Illawong is the name of a film, and a place, made by students (and some staff) at Menai High School in Illawong, New South Wales, Australia. The film is very fixed on its setting: the makers were determined to use the film as an opportunity to introduce the world to their place, and at the end, they credit the history and provenance of that place in an ‘Acknowledgement of Country’. In a great discussion about the film, with teachers and students at BFI on 23rd June, we wondered how similar acknowledgements might work, with films made in Islington, Lambeth, and Surrey.
Stephi Hemelryk Donald talked to us about the film, and its making. Of the 30 or so ‘Play’ films I’ve seen this year, it’s the only one to feature ‘adults pretending to be children’. And it’s wonderful!