Australian-Jamaican film-maker comes up big in T&T
A scene from the short film Strictly Two Wheel which was shot in St Mary.

THE Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival was always on the bucket list of Australian-sJamaican artist and film-maker Ania Freer but did not actualise until this year.

The 36-year-old struck gold on the first attempt, when her 10-minute project — Strictly Two Wheel — won the Best Documentary Short Film Award.

"I was so excited to be selected and wasn't even thinking about the possibility of winning. My purpose for making this film was to share the central character, Jonathan "Bobo" Wilson's story, skill, and passion with communities outside of his own. I'm so thrilled that the film won as it will allow Bobo's story as a positive community leader to be seen by an even larger international audience," Freer told the Jamaica Observer from her Australia home on Tuesday.

Freer learnt that she would be walking up with the trophy and cash prize on September 28.

Shot in St Mary, Strictly Two Wheel is an intimate portrait of a family-owned mechanic shop in rural Jamaica and a father's love for his children and community. Bobo uses minimal resources to provide a medium for mobility and independence and imbues his children with the skills to maintain the craft of bicycle-building.

Freer single-handedly produced, directed, shot, and edited the short film.

The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival is an annual event that runs for approximately two weeks. It screens feature-length narrative and documentary films as well as short and experimental films.

Born in Sydney, Australia, Freer spent her youth between the Southern Hemisphere continent and London. She earned a tertiary education at the University of Sydney in anthropology and film studies.

Freer spent a lot of time with her paternal grandparents in London who hail from Gayle, St Mary, and Christiana, Manchester, respectively, learning about her roots. In 2016 she moved to Jamaica to gain more inspiration to fuel a film career that has expanded exponentially.

"I currently have an experimental short film Riva Maid showing at Locust Projects gallery in Miami, as part of a group exhibition called Sound Stories, up until November 5th. This is a single channel iteration of a three-channel installation I showed at the National Gallery of Jamaica's Summer Exhibition in 2019. The film is an interview I did with Dwight "Bobo" Hayes, who grew up hearing about Salome, a water spirit who lives in a Blue Hole at the river head of his community," she shared.

"I make short, intimate video portraits on people I connect with across Jamaica. I have a background in documentary film production in Australia so when I moved to Jamiaca in 2016 I started my REAL TALK series, a collection of mini-documentaries capturing moments and experiences in everyday life. I am particularly drawn to stories which speak to legacy, generational knowledge transferral, craft practices, and folklore because these are oral histories which allow me to deepen my understanding of Jamaican culture and help me to build my own sense of identity and belonging. My REAL TALK films can be viewed on my website goatcurrygallery.org," Freer continued.

Anna Freer
Kediesha Perry

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