Documentary about Rottnest celebrates world premiere

October 10, 2014

Murdoch University filmaker Jeff Asselin in Amman JordanA documentary by Murdoch University filmmakers, Jeffory Asselin and Glen Stasiuk, covering the penal history of Rottnest Island has had its world premiere in the middle-east in Amman, Jordan.

Mr Asselin was invited by the Royal Film Commission in Jordan to showcase three of his films as part of a special screening of Australian works.

“It was fantastic to be able to screen my work to film investors, politicians and film industry professionals in Jordan,” Mr Asselin said.

“I showcased three pieces of my work; The Billabong, Strike and our feature length documentary Wadjemup: Black Prison – White Playground which I co-wrote and produced with Glen Stasiuk.

“It was a great opportunity to showcase Australian films to the Arab world and to field some of their questions at the end of the screening.

“Having many tribes in Jordan, the audience was particularly interested in the political themes in Wadjemup and the reaction of our government to the film.”

Mr Asselin said it was an incredible experience visiting Jordan and that he was primarily there to scout locations for his next project, a science-fiction feature film.

“We travelled the entire country including the borders of Iraq, Syria, Israel and Saudi Arabia,” he said.

“It was a surreal experience as we were surrounded by war and the entire region was very intense.”

Wadjemup also screened at the recent world acclaimed Cinefest Oz festival and will now continue to tour the national and international festival circuits before being shown on national television in the new year.

The film has been listed as a finalist in the Best Documentary – History & Best Docudrama in the 2014 Atom Awards. The awards celebrate the best Aussie and New Zealand screen content from the education sector and screen industry professionals.  The winners will be announced at the Tertiary and Industry Awards night in Melbourne on November 27.

The documentary has already won an award for Outstanding Achievement in a Feature Film – Factual category at the WA Screen Awards.

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