Museum of Water Short Documentary Project

What water is important to you?  A dripping tap. A blow-up swimming pool. A dried up salt-lake.

Choose the water most important to you and make a film that shows us why.


Perth Festival is calling for creative proposals from secondary students in years 9, 10, 11 or 12 for short documentary films that respond to ‘water that is important to you’. Make a film that shows us why.

We invite students from across WA to contemplate the significance of water in their life. Selected students will work with an appointed Producer and Director of Photography to tell stories of water in creative and interesting ways, and will see their work exhibited at the 2018 Perth Festival.



In Term 4 2017, Perth Festival will work with high school students in Western Australian schools to create six 3-minute documentary films.

Presented with the generous support of Screenwest, this project is a part of a two-year collaboration with UK artist Amy Sharrocks, which highlights in a very personal way the importance of water to all of our lives.

The project will bring together teams of year 9, 10, 11 and/or 12 students with a single Producer and Director of Photography. These teams will each create a 2–3 minute documentary film in response to the provocation 'water that is important to you' with creative and fresh factual approaches. The completed films will be screened before Perth Festival's curated Lotterywest Films program during February and March, and will be included in the Museum of Water exhibition at Fremantle Arts Centre.

Students will work with the producer to develop, shoot and begin editing their film over a single week in summer 2017/18. They will build film-making skills through a series of intensive workshops that will facilitate collaboration between students and producer, making space for discussion, conversation and learning. Students will develop their understandings of storytelling, investigation, research, interviewing, editing, and sound-design, as they work through stages of documentary film-making.

The purpose of the project is to explore distinctly Western Australian stories told by the voices of diverse young Western Australians.


What are we looking for?

We are looking for students to work in small groups of between three and five to come up with their concept and, if selected, work with the Producer and Director of Photography to realise their concept.

Six proposals will be selected by a panel of film professionals.

Successful concepts will be mindful that the audience will be attendees at Perth Festival’s film program. Film concepts need to be of high quality, creative, interesting, and engaging.

We are seeking concepts that:

  • Consider the purpose of and audience of the project
  • Explore where you live
  • Treat ‘documentary’ in creative ways
  • Will result in a film no longer than three minutes (not including credits)
  • Can be shot in two days

 We don’t want:

  • ‘Talking heads’ (presenters or interviewees addressing the camera directly)
  • Unachievable proposals
  • Inaccessible locations

 Here are some films we like, and what we like about them:

ALONE (voices, photography, sound, what it leaves us to imagine)

JUNKTOPIA (location, framing, editing, atmosphere)

THE INLAND SEA excerpt (personal point of view, location)

What do you need to participate?

The program is free of charge and students / schools are not required to supply any equipment or materials for the project. However, there are some things we do need you to contribute:

  • A compelling idea and an understanding of how to make it into a film
  • A group of no more than five and no fewer than three students
  • A letter of support from your teacher or principal including knowledge of the concept and possible suggestions of locations for shooting, and their endorsement of students capacity and involvement
  • Ability to participate in five days of workshops (schedules to be determined with teachers)
  • Teacher supervision for workshops


What is the application process?

Potential filmmakers are asked to submit their ideas by Wednesday 12 October. Successful concepts will be notified on Monday 31 October.

Please email a still (a photograph or drawing that represents the look and style of your film) to with the name of your school and title of your project.

Terms & Conditions for Call for Submissions