Indigenous Gold Coast filmmaker Jahvis Loveday recently won a Best Short Film award for ‘BAMA’, a semi-autobiographical short showing on the 2021 Flickerfest Tour.
Australia’s largest short film festival Flickerfest hits the road each year for a national tour, following its main event in Bondi. This year’s Best of Australian Shorts programme, hosted by HOTA, Home of the Arts on 25 March, will showcase a handful of local talent, including Upper Coomera actor Kyle McCallion in delightful Brisbane comedy ‘Smashed’, and Gold Coast actress Malina Hamilton-Smith (who you may recognise as one half of local musical duo Super Massive) in ‘Pools’.
But it’s twenty-year-old Loveday who has gotten the circuit talking with his beautifully poignant ‘BAMA’, a reflective piece that explores the loss of community of a young Aboriginal boy following his first day of private school in the city.
‘BAMA’ won the Jury Award for Best Short Film along with the Audience award during the Byron All Shorts competition at the recent Flickerfest Mullumbimby Tour screening. This was Loveday’s second year in a row taking out Best Short Film at All Shorts, with last year’s entry ‘Home’ also making waves on the scene.
“My other films I made in uni have screened at several different festivals, but I don’t think they have done as well because they weren’t true to me, and who I am, I wasn’t writing from what I know and feel,” Jahvis tells us about his work.
“’BAMA’, is my story, shown through my little brother [lead actor Elijah Loveday].
“I studied film at the SAE in Melbourne, and every single school holiday, I was back home in the Byron Bay area. I constantly missed my family, my tribe, and especially my country. I had nowhere to practice what I loved, and when I did, it wasn’t the same as back home.”
Check out the trailer for ‘BAMA’ below:
‘BAMA’ (pronounced Booma) originates from the Duru mob of Far North Queensland, where Jahvis claims heritage on his father’s side. It means ‘rainforest mob’ or ‘community’.
“I wanted to find a word that represented the film’s core message, and community felt right to me,” explains Loveday.
The filmmaking process helped Jahvis cope with the feeling of separation from his own community.
I knew that as much as a loved home and my family, you can get stuck there, so it was important for me to realize that wherever I go, as long as I miss my home and my family, I will always have them.
And this young talent certainly intends to go places with his filmmaking.
“I want to continue to make films that reflect my own life, my own learning experiences, and adventures,” says Jahvis. “Well that, and work on a Marvel film with Taika Waititi of course…(laughs)
“I want to travel the country, and visit all our Indigenous communities from north to south to east to west. I want to visit every city we have, all types of different communities, I want to learn and document along the way.
“I know that opportunities will always come and go, and the best thing to do is to say yes to that opportunity.”
Over the next year, ‘BAMA’ will be doing the festival route in Australia. But you can catch it and the filmmaker himself when Flickerfest brings the Best of Australian Shorts to HOTA, Home of the Arts on 25 March.
Directly after the screening on 25 March there will be a Q + A with the filmmakers including ‘Pools’ Director Luisa Martiri, ‘Bama’ Director Jahvis Loveday, ‘Liquid Moonlight’ Director Hannah Ariotti and Writer/Director Anna McGahan, ‘The Exit Plan’ Director Angus Wilkinson, ‘Inferno’ Director Katherine Chediak Putnam, ‘Torch Song’ Writer/Director/Producer Stephen Lance and Producer Madeleine Allen. in conversation with Flickerfest Festival Director Bronwyn Kidd.
For more information about the Flickerfest tour, visit flickerfest.com.au/tour.
In the meantime, get a little taste of what to expect from the tour below: