Perun Bonser has been named the 2022 recipient of the Indigenous Documentary Placement. The initiative is co-presented by the ABC and the Australian Documentary Conference (AIDC) to fast-track the careers of Indigenous nonfiction screen practitioners.
The placement will enable Perun to develop his skills in documentary, factual development and production as well as fostering greater diversity of voices in the Australian documentary sector.
Perun is a Ngarluma writer and director based in Boorloo / Perth, whose work has focused on telling the stories of First Nations peoples. Perun is the series director and co-writer of NITV series ‘Our Law’ which is currently in production and will explore whether Indigenous police officers could change police culture and rebuild trust with Aboriginal peoples. He wrote and directed the 2017 short film Blight which screened and received nominations in a number of film festivals winning “Best Director” and “Best Actress” at the 2018 Fringe World Next Gen Short Film Festival.
Perun was also a writer on the 2018 series Nyoongar Footy Magic. A TV and multi-platform documentary project that profiled the lives and careers of 24 great Western Australian AFL footballers of Nyoongar heritage. The series screened on NITV and online and locally at Optus Stadium in Perth and the MCG and Federation Square in Melbourne.
Perun said: “I am so excited to start the placement next week. I really want to learn as much as possible and find new ways to tell authentic First Nations stories”
WA screen agency Screenwest will provide support for Perun to travel from Perth to Sydney. The four-month placement with the ABC will begin in mid-August and run until the end of the year. The mid-career focussed placement, with the ABC’s Factual & Culture team will focus on learning the development, commissioning and editorial production process behind the ABC’s distinctive Australian content.
Jennifer Collins, ABC Acting Director Entertainment & Specialist, said: “Following the success of the inaugural Indigenous Documentary Placement last year, I am proud to welcome Perun and his unique experience to the Factual & Culture Team. Through this initiative, the ABC is actively working to increase the diversity of stories and voices on our screens and helping to build the careers of local creatives.”
Natasha Gadd, CEO/Creative Director, AIDC, said: “AIDC is firmly committed to supporting opportunities for Indigenous creatives to sharpen their craft and access new platforms to tell their stories. The Indigenous Documentary Placement with the ABC is one such initiative we have developed to achieve this. Congratulations to Perun, we’re looking forward to tracking what he will bring to the placement, as well as the new skills and career opportunities he will take away from the experience.”
Perun has received training from AFTRS and Screenwest and holds a Diploma in Dance from NAISDA Dance College.
On its launch in 2021, the first recipient of the Indigenous Documentary Placement program was award-winning filmmaker, and descendent of the Yuin and Awabakal nations, Daniel King.
As part of the ABC placement Daniel produced stories for Artworks and Catalyst online and spent time in the commission team. He is currently in pre-production for his second feature length documentary, titled Her Name Is Nanny Nellie, for NITV, and recently directed an episode of Rachel Griffiths-fronted ABC series Great Southern Landscapes for Mint Pictures.