Motorkite Dreaming

The ultimate Aussie adventure story

Motorkite Dreaming This is the tale of Aidan, Daryl, their fiancées and their shared dream to fly microlights from Adelaide to Beagle Bay. The intrepid couples navigate tough flying conditions, crocodile-infested swamps and their own conflicting personalities. Led by two Aboriginal guides, the flying circus heads deep into the spiritual heartland of Australia. Soaring through twenty indigenous language nations they connect with a culture thousands of years old.

Having run out of fuel on a joy flight, Daryl and Elsie are forced to land in rough terrain. With the sun setting, they quickly refuel and set off on their way. But disaster strikes on take-off: they flip the aircraft on the bumpy ground. Unable to fly, and left with a centimetre of water, they are hundreds of miles from the closest settlement with limited communication to the team. "All the props are fucked", Daryl tells Aidan over the radio. Time is running out for the soon-to-be married couple.

"Ever since I was a young fella, and my dad took on me a joy flight in the desert on a microlight, I've had this dream", says Aidan gleefully. The couples have put their lives on pause and invested all their money into this trip for very different reasons. "I see a lot of my friends sitting back, playing video games, smoking a bit of pot. And you think surely you can make a bit more of yourself", says Daryl. But they are all united by a desire to experience the Aboriginal culture of the Outback. "All of us are keen to see if Aboriginal culture is still strong in remote Australia", says filmmaker Charlie.

Early on the group have their fair share of difficulties. From the treacherous skies above the Flinders Ranges, to slippery roads and flipped trailers. Key to their journey are Aboriginal elders Carroll and Bart, and their trusty canine companion Mylo. They are going to introduce the gang to the Aboriginal communities they meet on the way. "In these remote communities they are not used to people dropping out of the sky with cameras", explains Carroll. One of their stops is the Football and Music Carnival in Kintore Community. Elsie is nervous about the visit. "I'm still really inexperienced with Aboriginal communities and there's going to be hundreds of people at this football carnival". But her fears are misplaced as she is welcomed with open arms.

In Kintore they meet world-renowned artist Morris Gibson, famous for his landscape dot paintings. To give him the bird's-eye view he's never had, Aidan takes him up in the microlight. "It's such a pleasure taking the old fellas up for a fly. They don't say a lot, but I can just tell they love it", says Aidan.

Motorkite Dreaming Review in The Guardian

The Producers

CHARLIE HILL-SMITH first encountered the wider world as a teenage exchange student with local families in Indonesia. He developed a deep love for travel, grass roots arts activism, anti-colonial politics and the magic of storytelling. After a stint as a stand-up comedian and venue owner in Adelaide, he fell into film, to make Hong Kong Fooey & the Great Chinese Takeaway in 1997. Wokabout West Papua in 2000 led to Indonesia - Art, Activism and Rock n’ Roll for SBS in 2003. In 2005 he was camera operator on SBS Independent’s The Making of Ten Canoes. His first feature documentary, Strange Birds in Paradise - a West Papuan Story traced his evolving understanding of Indonesian militarism and the role of art in the resistance of neocolonialism. Motorkite Dreaming springs from his love of the Australian bush that formed him as a child, and his yearning to connect with Aboriginal Australia.

JOHN CHERRY is a director and award-winning producer who established social issue film and television production company, Intafusion Films, in 2003. John produced multi-AFI nominated STRANGE BIRDS IN PARADISE (2009, SBS/France Televisions) which premiered at IDFA and won the IF Award for Best Documentary. In 2012, he directed half-hour arts documentary HIDDEN HISTORY for SBS TV before producing and co-directing 2013 feature documentary THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMS for Screen Australia’s Signature Documentary Fund which premiered at Sydney Film Festival. In 2014, John was a field director on OUTBACK TRUCKERS (Discovery/7mate), toured nationally as the embedded filmmaker on Damian Callinan’s comedy show ROAD TRIP and in 2015, directed the “Keera Vale” episode of 7x60’ prime-time series RESTORATION AUSTRALIA for ABC Television. John produced MOTORKITE DREAMING, a feature documentary which premieres mid-2016 with a 5x26’ series for Red Bull TV, SBS TWO, and NITV.

Making The Film

Making Motorkite Dreaming was true adventure filmmaking, traversing some of the wildest terrain in the world. The film was documented by a crew of six, using three cameras on the ground, and up to ten Go Pros, mounted on both the microlights and the support vehicles. They filmed for up to sixteen hours a day throughout nine weeks. In the Australian outback, remote as it gets, the crew were totally off-grid, battling dust, rain, and navigating crocodile-infested swamps to keep up with 2 very fast moving microlights!

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