KI bushfire doco wins film award in Toronto

A documentary produced to aid healing on Kangaroo Island after the Black Summer bushfires has won an international award.

KI’s cinematographer David Foreman’s film “No Safe Space” was named “Best Documentary” in the 10e edition of the Toronto Indie Shorts Festival and was shortlisted for the LA Sun Film Festival.

Titled in reference to the warning issued by Kangaroo Island’s CFS on January 3, 2021 that there was “no safe space” on the island to flee the fires, the short documentary is an edit of a longer film titled “January 3rd

The original film was made with Sabrina Davis, who felt the overwhelming need to talk to fellow islanders and bring together everyone’s experiences of the tragic summer in a commemorative film.

“After writing down my thoughts and the timeline of my family’s journey over the previous December and January, I spoke to other western farmers about creating a film as a record for the future “Davis said.

“It was an event like no other has ever been experienced on the island, and documenting our recovery seemed important.”

Foreman, who runs film company Kangaroo Island Outdoor Films, says he made the film in response to the needs of islanders.

“Shortly after the bushfires, the western farming community contacted Outdoor Films to record some of their stories,” Foreman said.

“As islanders ourselves, we wanted to help during this traumatic time.”

After initial meetings between Foreman, Ruth de la Lande and Gethin Creagh, the production team, Davis returned to her community to gather information and stories about life through the most tragic fire day in history. island on January 3, 2020.

With a production support grant through Wellbeing SA, the team of four locals then interviewed farmers affected by the fire, and Foreman immediately understood that “storytelling was therapeutic for these survivors.”

The original hour-long film premiered at the Humans of Kangaroo Island Film and Literature Festival in Parndana in October 2021. It was not picked up by any other festivals, so Foreman decided to shorten it to a 40-minute version. minutes so that he can participate in short film festivals around the world. The film crew then renamed the edit for better overall understanding.

“‘No Safe Space’ is a film documenting the island’s resilience and recovery,” Foreman said.

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