World Premiere – The Art of Incarceration @ Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

July 12, 2019

A personal insight into three artists and the deeply ingrained incarceration epidemic of Australia's first people
art

World Premiere – The Art of Incarceration @ Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

A personal insight into three artists and the deeply ingrained incarceration epidemic of Australia's first people

Melbourne Documentary Film Festival screenings
World Premiere 28 July (Sold Out) + Encore Screening 31 July @ 6.30pm
Cinema Nova, Carlton

Debut feature documentary produced, written and directed by Alex Siddons

From deep inside a Victorian Correctional Centre, feature documentary The Art of Incarceration provides a personal insight into three indigenous inmates and the path their artistic expressions take them.     

On Sunday 28th July, the film will have it is world premiere at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival to a sell-out audience. An encore screening has been scheduled for Wednesday 31st July.

Given unprecedented prison access to Fulham Correctional Centre in Gippsland, emerging filmmaker Alex Siddons, tracks inmates Christopher, Troy and Robby’s experience with the Indigenous Arts in Prisons and Community program run by not for profit organisation The Torch.

The film is an uncompromising insight into the inmates’ quest for cultural identity and spiritual healing as they prepare for The Torch’s annual Confined exhibition and for life on the outside.

This narrative documentary both analyses and humanises the over-representation of Indigenous Australians within the prison system, whilst seeking answers and striving for solutions.

“The film clearly and profoundly explores greatly misunderstood issues such as cultural disconnection, inter-generational trauma, addiction and institutionalisation.

Art provides the inmates with hope and an opportunity to transcend their cycles of imprisonment whilst strengthening their fractured connection to culture and identity,” said Director Alex Siddons.

What we know today as ‘socially acceptable behavior’, I had no idea of. I ended up emulating my father in so many ways that I do not care to remember and wish to forget.   Troy

Through art, Troy attempts to reconcile his violent past and gains an enhanced sense of hope for when he is ‘eventually freed’. Troy is astonishingly intellectual and his introspective journey through the narrative is every bit as compelling as it is deeply tragic.

It started when I was 11…   Chris

Chris is attempting to break free from his 30-plus years of regular imprisonment through his new direction as an artist and forge a lasting connection with his four-year old daughter.

For brothers and sisters that go into prison, there’s only ever been one road, and that’s the hard road.   Robby

Robby is a former inmate at Fulham Correctional Centre and a participant of The Torch program since 2014. He is a symbol of hope and strength to the inmates because of his recent success as an artist and his dedication to community, culture and family.

Robby is the first person from The Torch program to be employed to deliver the program and help others to stay out of jail. I couldn’t say no to that. To be able to do something I love anyway, talking to other brothers and sisters either giving them inspiration, taking them out bush, dropping them off … [it’s a] great job, [a] great place to be.

The Confined exhibition represents a middle ground between prison and society, providing the inmates with ‘experiences that no one can take away from us, no matter how dark the times get’. However, beyond the walls of the gallery, the artists’ quest for freedom is truly exposed.

Without any funding or industry support, Director/Producer Alex Siddons began work on the documentary three and a half years ago and filmed over 100 hours of footage over 16 months.

Now, The Art of Incarceration is ready to challenge and inspire the conversation that Australia has neglected for too long.

EVENT DETAILS: The Art of Incarceration  
Dates:  Sunday 28 July @ 8.45pm (SOLD OUT), Wednesday 31 July @ 6.30pm
Address: Cinema Nova, 380 Lygon St, Carlton
Tickets: $21 full price, $16 Concession
Bookings: https://www.cinemanova.com.au/events/melbourne-documentary-film-festival
Running time: 90 minutes

Filmed with the cooperation of Fulham Correctional Centre,
Corrections Victoria and The Torch. 

The Art Of Incarceration | Official Trailer

We are thrilled to announce that The Art of Incarceration will be premiering closing night of the 2019 Melbourne Documentary Film Festival on Sunday the 28th of July. Seen through the eyes of the prisoners, The Art of Incarceration explores The Torch, a pioneering not for profit organisation that runs arts programs for Indigenous prisoners and ex-offenders in the Victorian prison system. The film is an uncompromising insight into the artist’s quest for cultural identity and spiritual healing as they prepare for annual Confined exhibition and for life on the outside. Tickets are now available: (link in comments)

Posted by The Art of Incarceration on Wednesday, 22 May 2019