SA eNews February 2018 - From the Pres - New ACS Policy - Profile Michael Tessari - We Don't Need a Map screening & Q&A - Aesthetica Film Festival Entry


AC Magazines

From the Pres - Christmas Drinks

Christmas cheer.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and enjoyed breaking in the New Year, I certainly did.

35 of our financial ACS members joined us for our annual Christmas Drinks @ The Colonist Hotel on Monday night December 11. The winners of the great door prizes included Tom Scott who won a $100 dinner voucher, a years free membership was won by Richard Back and JoAnne Bouzianis Sellick won a free 2018 Awards entry.

So keep an eye out for our 2018 events and let us know of anything specific you'd like us to put on. We'll do our best to accomodate your ideas.

Check out our AC Magazine website at - our AC mag editor James Cunningham has produced a fantastic site.

More Christmas cheer.

ACS Harassment, Discrimination & Bullying Policy and Code of Ethics

Late last year we held an EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) at the ACS HQ to discuss in detail and set a new standard from the Society when it comes to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination & Bullying. This is a giant, positive step forward for the Society and all those delegates including Branch Presidents, Office Bearers, members of the ACS Womens Advisory Panel that attended the December EGM had nothing but positive feedback.

We are also providing 2 National Peer support contacts, Ron Johanson ACS and Erika Addis. Their task is to confidentially listen and offer additional support & resources, if requested by any person who feels they are the victim of Sexual Harassment, Discrimination or Bullying in an ACS environment. They are both available at any time.

The meeting recommended the formation of a nationally constituted Ethics & Discrimination Sub-committee.... to hear claims of any gender, race, disability, religious, sexual orientation discrimination or harassment and bullying of any kind. This includes any verbal, emotional, physical, cyber or sexual harassment.

It was also proposed and the motion carried that the Branches each form a sub committee of two – three persons, or whatever is practical as ‘go to’ persons for anyone in need of any kind of assistance at Branch functions or events. Your branch will be working on this at the next committee meetings.

The ACS has a long and proud history and we are always mindful of the welfare of our members. Your National Executive and your ACS Board will continue to monitor and ensure the Society always provides a safe and harmonious working and social environment for all.

Apart from the revised ACS Policy, we also put in place an ACS Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct which can be found on our ACS web site and in the links below.

Click for ACS Harassment, Discrimination & Bullying Policy »
Click for ACS Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct »

Profile Michael Tessari

A young Mike on the set of the thriller short film Isis circa 2011

Michael, please tell us what's your favourite film and TV show?

I love Road To Perdition and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. For TV shows, I really love Mad Men.

Your favourite on-set snack?

Any snack going; otherwise pizza Shapes are a staple.

Who are some cinematographers and filmmakers who inspire you?

I love the work of Roger Deakins ASC BSC CBE, of course, especially Jesse James. Christopher Doyle HKCS work with director Wong Kar Wai during the 90’s/00’s is also a personal favourite. I also love Conrad Hall ASC and the work of Andrew Lesnie ACS ASC.

Why film?

I was always a visual learner; I think film was an outlet for me to scratch a creative yet technical itch. I always enjoyed art but it was through cameras that I could express this.

On set shooting with ARRI Alexa and James Ward-Miller

When did you decide to pursue cinematography? How did you start out?

I discovered photography from a young age, using my dad’s film camera on a trip to the zoo. From there I bought a little 6 megapixel digital camera using all my savings, and throughout high school pursued photography and media classes. It was following that that I attended the Flinders University film course, which I graduated from in 2011 with Honours.

What was your first project/job?

My first experience on set was as a camera assistant on student’s Honours films during my course at Flinders. My first project outside of university was shooting a short thriller film called Isis in 2011, for which I won an ACS Student Gold award as well as the Cliff Ellis Award back in 2013.

What has been your most interesting project?

Some of the most interesting projects were the larger scale productions that I assisted on, such as Deadline Gallipoli and The Babadook. Seeing these larger productions really inspired me to push myself to one day work at that level.

Your favourite on-set snack?

I’m interested in stepping into long-form work in the near future, such as working on features and series as a 2nd/ 3rd unit DOP. I’m also keen to shoot larger campaign commercials; I’ve been able to cut my teeth on a few already in my short career.

Shooting Release in 2017 with Claire Bishop on focus

Do you have any other passions outside of work?

I enjoy film photography, shooting and developing medium format film and printing in my darkroom. I also like keeping fit playing social soccer every week.

You recently won the Milton Ingerson AM ACS Award for the Best Entry for the Short Film ‘Release’ please tell us about that project and what was it like to win this prestigious Award?

This award honestly came as a massive surprise. Looking at the other entries this year, the bar is set so high by all the entrants and I am extremely humbled to be acknowledged by the Society amongst such talented colleagues.

Looking at the award now, it is so inspiring to see the established names engraved on it and seeing my name alongside these is very surreal.

For this project, the concept was to present a colour story which moved between analogous colours from scene to scene, to create unease in the audience.

We knew we wanted freedom to shoot the space and utilise interactive lighting effects, so we designed out lighting around practical lights that were prerigged the week prior. This cut our setup time and allowed us to achieve our shooting schedule.

I’m really happy with how the film came together visually and I’m really thankful to the amazing team I had on this one.

A stunned Michael accepts the Milton Ingerson AM ACS Award for the Best Entry.

How long have you been a member of the SA branch of the ACS and why did you join?

I joined in 2010 at the behest of my lecturer, Helen carter at university. I saw the accredited members of the Society and knew that I wanted to one day join those prestigious ranks. I love that I can learn from and catch up with the members, who I can call my peers and mentors.

Tell us something about yourself that not many people know?

When I’m on set I like to sing pop songs from the 80’s 90’s and 2000’s.

What now?

I am trying to saving for a house which has proven difficult with my current smashed avo, double shot latte addiction.

Where can we see more of your work?

My current work can be seen on my website at

Thank you and congratulations again Michael. It's fantastic to see the development of a student member who was recognised with the Cliff Ellis Award in 2013 as showing the most potential to developing their career in a few short years to the high level that their work wins the top gong! You should be very proud of this achievement.

Johanis Lyons-Reid, Michael & David Tang with a swag of awards at the 2017 SA WA Awards

Screening & Q&A of Warwick Thornton's We Don’t Need a Map

Bush toy and the Southern sky.

Warwick Thornton’s (Samson and Delilah, Sweet Country) critically acclaimed documentary We Don’t Need a Map is screening nationally in cinemas soon.

Originally screened as the opening night film at the 2017 Sydney Film Festival, We Don’t Need a Map is about the hijacking of an Australian icon.

Warwick Thornton & Captain Cook bush toy.

We Don’t Need A Map is an epic telling of Australia’s history, told through our collective relationship to one famous constellation. It is a challenging, poetic, cosmic essay about who we are as a nation.

The film proudly defines Aboriginal people’s lore and spiritual relationship with the land as fundamental to this nation. And yet under the one night sky, we are all connected now … all people of this land, all Australians. So how do we want to move forward?

When we are lost we don’t need a map, we just need a clear view.

We Don’t Need A Map screening & Q&A at Palace Nova Eastend February 8. Check with Palace Nova re ticket prices. Visit for more information.

"At once benignly mischievous and profoundly serious, We Don’t Need a Map... is a pertinent message for the director’s countrymen and an eye-opening lesson for the world about the proud history and ongoing racial tensions that currently form the crux of the Australian experience … (it) achieves that unique tone of Australian self-deprecation tempered by frustration but resolutely remaining positive about the future.” - VARIETY

Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2018(ASFF)

The 8th BAFTA-Recognised Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is now open for entries. Celebrating innovation and excellence in filmmaking, ASFF is looking for practitioners who are pushing the boundaries of film forward.

ASFF accepts submissions from across 11 genres including: Advertising, Animation, Artists’ Film, Comedy, Dance, Documentary, Drama, Experimental, Fashion, Music Video or Thriller.

New to 2018, ASFF will also accept submissions in Narrative and Documentary Feature Films, over 60 minutes. In addition, filmmakers working on Virtual and Augmented Reality projects are also invited to submit, to explore game changing forms of storytelling.

ASFF 2018 Prizes include:
Screen at a major BAFTA-Recognised UK and International Festival
Awards for Best of Category, Festival Winner (£1,000) & People's Choice
The Northern Film School Award for Best Screenplay (£1,000)
Further exposure with editorial coverage in Aesthetica Magazine and on Aesthetica's online channels (319,000 readership worldwide)
Screenings in various guest programmes at other film festival & events
Submit your film:
Deadline 31 May 2018

Upcoming dates

February 5 Committee Meeting

March 5 Committee Meeting

April 9 Committee Meeting

May 5 2018 National Awards for Cinematography in Brisbane @ Customs House

May 6 National AGM

May 7 Committee Meeting

May 30 Send Membership Invoices

June 1 Start thinking about getting your Accreditation Application together

June 4 Committee Meeting

June 30 Membership fees due

July 2 Committee Meeting

August 1 to 18 38th SA & WA Annual Awards for Cinematography entry window

August 13 SA branch AGM

August 31 to September 2 SA & WA Annual Awards judgings

September 1 to 30 ACS Accreditation Application window

September 3 Committee Meeting

October 1 Committee Meeting

October 27 38th SA & WA Annual Awards for Cinematography

November 5 Committee Meeting

December 3 Committee Meeting

December 10 SA Branch Xmas Drinks

Why not visit your National HQ

If you're in Sydney why not drop into our ACS HQ @ Level 2, 26 Ridge Street, North Sydney. The NSW committee will do their best to open up for you, just contact David Lewis ACS or 0408 273 702

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The SA Branch acknowledges the financial assistance of our Major Sponsor the South Australian Film Corporation.

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Australian Cinematographers Society · Level 2, 26 Ridge Street · North Sydney, NSW 2060 · Australia