johnathan Binge, James Dagiandas and Marcia Howard


Film 4:  Painting for the Archives

Painting for the Archives documents the story of visual artist Dawn Rieniets during the COVID-19 Pandemic. It explores how creatives are able to push through isolation and produce art in a world currently on pause. 

Director - Erica Vandenberg

Producer - Liyan Li

Editor - Jamie-Lee Martin


Film 5:  Harmonise

‘Harmonise’ seeks to promote inter-generational solidarity by bringing together two musicians - one, a young folk duo, the other, a mature drummer - to discuss their experiences regarding COVID-19.

Director - Carla Lane

Producer - Stephanie Muculj

Editor - (Sussan) Vanny Kittikhoun

Lead Artists - Andrew Young and Charm of Finches; Mabel Windred-Wornes & Ivy Windred Wornes


Film 6:  Empty Theatres

Through a series of interviews with performers in the theatre and creative arts industry, we take a look at how the Melbourne lockdowns and the Coronavirus have affected the people behind the curtain.

Director - Zac Charles

Producer - Ethan Hayes

Editor - James Anderson

Lead Artist - Erica Moffat

Supporting Artist - Zac Charles


Film 7:  Thinking outside the mosh

The film is about Darebin Metalcore band Earthbound as they discuss adapting with COVID-19 and their wacky ideas for replaying shows when they can, presented with stick figure sketches.

Director - Matt Dunlop

Producer - Cody Mathieson-Lowe

Editor - Rian Tonkin

Lead Artists - Eathbound (band) Daniel Drowley, Jake Kershaw, Tom Armstrong, Rhys Alexander and David Lawson


Film 8:  The Decisive Moment

Exploring the life of a young photographer during COVID-19 restrictions, we delve into her current projects and how her work has been affected through these changes.

Director - Emma Gillett

Producer - Briannah Borg

Editor - Ajda Kotch

Lead Artist - Stephanie Sawaya


Film 9:  Galactic project

Galactic project is about Jordan, psy-trance music producer who has been inspired by the isolation to create. Pushing him to improve his music and leading to a label signing him.

Director - Bridget McNamara

Producer - Ruby Quilligan

Editor - James Karakolis

Lead Artist - Jordan Chiminello

Supporting Artist - Kayne Davis


Film 10:  Antonia

In this film we interview the Artist Antonia Sellbach to discuss the impacts the pandemic has had on her art-making practice and where she thinks the visual arts is heading in the future.

Director - Sara Hancock

Producer Josh Taylor

Editor - Thomas Richards

Lead Artist - Antonia Sellbach



Anna Smith - Second time producer in my final semester of studying Screen, Media and Performance. Eager to learn more about a producer's role, whilst navigating through the struggles of lockdown.

Oluwademilade Adesina - In my final year studying Bachelor of Arts majoring in Screen, Media and Performance. This new experience has helped me to further my communication and editing skills.

Lily Smith - Studying a Bachelor of Creative Arts majoring in both Screen and Theatre, I have experience in producing and editing but have yet to direct a project until now


Luke Green - I have some experience directing short films in the past, however this experience has differed due to the documentary style and added animation effects that our group has.

Jack Busuttil – I'm currently working as a part time content creator during the covid-19 pandemic. The only difference between this and that is the genre of what I am editing.

MB – I’ve never been a producer but I haven’t struggled much because of previous classes where the roles were explained. I’ve kept up constant communication with people who have more experience.


Jamie Wagner - A third year media industries student. I’ve always been drawn to anything film and media related. Having directed multiple projects in the past, I am keen to do so now, despite the current circumstances

Angela Makalovska - A current Bachelor of Creative Arts student. As a film lover, I’ve directed numerous shorts throughout my life, and have mostly treasured the editing position. .

Jeoung Na - A creative arts student. I’ve worked as a PA for a feature film and will use what I’ve learnt to be a passionate producer for this documentary.


Liyan Li - A producer from Group 4. By being a producer, I become more positive to communicate with my teammate and interviewee.

Erica Vandenberg - This is my fourth time directing. However, this experience is a unique one - directing during a world-wide pandemic and working with clients over the internet.

Jamie-Lee Martin - I am in my final year of the bachelor of creative arts (majoring in visual arts). I am looking forward to this challenge and learning a new skill.


Carla Lane - Last year, I directed a short uni film, however, this was a completely different experience. This current role is certainly encouraging me to be as innovative as possible.

Stephanie Muculj - This is my first time being a producer in a documentary. This documentary ventures into a new topic that I wouldn’t have otherwise explored, so it’s very interesting.

Sussan Kittikhoun - I also have experience as a director and editor from previous classes. These roles creatively challenged me to be more assertive and outspoken with my ideas.


Zac Charles - I am studying Media Industries at La Trobe University. In terms of directing, I have been in the director’s seat for numerous creative projects.

Ethan Hayes - I am currently studying Screen Studies at La Trobe University. My main focus is on writing and directing, as well as acting for screen.

James Anderson (Editor) - I’m studying a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in theatre, at La Trobe University. When it comes to editing I have had a decent amount of exposure from school and different subjects at La Trobe.


Cody Mathieson-Lowe - I have been a producer on different projects but not a project like this. It is a bit weird constantly transferring files online but I am managing to stay on top of everything.

Matt Dunlop - This isn’t my first time directing, but the challenge of remotely leading a group of film makers and unconventional shooting is certainly new!

Rian Littler - I've edited a lot of things before so this isn't too new for me, it's challenging doing everything remotely but a good learning experience as a lot of editing is done remotely


Emma Gillett - I am a third-year creative arts student majoring in film studies. This will be my first time directing a group student film.

Briannah Borg - A third-year media and communications student. I have some experience producing due to taking on the producer role in a core subject I did last year.

Ajda Kotch - A third year Media and Communications student with a passion for video editing. I am excited to having something I am proud of come to fruition


Ruby Quilligan - I’m studying Media and communications, majoring in Media industries. I have a decent amount of experience as a producer as I have produced multiple productions for uni and my own short films.  

Bridget McNamara - I am a media student at La Trobe University who has a passion for creating fun and innovative digital content. I have produced and edited my own documentary and many short social media videos.

James Karakolis - I’m a media student. I have worked on various other projects for uni in making short films in various roles so I have a good understanding of how to produce a professional and entertaining documentary.


Josh Taylor - I’m a practicing artist and student, first time producer in rural Victoria doing a degree in visual arts. Doing the best I can to stay on the ball with work in the pandemic situation.

Sara Hancock - I’m a first time director with this being my second ever film project. As a visual arts major this is allowing me to develop skills outside my course

Thomas Richards - A 3rd year Media Industries student. My role as the editor is to ensure a watchable final product. Past editing experiences will help me achieve this goal.

Event & ticketing details

Dates & Times

Online films 9 October

Event notes

Online event

Films available here from 9th of October

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