Interview with Filmmakers Wayne Camilleri, Stephan Wellink (THE SCULPTURE)

THE SCULPTURE, 78min., Australia, Documentary
Directed by Wayne Camilleri, Stephan Wellink
Philanthropist Basil Sellers and artist Terrance Plowright come together to create an impressive, multimillion dollar public sculpture symbolic of Australia’s Indigenous and migrant heritage, which Basil will gift to Australia. However, in a world where public art is both admired and scorned, what begins as a 12 month project escalates into a 10 year roller coaster ride. Both philanthropist and artist are pushed to the limit, as many obstacles threaten to derail their good intentions.

Get to know the filmmakers:

1. What motivated you to make this film?


In 2010 I was looking to make a documentary and I had heard about the works of a local Australian artist, Terrance Plowright (the artist featured in the film), who was well respected for his large sculptural works. This got me thinking about public art. I approached Terrance and began documenting the inspiration behind his earlier work and to investigate the process of producing public art.
The sculpture featured in this film came along 2 years after I first approached Terrance and I was introduced to the project by documentary filmmaker, Stephan Wellink. Stephan and Terrance were planning to produce a book on Terrance’s art. Stephan and I were inspired by the philanthropist and artist’s ambition to embark on such a monumental project. Further, the backstories of both the philanthropist and artist were incredibly inspiring. It made sense for us to collaborate on what became The Sculpture. We both felt it was a story that we were compelled to share.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

12 years for us both.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Roller coaster

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The biggest obstacles faced were:

* Making a documentary about a subject that was plagued by it’s own obstacles, which often made us wonder if the project would collapse

* convincing government stakeholders to be included in the documentary

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Wayne: Stephan and I were delighted to hear that the viewers were able to relate to the themes we presented.

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

Wayne: There were 2 films which particularly inspired me – 1989: Cinema Paradiso and 1992: Baraka.

Stephan: When I saw ‘Hatari’ on the big screen in the 1960s. I was very young!

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Wayne: When my daughter was very young we had Stuart Little on repeat so I would say no film could compete with the number of times I had to watch that film.

Stephan: The Time Machine starring Rod Taylor. It’s no coincidence that Rod Taylor was the subject of my first film in 2016.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

You do a terrific job!

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

FilmFreeway is an excellent site. Very easy to navigate and use.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Wayne: Home made woodfired pizza puttanesca (anchovies, olives and capers) Yum 🙂

Stephan: Gnocchi with minced beef, tomato purée, garlic and basil. And a good red Australian wine!

11. What is next for you? A new film?

Yes – we are in early stages of producing a number of docos and 2 features.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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