Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph

Amanda Kerley

BIOGRAPHY:   Amanda has made films since 1997; she favours directing and has worked extensively in film education. While studying cinema studies and music at La Trobe University Amanda made documentaries and dramas on super 8 and video. In 2003 she directed Pity 24 (2003, 16 mins) which was supported by Film Victoria’s Independent Filmmaker’s Fund. In February 2006 she went to Paris to make the hybrid documentary-drama Febrier (2006, 14 mins), a return to her lo-fi, process driven, experimental roots.

She continues to explore experimental and expanded cinematic forms, exemplified recently by the video installation Because I Can't Write Pop Songs (2008, 6 min loop). She is also developing projects with traditional industrial appeal.


Since 2003 Amanda has also made films with, and for children; many were supported by Arts Victoria’s Artists in Schools program.


CRITICAL OVERVIEW: For the last few years my filmmaking practice has tended to fall into two camps: industrial works (complete and pending) which need budgets, crews and years of development, and smaller affairs made on the fly - sometimes with children and community groups, often just with what I see in front of me. These movies utilise domestic cameras and little paraphernalia. Perhaps it is unsurprising that the process of making the latter has seemed the most rewarding, as I have the freedom to come up with an idea and then explore it with spontaneity. Most importantly, these films have provided me many opportunities to converse with my audiences. I distributed Febrier (2006) by DVD. I burnt 200, made neat little packets and scattered them about for strangers and for friends. Hearing personal responses - how people engaged, what spoke to them, what annoyed them or left them cold; that is, hearing what occasioned an emotional reaction, was the ultimate value I gained from making these films, and has thus provided me with a purpose for continuing to practice filmmaking in this way.

Making films with children has taught me a lot about filmmaking. It has helped me refine a process that starts with looking and taking notes with my camera. This is followed by the structuring of a narrative through simultaneously editing footage, shooting more and writing a script. Suffice to say there are a number of unfinished projects, but these little films are not always about finishing, they’re sometimes just about making.

Thematically my works can be linked in a range of ways. Most of them investigate tensions between varying points of view and experiences including the ordinary, the mediated and the imaginary. That old chestnut regarding the potential and limits of human communication pops up, as does the autobiographical. Other investigations include the exploration of film form through the construction of authenticity; the ephemeral and the robust; and the industrial, the amateur and the experimental. My feminism informs what I do; that can be found in my work too. And, these days, I’ve become rather besotted with how film and incoming media formats permit a filmmaker to deal with the past.

- Amanda Kerley, April 2009


Imperfect Cadence
Imperfect Cadence

Cloudbursting (1997, 8 mins, super 8/video)

Imperfect Cadence (1998, 7 mins, super 8/video)

Grandad's Trains, Grandad's Movies (1998, 20 mins, 16mm/video)

Study for Railway Series (1999, 17 mins, video)

Pity 24 (2003, 16 mins, dvc pro/35mm)

Febrier (2006, 14 mins, dv)

Because I Can’t Write Pop Songs (2008, 6 mins loop, dv)

Study for Railway Series
Study for Railway Series

Selected Screenings and Awards:

Riverina Flickerfest 2000
Short Flicks La Trobe University 1997
Winner - Tertiary Documentary Riverina Flickerfest 2000.

Imperfect Cadence
Eat Carpet, SBS television 2002, 2004
Riverina Flickerfest 2000
ASTRA music society 1999
National Young Writers Festival 1999
National Student Film and Video Festival 1999
La Trobe University Short Flicks program 1998
Winner - Narrative Video National Student Film and Video Festival 1999.

Pity 24

Pity 24
Don’t Knock the Rock Film Festival, LA, USA, 2006
Great Lakes Film Festival, Pennsylvania, USA 2005
Australian Film Critics Association spotlight screening, 2005
Prospekt Elektric Film Festival, London, UK 2005
Falls Creek Film Festival, 2005
Maryland Film Festival, Baltimore, USA 2005
Newport Beach Film Festival ,CA, USA 2005
In the Realm of the Senses Outdoor Short Film Festival, 2005
The London Australian Film Festival, UK 2005
Fitzroy Shorts, 2005
Adelaide Shorts Film Festival, 2005
Harvest Festival Short Film Festival of Art, 2005
Flickerfest Short Film Festival, 2005
8th PDGV Annual Short Film Forum, 2004
Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, USA 2004
St Kilda Short Film Festival, 2004
Audience Award Harvest Festival Short Film Festival of Art, 2005
Critics’ Honourable Mention Harvest Festival Short Film Festival of Art, 2005
Best Short Film Script* Australian Writers’ Guild Awards, 2004 (*awarded to Simmone Howell)

1st International Conference on Film and Memorialisation, University of Applied Sciences, Schwabisch Hall, Germany, 2006 (film was then titled Paris Diary).

Because I Can’t Write Pop Songs
I Art Sydney Road, 2008

© Amanda Kerley., April 2009

Contact Amanda Kerley -

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis