The Tarkine and other Wild Places

Title: “The Tarkine and other wild places”

Genre: Non-verbal observational documentary
Running time: 67 minutes

Format: 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio; colour; stereo soundtrack

Resolution: shot in 4K and transcoded to HD for projection

Tagline: Witness a cavalcade of splendid Tasmanian vistas

Tasmania enjoys large areas of wilderness thanks to decades of tireless environmental activism, and this film is a journey through some of these unspoilt wildernesses.  

We start in the Tarkine: a large, unbounded wilderness occupying much of north-western Tasmania.  It’s comprised of rocky coastline and heathland and forests, including the largest area of Gondwanan cool-temperate rainforest in Australia.  It’s bisected by three wild rivers: the Arthur, the Pieman and the Gordon all empty their dark, tannin-stained waters into the sea along the rugged Tarkine coast.

And at any spot along the Tarkine Coast you can literally lean into the blast of air known as the Roaring Forties which has travelled all the way from Argentina – unimpeded and untainted by any intervening landmasses.

After exploring the Tarkine we then head east. 

First, we stand in the razor-sharp wind that blasts us and the thousands of granite tors that cover the summit of Mount Wellington.  Then we navigate the dense forest at Styx River and stair skywards at towering “Eucalyptus Regnans”, the world’s largest eucalypts.  After that we head south and hike through the sub-alpine terrain of the Hartz Mountains.  Then, going even further south, we trek to the southern-most tip of Tasmania where South Cape juts into the Southern Ocean.

We then cross to Bruny Island, nestling just offshore of Tasmania’s south-east coast.  Bruny is really two islands connected tenuously by a tombolo – a long and extremely narrow sand spit.  The Island has dizzyingly high sea cliffs, dense forests and long sandy beaches.  Our next stop is the Freycinet Coast where we hike the Hazards Beach track and climb the thousand steps to the saddle which affords the classic postcard view of Wineglass Bay. 

Then we tackle the tracks at Cradle Mountain: some easy, some hard, but all offering unforgettably fabulous views of rugged unspoilt wilderness. Our final stop is the Bay of Fires, where the ends of the beaches are anchored by clusters of red, lichen-encrusted boulders arranged randomly but agreeably for best visual effect.  The relentlessly pounding waves and an almost permanent shroud of sea mist add to the delight of the observer

Title: “Armchair Travel Omnibus”

Genre: Observational travel documentaries
Running time: 57 minutes

Format: 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio; colour; stereo soundtrack

Resolution: shot in HD and 4K and transcoded to HD for projection

Tagline: Sit back and enjoy the ride

The “Armchair Travel Omnibus” is a collection of short travel films. 

Firstly, we set out in the dark and cold and travel for 3½ hours by traditional Burmese longboat to Samkar, a remote locality in Shan State in Myanmar where very few of the inhabitants have ever met a foreigner. 

Then we snake our way through the labyrinth of backstreets of Cholon, Saigon’s historic Chinatown, where we glimpse the early morning rituals of the Vietnamese, before ending the day with salt-of-the-earth Vietnamese farmers as they tend their fields on the outskirts of Hoi An.

Next, we fly in three hot-air balloons, starting with a pre-dawn flight over the Maasai Mara in Kenya.

This is followed by a pre-dawn flight over some of the 4,000 Buddhist temples in Bagan in central Myanmar.  The third flight has us up in the dark again so that we can fly over the amazing floating villages and hydroponic gardens at Inle Lake in eastern Myanmar.

The final film is set in the Australian Outback, principally in the Flinders Ranges but with excursions along the Oodnadatta Track to Lake Eyre and to Mungo Lake in south-west New South Wales.  The film highlights the incredible variation and stark beauty of remote Australian landscapes. The Omnibus program includes two award-winning films: “By longboat to Samkar” was a winner at the Global Shorts Film Festival in Los Angeles in May 2022 and it also won the award for Best Ethnographic Documentary at the 8andHalf Film Festival in Rome in may 2020.  “The Maasai Mara from above” has won an international prize for cinematography

About the Presenter:

When Arnold finished school in the 1970’s he really wanted to be a cinematographer, but that didn’t eventuate. Instead, he wrote computer software for a living and eventually established his own software engineering business.

Starting in his mid-teens, Arnold cultivated keen technical and artistic interests in cinematography and editing, so when he sold his software business in 2008 he decided to finally become a film maker.

As well as creating his own observational ethnographic and travel documentaries, Arnold was a founder and the President of the Eumundi World Cinema film society. He was also a founder, the principal organiser and the Festival Curator for the Noosa International Film Festival (NIFF) in 2016 and 2017, and the festival’s Technical Consultant in 2018.

In 2016, Arnold received a Queensland Day Medal for his work organising the inaugural Noosa International Film Festival (NIFF).

Arnold has received an international award for his cinematography and his films have been televised in Shanghai, in Charlotte, North Carolina and in San Francisco.

In May 2022 his film “By longboat to Samkar” received an award at the Global Shorts Film Festival in Los Angeles and in June 2022 it received the award for Best Ethnographic Documentary at the 8andHalf Film Festival in Rome.

In July 2022 “By longboat to Samkar” received the award for Best Documentary Short at the Stanley Film Awards in London. The film was also an Official Selection at the Florence Film Awards, the New York Movie Awards and the Hollywood Gold Awards .

Posted in Friday Talks.