Festival explores story and film

A diverse line-up of speakers including bestselling crime writer Candice Fox, filmmaker Sophie Hyde, and actor and writer Natasha Wanganeen will share advice and insights at the free three-day Context Writers’ Festival at City Library next week.

Nelya Valamanesh.

Context, which began in 2019 and is presented by Writers SA and the City of Adelaide, is badged as a new type of literary festival for writers that explores storytelling across all mediums and genre, from comedy to crime to cinema.

This year’s program has been curated by multi-disciplinary artist Nelya Valamanesh, who hopes it will inspire local writers to dream big.

“As someone who works in various fields of storytelling, it’s important to see role models and listen to voices that have overcome barriers, especially when it comes to locality,” Valamanesh says. “Kaurna/Adelaide is overlooked especially in respect to communal writing, whether it be in film and television or theatre, as it always seems like less of a risk to hire or adapt works from the eastern states.

“South Australia has a lot to offer and the program focuses on the creative minds that have emerged from this state, as well as interstate creatives who have worked creatively alongside locals.”

This festival runs from November 25-27 and will include an opening event with multi-disciplinary artist and screenwriter Vidya Rajan talking about “hustle culture” in the arts, a “villains workshop” (with Fox), a discussion on the future of screenwriting, a mock writers’ room showing how TV comedies are created, and a long-table conversation about the fascination with death in novels. Registrations (here) are essential.

Dance of joy

Restless dancer Michael Hodyl performing in Ècoute Pour Voir – Listen To See. Photo: Cathy Leo

Restless Dance Theatre has won an international award for its collaboration on Ècoute Pour Voir – Listen To See, an intimate choreographic experience presented at this year’s WOMADelaide festival.

The SA company was awarded the CINARS International Collaboration Award this month at a gala event at Canada’s CINARS Biennale, an international showcase and networking event in Montreal that attracts more than 1900 performing arts professionals from around the world.

The concept for Ècoute Pour Voir – Listen To See was originally developed by Canadian choreographer Emmanuel Jouthe, with Restless artistic director Michelle Ryan and creative producer Roz Hervey so moved by a performance they saw at the 2018 CINARS that they initiated a collaboration with Jouthe and two Canadian companies to present a fresh iteration in Adelaide.

In what is described as a “three-minute choreographic exchange”, a number of solo dancers and one duet each present a short performance for a single audience member, using headphones and an MP3 player.  Festival goers at WOMADelaide were entranced by performances of Ècoute Pour Voir – Listen To See in roped-off circles around Botanic Park, and it has also been presented at DreamBig Festival and at Flinders Medical Centre.

“We are thrilled that this international collaboration with Canadian artists has been recognised at CINARS… It has been an incredible journey collaborating internationally during a pandemic,” says Ryan. 

It’s nearly Rubies time

A scene from Watershed: The Death of Dr Duncan. Photo: Andrew Beveridge

The shortlist for the 2022 Ruby Awards was revealed this week, with the Adelaide Festival production Watershed: The Death of Dr Duncan and State Theatre Company’s Girls and Boys and Hibernation among those vying for honours.

The awards, recognising excellence across SA’s arts and culture sector, cover six categories for artistic works and events, plus a further five recognising contributions by individuals and organisations.

Watershed and Girls and Boys have both been shortlisted for outstanding work or event within a festival, alongside visual art exhibitions Neoteric (presented at Adelaide Railway Station during Adelaide Festival) and Tarnanthi’s Sister Exhibitions (at the Art Gallery of South Australia). Hibernation, Flying Penguin Productions’ Glengarry Glen Ross and FUMA’s Barbara Hanrahan retrospective exhibition Bee-stung Lips are in the running for outstanding work or event outside a festival.

Adelaide Central School of Art, Guildhouse and Nexus Arts have made the 2022 shortlist for outstanding contribution by an organisation or group, which recognises the efforts of the state’s small to medium arts organisations.

The full 2022 shortlist – which includes separate categories this year for community and regional events and projects – can be viewed here, with winners set to be announced at an event on November 25.

Fuel for thought

South Australian artists, arts workers, and arts and culture organisations are invited to join an online discussion next week tackling the thorny topic of “sustainability and responsible arts sponsorship”.

The November 30 webinar is being presented by the Arts Industry Council of SA and will be led by artist and filmmaker Alex Kelly and author and editor Jennifer Mills.

“Across the country, cultural organisations such as Darwin and Perth Festivals are ending their relationships with fossil fuel companies after sustained pressure from artists and advocates,” says the event summary. “With climate disruption increasingly part of our daily lives, there is an urgent need to reassess our links with the industries that are causing harm to our planet, and look at divestment, alternate funding options and genuine sustainability goals. How can artists use our skills to advocate for change, and how can the arts lead the way to climate justice?”

The free discussion will be held via Zoom, with tickets available here.

Green Room is a regular column for InReview, providing quick news for people interested, or involved, in South Australian arts and culture.

Get in touch by emailing us at editorial@solsticemedia.com.au

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