Aaron Fa’aoso will give the Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture at Screen Forever in May.
The lecture has been a keynote feature of the annual conference since 1992. It honours its namesake’s legacy and emphasises the importance of independent production in Australia’s cultural life.
Fa’aoso is a proud Torres Strait Islander who grew up with a rich tradition of storytelling. He’s since gone on to become one the the Australian screen industry’s most important storytellers.
He began his career in 2006 when he played Eddie Gaibui on “R.A.N.” Since then, he appeared or voiced characters in productions including “Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms”, “Black Comedy” and “Goldstone and Subdivision”.
He’s now managing director of Lone Star Production Group and he has an extensive career behind the camera as a director, producer and writer across productions including “Blue Water Empire”, “Strait to the Plate” and “The Straits”.
Through roles on the SPA Council, Screen Queensland’s Board and the SBS Board, and his own work at Lone Star, he has helped educate future generations of First Nations screen industry practitioners in fundamentals such as writing, acting and producing.
In addition, he’s a long-time advocate for investment in a studio in Far North Queensland that would facilitate a First Nations focus. This vision was realised in 2021 with the Queensland Government announcement that a $6.8 million film and television studio would be built in Carins. The project is due for completion later this year.
He said he’s delighted to be delivering the Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture at a time when there is so much opportunity for the industry.
“I’m looking forward to discussing how Torres Strait Islander people continue to be frustrated about the lack of inclusion, visibility, and voices of not being seen, heard, or considered despite being integral in the economic development of this country across the vast landscapes of the maritime (Pearling), agricultural (sugarcane). Transport (railway development) and defence force industries,” he said.
“As ” the other” First Nations people of Australia, Torres Strait Islander people want a more balanced representation across the entire film and television landscape from content creation, onscreen talent, heads of department and so on. Until a focussed Torres Strait Islander screen strategy and funding is established and allocated that is embraced and advocated by the screen industry, screen agencies and broadcasters the status quo will remain.”
Screen Producers Australia (SPA) CEO, Matthew Deaner, said the organisation is thrilled to have Fa’aoso on board for the lecture.
“Aaron’s delivery is very timely given the prominence of First Nations stories in the government’s new National Cultural Policy and are sure his lecture will not only be well received by all delegates in attendance but inspire them and reignite a burning passion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories within the Australian screen sector.”
Tickets and more information about Screen Forever 37 can be found here.