Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph

Ettore Siracusa
b. March 29, 1943, Vizzini, Italy.

BIOGRAPHY:   Ettore Siracusa works in film and video. Shortly after his arrival in Australia, in the early years of pre-industry Australian cinema, Ettore was associated with the films of the pioneering film director, Giorgio Mangiamele.

He was also one of the first crop of graduates of the Swinburne Film and Television School, going on to set up and teach Super 8 film-making and video in secondary schools.


CRITICAL OVERVIEW:   Ettore Siracusa's short films and videos are inspired and informed by a tradition of visionary or extra-realist cinema keen to bear witness to the more perplexing and strange in the everyday. His relatively small output of films include Natura Morta (1979), "one of the most evocative yet concise statements - and powerfully inventive metaphors - of the migrant experience" (Quentin Turnour) (1) and Italians at Home (1991), "this film lovingly witnesses the kind of collage experience that millions of Australians enact everyday as they attempt to make sense of a world composed of infinitely fragmented traditions and languages" (Ross Gibson). (2)

Natura Morta

In his latter work Ettore has sought to extend his documentary fictions about migration and the depiction of urban environments to exploring ideas on 'migrant' remembering and baroque architectural forms. The video essay The House of Doctor Duende (1997), made in collaboration with Paul Carter, and based on his novel, Baroque Memories (1992), presents a fictional portrait of a baroque city, Lecce, in a collage of voices, fragmented remembrances and overlays of interpretations, to dramatise ways in which migrants make sense of their new environment by improvising new, forward-looking points of reference.

His most recent work is a documentary multi-screen video installation at ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne.

(1) Private corrrespondence to Ettore Siracusa, July 2000.
(2) See Bibliography below.

Italians at Home


Yours Faithfully (1969, 5 mins, 16mm, b&w)

Short Story (1970, 8 mins, 16mm, b&w)

Lost (1971, 5 mins, 16mm, b&w)

Natura Morta (1980, 14 mins, 16mm, col.)

The Occupant (1984, 25 mins, 16mm, col.)
co-directed with Peter Lyssiotis and Michael Karris

Italians at Home

Italians at Home (1991, 29 mins, 16mm, col.)

The House of Doctor Duende (1997, 28 mins, Video)

Lecce: locations for unmade film (1997, 25 mins, Video)

Jadi Jadian (1998, 50 mins, Video for stage projection)

Shanghai Daily (2001, 20 mins, Video documentary)

Picture Palaces (2003, 2 x 29 mins, Video multi-screen installation at ACMI, Federation Square)

Hem of Memory (2017, 2 x 13 mins, Video multi-screen installation at

Italians at Home (1991, excerpt)
Picture Palaces (2003, excerpt)


"2 Films", Catalogue, The First Australian Filmmakers' Festival, 23 August 1971.

The House of Doctor Duende

"L'imagine dei settant'anni", Antonio Di Pierro, Il Messagero, page 17, March 1979.

"The Occupant", Interview with Peter Lyssiotis, Cantrills Filmnotes, No. 49/50, April 1986

"Alike/Unalike: Cultural Diversity in Australian Independent Film", Bill Mousoulis, Art Link, Vol 11, No. 1, Autumn 1991.

"At Home with Ettore Siracusa", Steven Ball, Cantrills Filmnotes No. 65/66, October 1991. p38

"Screen", Julie Rigg and Adrian Martin, ABC Radio 3NR, 25 April 1991.

"Wit's End. The ways of irony", Gabrielle Finnane, Catalogue, Museum Contemporary Art, Sydney, May, 1993.

"Screen", Vikki Riley, ABC Radio 3NR, 13 May 1993.

"The New Breed of Ethnic Filmmakers", Pat Gillespie, Cinema Papers, No. 90, October, 1992.

"Cultural Difference and Ethnicity in the Australian Cinema", John Conomos, Cinema Papers, No. 90, October 1992.

"Dream and Drives: Australian Experimental Cinema", Adrian Martin, Catalogue, Australian Focus - Week of Experimental Cinema, Madrid, 1994.

"Something Strange Disturbing Us Everyday Day", Ross Gibson, Catalogue, Australian Experimental Cinema, Madrid, November, 1998.

Ettore Siracusa, December 2017.

Ettore Siracusa on Vimeo

Contact Ettore Siracusa

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis