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Fine & Clear Productions was founded in 2010 by Julie Romaniuk. A small production company based in Brisbane, it focuses on productions featuring  inspirational individuals who work with music, art or poetry in their communities to enrich lives and enable people to reach beyond what they thought possible.

 

Julie Romaniuk
Producer and Director – Fine & Clear Productions

As a storyteller, teacher and visual artist perhaps my collision with film was inevitable. Film is such a powerful, experiential medium, has such a broad reach and allows for a variety of ways of talking with an audience, especially when compared with visual arts practice, which is my background.

I worked for many years as a teacher for adolescent refugees and migrants and found that visual arts and writing projects were very effective in teaching the kids English because this approach engaged them and allowed for the individual expression of their experiences and cultures. Later I did a 3 day film editing course at the State Library of Queensland and I saw that the opportunity for using my stills, visual arts and short videos to document and share my work with the students.

At the same time I was also working with a community development association and was particularly involved with their annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art show. This role was not about gatekeeping and selection of work but about encouragement, acceptance and hanging every artwork that was delivered. As a result of the editing workshop I thought I could work with the artists to tell their stories. This was a big moment for all concerned. As the artists told their stories I realised the importance for each of them to speak about their work for the first time and to do so to everyone who was interested in the artwork.

This interaction is what fascinates me about filmmaking. I’m enthralled by the way that people from all walks of life, cultures and experiences make meaning in their lives. I want to show that what may appear as “an ordinary life” is actually part of a vast interconnected network of human endeavor, relationships and experience filled with moments of beauty and moments of sorrow. These are the stories that I want to tell in my work.

My filmmaking grew out of my studio practice and teaching. Teaching is very much about producing, collaborating and directing to get a final outcome.  My first film Milpera – The Beginning of a New Journey focused on the schooling experience of refugee and migrant adolescents. It was a 45 minute documentary on the 25 year history of the school as told by past students. They were from many countries and many conflicts and each recounted their experience as new arrivals in Australia. My next project My Place explored the growing diversity in an Australian suburb.

Determined to pursue my work as a filmmaker, I established Fine & Clear Productions in 2010. I have continued to choose stories that I am passionate about and to work with a small dedicated crew. For me the telling of a story is a revolving gift flowing back and forth between filmmaker and subject and I have learnt to enthuse investors and participants to be part of this work.

The first production under my new banner was Waziz, about a community of musicians bought together by their love of Balkan and Middle Eastern music.

When we sing… continues my fascination for stories about individuals who work with music or art or poetry in their communities to engage, to inspire and to enable all people to reach beyond what they thought possible.

 

Julie Romaniuk