While her early student films pushed the boundaries of mainstream depictions of female sexuality, gender and homosexuality, Angie Black’s award winning short films Bowl Me Over (2000) and Birthday Girl (2008) confirmed her reputation as a director with exceptional talent. Having worked in both Australia and the United Kingdom, Black has nearly thirty years of professional experience and is a highly accomplished director. Her involvement in the creative process right from a film’s conception facilitates her development of authentic and complex characters. Her work exhibits influences from Todd Haynes, Pedro Almodvar and Ridley Scott, and her rich visual style revealing elements of surrealism through to hyper-realism.
Black’s talent for visual storytelling was identified early, while studying Drama and Media at Box Hill College of TAFE she was selected to have her screenplay produced. On the strength of this film and another self produced short, she was accepted into Australia’s first film school Swinburne, (now the Victorian College of the Arts, School of Film and Television). Black thrived in the environment, using it as an avenue to experiment with the medium’s form and content, often portraying counter-cultural worlds.
Black’s student films experiment with a critique of genre and emerging forms and format that bring an unusual and accurate complexity to her characters and their multiple social contexts as outsiders. Although her films deal with themes of homosexuality and betrayal, she avoids dogging the audience with politically correct slogans, often using unexpected humour to challenge stereotypes. All of her films portray a strong visually powerful style and have garnered much success on the festival circuit nationally and internationally.
The award winning film Bowl Me Over (2000) secured a DVD distribution deal with Palace Films, and was described in one review as being “much more entertaining” than the feature film on the DVD. This short film and the stark and haunting Birthday Girl, (2008) showcase Black’s exceptional talent for provocative and moving storytelling—and for producing raw and truthful performances from actors and non-actors alike.
Recent films see Black returning to her earlier experimental style. The visually arresting piece Disnature (2012) was produced for the environmental art project ‘Nature in the Dark’ and was selected as a finalist film in the Best Experimental category at the IPAF 2013 ATOM Awards. Currently, Black is undertaking a practice based research project for a creative PhD. In this project she is merging surreal scenes with authentic performances that investigate themes of sexuality and gender identities. Having recently trained in the Character Based Improvisation (CBI) method, used by filmmakers like Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, Black is currently working with individual actors to create a film project that incorporates authentic, complex characters who deal with everyday issues and concerns, with the intention of producing challenging, provocative and memorable films.
- Gabrielle Murray, February 2014
Bowl Me Over
I’ve always wanted to see more interesting, complex, determined and authentic female characters on screen. This has always been the initial motivator to my work. Regrettably, there is still gender bias in the stories we see on screen. This is why I’m committed to telling female character-driven stories that resist patronising and stereotyping and depict strong, realistic and complex female protagonists and allow the characters to exist as complete people.
My work often explores a counter-culture and perceptions of gender identity and sexuality. I use humour as a device because it allows me to develop projects that not only challenge and provoke thought but also resonate with an audience.
What I love about filmmaking is that it provides an opportunity to collaborate with diverse creative practitioners. Each collaborator brings their own distinct background and experience to the work, making the film more vibrant through nuance. Bowl Me Over (2000) for example, is about the bond between women regardless of background, status or race. It’s about finding new meaning when the roles of wife and mother no longer take centre stage, a theme I’ve returned to for my current PhD creative project.
- Angie Black, February 2014
Jellyfish Girl (1987, 5 mins, video)
Recoil (1987, 7 mins, video)
The Caretakers (1988, 20 mins, video)
Soliloquy (1988, 13 mins, video)
Low Sleazy Dive (1989, 7 mins, 16mm)
I’ve Got My Eye On You (1989, 15 mins, 16mm)
Co-directed by Richard Caon
State Of Mind (1990, 13 mins, 16mm)
Bowl Me Over (2000, 15 mins, 16mm)
Birthday Girl (2008, 7 mins, HDV)
Disnature (2012, 3 mins, HDV)
Bowl Me Over. Dir. Angie Black. Australia: Whipcrack Productions, Palace Films, 2000. (appears as the short film on the DVD release of…Beware Of Greeks Bearing Guns. Dir. John Tatoulis. Australia: Palace Films, 2000.)
Bowl Me Over
2001 Winner Best Comedy, St Kilda Short Film Festival
2002 Runner Up Audience Choice Award, OpenChannel Member’s screening
2008 Winner Audience choice award, Indie-Fest @ WOW Film Festival
2009 Finalist Film, FedFest at Federation Square, Melbourne, (AUSTRALIA)
2013 Finalist Best Experimental Film, IPAF 2013 ATOM Awards
Finalist film, Best Experimental category, ATOM Awards 2013, (Australia)
Part of a larger film project ‘Nature in the Dark’ launched Arts House, Nth Melbourne, November 2012, (Australia)
Exhibited on rotation at Fed Square from November 23rd to December 22nd 2012, (Australia)
24th Clermont Ferrand Short Film Market, 2009 (FRANCE)
5th Parvin Etesami Women Film Festival, Tehran, 2009 (IRAN)
‘Three Red Balloons’ Film Festival, London, 2009 (UK)
‘I've Seen Films’ - International Short Film Festival, Milan, 2009 (ITALY)
Winner Indie-Fest online@ WOW Film Festival 2008 (USA)
Finalist film FedFest, Melbourne, 2009 (Australia)
26th St Kilda Film Festival, Melbourne, 2009 (Australia)
WOW Film Festival Australian Tour 2009 (Australia)
15th WOW Film Festival, Sydney 2008 (Australia)
Bowl Me Over
Bowl Me Over
55th Locarno International Film Festival “Leopards of Tomorrow” 2002 (Switzerland)
‘Down Under Wonders: New films from Australia’, The Egyptian Theatre LA 2001 (USA),
Bowl Me Over received a DVD Distribution through Palace Films, as an extra’s feature on the DVD release of the feature film Beware of Greeks Bearing Guns, 2003 (Greece)
Runner Up Audience Choice Award, OpenChannel Member’s screening, Melbourne 2002 (Australia)
Altered States, Phoenix, Melbourne 2002 (Australia)
‘Jaffas Down the Aisle’ Film Festival, Melbourne, 2002 (Australia)
WOW International Film Festival, Sydney 2001 (Australia)
Melbourne International Film Festival 2001 (Australia)
Winner Best Comedy St Kilda Short Film Festival 2001 (Australia)
St Kilda Short Film Festival Australian Tour, 2001
Television: “Eat Carpet” SBS TV 2002 (Australia)
ANZAC Day Special 2003, SBS TV (Australia)
State of Mind
MIX Film Festival, New York, 1993 (USA)
London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 1992 (UK)
San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 1992 (USA)
Washington Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 1992 (USA)
Dallas Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 1992 (USA)
New York Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 1992 (USA)
Vancouver Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 1991 (Canada)
New York International Festival of Lesbian & Gay Film 1991 (USA)
Montreal Film Festival 1991 (Canada)
International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, Holland 1991 (Netherlands)
National Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 1991 (Australia)
Melbourne Midsumma Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 1991 (Australia)
Television: “Eat Carpet” SBS TV (Australia)
I’ve Got My Eye On You
Vancouver Gay Film Festival, 1991 (Canada)
Out of the Frying Pan – Women In Film and Television benefit, 1993 (Australia)
Melbourne University Film Society, 1991 (Australia)
Melbourne Lesbian Film Festival, 1990 (Australia)
Canberra Gay Film Festival 1990 (Australia)
Low Sleazy Dive
Melbourne International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 1991 (Australia)
Barclay, Alison. “Reel Professional,” (or PDF version, easy to read) Herald Sun, 28 May 2001.
Barclay, Alison. “Going Grey’s a Ball,” (or PDF version, easy to read) Herald Sun, 1 June 2001.
Galvin, Kieran. “A Sample of the 2001 St. Kilda Film Festival Reviewed”. Senses of Cinema, 14, 2001.
"Four Greek widows join the local lawn bowls club. A surprisingly funny and warm-hearted film which avoids patronising and stereotyping, allowing all the characters to exist as complete people. The acting is superb. Well-executed stuff."
Paterson, Barbara. Renegades: Australia’s First Film School. Australia: Helicon Press, 1996.
Zion, Lawrie. “Live Wire – Home Movies,” (PDF) The Age, Green Guide, 6 February 2003.
"Beware of Greeks Bearing Guns might sound like fun but its limitations become painfully obvious as the mechanics of revenge melodrama crash awkwardly into some drawn-out romantic reunions. The short film included on the DVD, Bowl Me Over, is much more entertaining."
Angie Black, March 2014.
Angie Black's website
Contact Angie Black
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