Speech: Love Your Work!

Opening speech prepared for my first public appearance as Program Director of OPEN CHANNEL. Love Your Work was held at ACMI, 28 November 2005. Audience members were invited to vote for the best film

under spotlight...
Photo: Boris Eldagsen

Good evening and welcome to OPENChannel’s Audience Choice Awards, LOVE YOUR WORK.

LOVE YOUR WORK is now in its 5th year and still going strong as you will see by the quality and diversity of the films we have for you tonight.

We’re often asked “why another short film festival”?

Considering the ever diminishing conduit for Australian screen content on free-to-air television, the possibility that we may not even get a decent outcome for Australian content within the digital spectrum and that our own institutions glorify international filmmakers above our own artists, I say, let’s have more! Bring them on… more short film festivals… one on every street corner, in trams, trains, buses, taxis, in pubs, hospitals, zoos and every back yard!

So, tonight you will be the judge… and you’ll have only two tasks to perform. The first is to NOT lose your raffle ticket… we’ll be awarding door prizes at the end of the screening. Secondly, you’ll have a voting card. Fill it out through the course of the screening. If you don’t have a pen you’ll find pen assistants working the ails during the intermission at the end of the screening. As you leave the cinema, hand your completed form to one of our intrepid volunteers.

Now that I have your attention I’d like to take this moment to thank everyone that’s help to get us here, right here, right now…

Thanks to ACMI for assisting us in hosting LOVE YOUR WORK! PBS for their relentless on-air support, RRR and Palace Films, the Dendy and of course the AFC and Film Victoria.

We must thank the delightful Andrea Foxworthy, who has kept LOVE YOUR WORK in the public domain, supporting independent filmmakers in Victoria. Andrea has moved on, is expanding her horizons and if you’ve met her you’ll know she’ll be missed at OPENChannel… big round of applause.

Taking up where Andrea left off is the rather remarkable, energetic and enthusiastic Natascha Stellmach who has done an absolutely brilliant job at getting us all here tonight… Absolutely sterling effort… and of course all the staff at OPENChannel who remind us that it’s really about people, not computers nor the internet… people who care about the art of film, the art of communication and working their butts off so you can make a difference!

Special thanks to Chris Ryan our volunteer coordinator and his school of volunteers… We are in your very capable hands Chris!

Finally, a big hearty and gracious thanks, a bow of respect to the filmmakers themselves; our entrants, our students and supporters… Australia is rich with stories and over-populated with issues that concern us all. If the free-to-air lobby and the federal government believe there aren’t enough films being made in this country to support an independent film industry, to support a national community broadcaster within the digital spectrum, they aren’t Loving Your Work!

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