Amie Batalibasi at Berlinale International Film Festival for Blackbird short film

Screening of BLACKBIRD at the 69th Berlinale International Film Festival, 2019. Image credit: Jan Kraus.

Amie Batalibasi is an Australian-Solomon Islander writer, director and producer based in Melbourne, Australia.

This year Amie directed an episode of the International Kids Emmy Nominated ABC Me show, Matchbox Pictures’ MUSTANGS FC, through the ADG’s Shadow Director program with veteran director Rodger Hodgman. She recently directed two episodes of THALU an ABC/ NITV series based in the Pilbara, Western Australia, produced by Weerianna Street Media. Both MUSTANGS FC and THALU will be released in 2020.

Amie’s previous directing credits include the short films BLACKBIRD, DOCKED and KA PUTA KO AU, the documentary TIDE OF CHANGE and the drama/comedy webseries, FRESH!. Her short narrative and documentary films, exploring issues of social justice, human rights and cultural diversity are award-winning, and have screened at festivals around the globe. Her debut short drama, BLACKBIRD, inspired by the history of Australia’s sugar slaves, screened at the 69th Berlinale International Film Festival, received several script awards from the Victorian College of the Arts, and debuted on NITV (National Indigenous Television) and SBS OnDemand in 2017. BLACKBIRD will be broadcasted throughout the Asia-Pacific via ABC Australia in 2020.

In 2018, Amie was selected to attend the Berlinale Talents Summit 2018 as part of the Berlinale International Film Festival, as well as the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Filmmaker Lab. Amie is the 2017 recipient of the Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Film Program’s Merata Mita Fellowship in the name of Aotearoa’s first indigenous woman to write and direct a feature film.  In 2018, Amie was selected for the Australian Director’s Guild (ADG) Delegation to attend SPA’s Screen Forever conference to pitch her feature film in development, BLACKBIRD.

Amie Batalibasi at the Native Forum Brunch at Sundance Film Festival, 2017. Merata Mita Fellowship. Image: Kelly Ann Tuab

Native Forum Brunch at Sundance Film Festival, 2017. Image: Kelly Ann Tuab

Amie’s filmmaking practice aims to bring diverse stories to light by collaborating with people and communities at a grassroots level, to unearth stories that have the possibility to spark empowerment and create change.

Amie graduated with honours from Melbourne University Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) in a Master of Film and TV (Narrative) in 2015 and a Graduate Diploma of Film and TV (Documentary) in 2007. In 2004 she received the graduating medal for a Bachelor of Photography (Art Practice) from Griffith University Queensland College of Arts.

Amie is represented by Yellow Creative Management, Sydney.

COMMISSIONS

Amie has produced, directed and collaborated on various media projects and commissioned films for not for profit organisations, businesses and government bodies including the Australian Football League, Australia Post, St Vincent De Paul, Australian Home Care, Melbourne City Mission, Western Edge Youth Arts, Barkly Arts Centre (CoHealth Arts Generator), The Centre for Multicultural Youth, The Textile Clothing and Footwear Union, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, and the Victorian Fisheries Authority.

COMMUNITY FILM PROJECTS

An important part of Amie’s filmmaking practice sharing filmmaking skills with the communities and people around her so that they can tell their own stories through film.  She has facilitated various filmmaking courses and workshops with young people, new migrant groups, CALD communities, indigenous communities and diverse groups of people in and around Melbourne, interstate and internationally producing over 20 short films with first time filmmakers from diverse backgrounds.

ASSI Stories Group WEBIn 2014, Amie worked with the Australian South Sea Islander Secretariat Inc. to produce a multimedia community storytelling project called ASSI Stories (Australian South Sea Islander Stories) (Queensland). As part of this project a series of seven short films were written and directed by Australian South Sea Islander participants and premiered at a community screening at The Edge, Brisbane. Copyright Wantok Stori_04In 2012, Amie co-facilitated two community film projects Wantok Stori (Victoria/ Solomon Islands) & Pacific Stories – Harmony on the Murray (Robinvale, Victoria). In 2011 she facilitated two filmmaking courses in Melbourne:  The Young Media Makers Project – with diverse young people; and co-facilitated Pacific Stories – working with a group of Australian Pacific Islanders in Melbourne. In each of these projects participants learnt filmmaking skills to then write and direct their own short films about issues important to them.

My Story My Place - Through the Lens 01Amie has also spent time in the central Australian desert working as a media trainer through PAW Media & Communications and the Mt Theo Youth Program as a media trainer with indigenous Warlpiri people in the communities of Yuendumu & Willowra, Northern Territory. In 2009, with the help of friends, Amie founded the community group called Pacific Community Partnerships – an organisation set up to assist her family’s village in the Solomon Islands with community cultural development projects.