Sunday, 16 September 2018

Vale Frances Calvert - Andrew Pike and Yangon Film School of Myanmar remember a major documentary film-maker of our time (from Facebook).

Andrew Pike writes: A dear friend, dedicated documentary filmmaker and teacher, Frances Calvert (above), died unexpectedly in Sydney on 2 September. She was visiting Australia from her home in Berlin, and had just finished an annual teaching commitment at the Yangon Film School in Myanmar. 

Frances’s work is much-loved and respected, especially three films that she made in the Torres Strait islands – Talking Broken(1990), Cracks in the Mask (1997) and The Tombstone Opening (2012) – all popular on NITV and in the TSI community, and all have on-going use in education world-wide. 

In recent times, she had developed her most ambitious project, Buena Vista Australia, about Luis Váez de Torres, the first European to navigate the Torres Strait in the early 1600s. Frances had secured Spanish backing for the film but finance in Australia was still being sought. 

She will be deeply missed by many. 

The funeral service will be held on Saturday 22 September at 2pm in Sydney: please message me or email me at details.
Cracks in the Mask
A Message from Yangon Film School, Myanmar
FAREWELL to Frances Calvert – YFS Film History Tutor
YFS is deeply saddened to receive the news of the unexpected passing in Sydney, Australia of Frances Calvert, long-standing YFS tutor of the course “Ways of Seeing: A History of Film Form”.
In her own documentaries, Frances chose to shine a light on the colonial past and ambivalent present of the Torres Strait Islanders in Australia’s far north, but she had an encyclopaedic knowledge of many different film genres and forms from all around the world. Her passion for the art of film knew no bounds. 
As anyone who attended her classes at YFS or at the Goethe Institute in Yangon will know, Frances was not only an exceptionally knowledgeable teacher but someone who exuded genuine warmth and a natural ability to inform her teaching with a unique sense of humour and love of life.
Farewell, dear Frances, you will be sorely missed!

1 comment:

  1. I am so very sad to hear that Frances Calvert has just died. I met Frances at the Berlin Film Festival in 1984 when she came to our screening of "For Love or Money" and stayed for the Q&A. I was staying on in Berlin to screen FLOM at the East German Archives (yes the Berlin Wall was still up). She invited me to come and stay at her apartment, which I did. She, with her then partner Paul, was a wonderful host and made me so welcome; her home became my home and I spent a lot of time with her over some weeks. She was teaching English at the time - and shared with me her strong wish to make a film. We had many discussions about the ways she could begin this journey. This, of course, was pre "Cracks in the Mask" and I have been really blessed to share in some of her filmmaking journey over the years. My most recent contact with her was in 2016 when she and I had films screening at Kings College, London and we liaised around that. She was a very special person and I really treasure my times with her. It really is a loss.


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