It’s a shame more Australian content is made like this and also doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. Australia makes some great movies but over the last ten or so years, or since the 90s really, we’ve gone through a drought of either nothing being made or what was made was absolute trash. We’ve had a lot of international productions come to our shores with the most recent being Thor: Ragnarok, King Kong, the Pacific Rim sequel currently filming in Brisbane and at the Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast, and the most recent addition to the Pirates of the Caribbean where star Johnny Depp got into a little bit of strife. Other then that, it’s the rare gems such as this documentary that puts a big smile upon your face and hope back into the industry.
Either way, it’s always really hard to get your film made and in the Q&A I attended after the film was screened, the director and producer in attendance were very grateful as such for the support they received. These two individuals were extremely down to earth, something you really have to be in the industry, and described the difficulties and experiences they had while making Ella. The producing side I found most interesting as there were many things that had to be dealt with, opinions that needed to be heard, and years of building relationships to gain access to rehearsals. To hear how this film was made was something that filmmakers starting out in the industry or even in the midst of it was truly inspiring.
Much like that of Misty Copeland in America, Ella Havelka was the first Indigenous Australian to gain a position amongst those at the Australian Ballet in its fifty year history. It’s a shame that it’s taken the Australian Ballet this long to invite someone of Indigenous decent into their company but it was made abundantly and understandably clear in this documentary that Havelka gained a position due to her hard work and talent rather then just being a token of the company. Her road was obviously never easy, her pathway interrupted as she graduated from the prestigious Australian Ballet School in Melbourne without a contract and spending years with Bangarra Dance Theatre, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander modern dance company, to truly connect to her heritage she had never truly explored before.
This documentary really inspires you to pursue your dreams, no matter the cost, and if you work hard enough, there’s a higher chance you’ll actually achieve what you desire.