Filmmakers explore life of a screen legend

A pair of Griffith Film School graduates has produced an acclaimed documentary on the life and work of legendary Australian film editor Jill Bilcock.

Bachelor of Film and Screen Media Production alumni Axel Grigor andFaramarz K-Rahber wanted to shine a light on the renowned film editor, whosework includes iconic Australian films like Strictly Ballroom, Muriel’s Wedding, Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, Red Dog, and The Dressmaker.

Writer/director and co-producer Axel Grigor has admired Jill’s work since he was first introduced to Australian films as a teenager in Sweden. After moving to Australia to study film at Griffith, Axel encountered Jill at a screen editors conference, and decided that her story had to be shared.

“Jill’s outgoing personality, her personal journey, her impact on Australian cinema and her remarkable collaborations with some of the world’s leading directors make for an incredibly rich story,” he said.

“Early in the process, when I approached many of Jill’s collaborators about my idea for this film, it was both striking and encouraging that so many replied: ‘About time!'”

The resulting feature-length documentary,Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisiblehas received glowing reviews, including four stars from legendary critic David Stratton, who hailed it “an indispensable documentary…informative and extremely entertaining”.

It has also proved popular with film festival audiences around the country. It won the coveted GU Audience Award for Documentary when it premiered at the Adelaide Film Festival late last year and has also screened at the Gold Coast Film Festival and the Sydney Film Festival.

The film will screen at several upcoming international festivals, including the New Zealand International Film Festival and the Cinema des Antipodes section of Cannes Film Festival.

Faramarz K-Rahber, who co-produced the documentary, said the pair were delighted to secure a national theatrical release for the film.

“We are thrilled that it will be enjoyed by a wider audience across Australia,” he said.

“The film has had a terrific reception at its film festival screenings to date, and we look forward to sharing Jill’s fascinating story with film-loving audiences on the big screen.”

With rare and previously unseen footage of Bilcock’s process in the editing suite, the documentary provides a behind the scenes look at the art of film editing.The film also features interviews with titans of the Australian screen industry including Cate Blanchett, Baz Luhrmann, Phillip Noyce, Fred Schepisi and Jocelyn Moorhouse.

After graduating from Griffith Film School in 2001, Axel and Faramarz co-founded Faraway Productions. Axel is completing a Master of Visual Arts at Griffith while working on international film projects. Faramarz juggles a busy producing career while teaching at Griffith Film School, where he mentors the next generation of filmmakers.

Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible was produced by Faraway Productions in association with Film Art Media, with the assistance of Griffith Film School and Soundfirm.

There is a special screening of the film at Dendy Coorparoo on Thursday 19 July.