Australian Embassy
The Philippines

MR121127: Australian shorts in Animahenasyon 2012 honor old traditions through new media

Australian shorts in Animahenasyon 2012 honor old traditions through new media

Aboriginal storytelling or “oral histories” – will be screened tomorrow at the Animahenasyon 2012, the Philippine animation industry’s annual festival.

The screenings, made possible through the support of the Australian Embassy in Manila, are seen as an important contribution in providing audiences with a better appreciation of how animation, as a contemporary art form, can contribute to preserving and celebrating ancient traditions.

“We are pleased to bring selected works from The Dreaming series to this festival. These animated shorts have been instrumental not just in communicating aspects of indigenous culture in Australia, but also in the documentation and preservation of oral histories” said Nicholas McCaffrey, the Acting Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy.

Four short films, each accompanied by a behind-the-scenes “storyteller” clip, will be screened: The Dolphin; The Emu and The Jabiru; The Buillbree; and Wanka Manapulpa Minyma (The Trapdoor Spider Woman).

The films, produced by the independent animation company, Aboriginal Nations Australia, are based on stories from indigenous peoples that have been handed down through generations and maintained as a body of knowledge for over 40,000 years. Australian Aborigines are thought by many experts to have the oldest continuous culture in the world.

To produce The Dreaming, a team of Aboriginal artists were trained in the techniques involving traditional and computer-assisted animation. Each story was then researched in-depth so that the animators could accurately portray the cultural content of the story.

This distinct and inclusive approach to storytelling, filmmaking and animation has been successful in deepening the understanding of Australia’s Aboriginal traditions and their impact on contemporary society. The series is recommended by educational institutions throughout Australia and is widely used as a teaching resource there.

“I hope these screenings provide inspiration. I have great respect for Filipino animators and have no doubt that their creativity will turn this modern art form into a means of promoting Filipino indigenous and non-indigenous culture and talent” said Mr McCaffrey.

Mr McCaffrey encouraged Filipino animators to look into the arts programs of world-class Australian educational institutions, such as the Victorian College of the Arts/Swinburne, the Australian Film Television and Radio School, and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, which have seen Australian animators and filmmakers receive global recognition.

Australian Embassy’s Acting Deputy Head of Mission, Nicholas McCaffrey (right), is joined by Animation Council of the Philippines President Grace Dimaranan (left), and Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communication Technology Office Deputy Executive Director Alejandro Melchor III (center) at the opening ceremonies of Animahenasyon held at De La Salle- College of Saint Benilde in Manila on 26 November. The Australian Embassy is supporting the screening of four short films at the animation festival.


Animahenasyon, the flagship project of the Animation Council of the Philippines (ACPI), serves as a venue for Filipino animators to present their world-class ideas, and opens doors of opportunities for them to meet with and be inspired by the finest names in the industry. It also aims to create greater awareness of the Philippine animation industry and its contributions to the global entertainment business, while tapping locally produced content for promotion in animation markets here and abroad.

As an organized body, ACPI aims to promote the Filipino talent both locally and internationally. With the cooperation of its members as well as the Philippine government, it is envisioned that the member studios and schools will be considered competitive both creatively and technologically.

ACPI is a non-stock and non-profit organization whose member companies specialize mainly in, but not limited to, 2D, Flash or 3D animation. It aims to promote the animation industry globally with the intention of creating an identity for the Philippines to be considered amongst the preferred countries that service the animation industry.

Aboriginal Nations Australia was established as an independent animation company with the objective to employ and train Aboriginal artists as animators to produce a series of Dreaming stories selected from different Aboriginal communities across Australia.

For more information on The Dreaming Series, go to