David Batty – Director / Writer /DOP
Batty’s career spans 34 years of writing, producing, directing and shooting documentary throughout most parts of Australia and PNG.
David’s love for the bush and remote Australia has provided an array of great characters and a rich palette to ply his storytelling skills. His films display empathy and rapport derived from deep trust and local knowledge. With seven TV series, five one hours and over two hundred short form docs David’s films entertain, and give insight into rarefied worlds.
Based in Alice Springs for 13 years, then Broome for 12 years and now living between his studio in Melbourne and his property on the South Coast of NSW, Batty has a long and distinguished history of making programs with and for Aboriginal people. His filmmaking career began around 1982 in Alice Springs where he established the TV production unit at CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association).
Batty is well known for his hit television series, “Bush Mechanics” which reached an audience of over three million viewers. Recent projects include directing “Coniston”, the story of Australia’s last massacre of Aboriginal People in Central Australia and the Web Series “Black As”, which tracks four young men and their wild adventures across Arnhem Land.
Jeni McMahon – Managing Director / Producer
From 1998 to 2002 Jeni produced projects that primarily reflected aspects of life in remote Aboriginal Australia. She has a strong connection with this region, having lived at various times in Central Australia, Arnhem Land and the Kimberley.
Jeni’s knowledge of outback Australia held her in good stead whilst producing the Bush Mechanics Series in 2000- 2001. Over a period of eighteen months, she drove across the continent more times than she can remember, made countless cups of tea for co-director Francis Jupurulla Kelly, cooked and cleaned for the Bush Mechanics and tolerated heat, dust and floods at Yuendumu.
Of her experience she says: “Bush Mechanics has been both the most challenging and exhilarating project I’ve ever been involved with and I’m extremely glad to have survived the experience!”
In 2004, after six years of filmmaking throughout regional and outback Australia, Jeni returned to her home town of Melbourne to complete post-production on “Inventions from the Shed.” She liked it so much she decided to stay and in 2005, Rebel Films established a permanent production base and studio in Brunswick, Melbourne.
2005 saw her return to outback Australia to produce the “Going Bush” series with Cathy Freeman and Deborah Mailman for SBS and Lonely Planet Television. This year she hopes to stay closer to home to concentrate on the many projects she has on her development and production slate.
Of producing she says ” there’s nothing I enjoy more than being on the road and in production. We’ve had the privilege to work with some amazing people all over the country, sometimes people who you meet for only a short space of time but who nevertheless open up their world to you. That’s the highlight of documentary filmmaking for me – making those connections and allowing people to speak in their own voice and that I think, is what’s most important…”