Donna McRae is a filmmaker who started her career as an actor. Quickly realising that jobs were hard to come by, she started writing film scripts. This led to several projects in development and a six week residency at Tropnest, Fox Studios, Sydney, where she was encouraged to direct these projects herself. Donna completed the post graduate filmmaking course at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2003 and her projects enjoyed success in both local and international film festivals. (Holly’s Grail, 03. The Usherette, 05, The Favour, 07, Lonesome Dog Blues, 09). She also makes three screen installation moving image work, (Arcadia, 06,Lamb of God 08, ) which have shown locally and internationally). She completed a micro budget feature film Johnny Ghost in 2012, starring Anni Finsterer and shot by Laszlo Baranyai, which was selected into numerous film festivals locally and internationally, winning 7 awards including Best Female Director, Best Feature and two Special Jury Prizes. (www.johnnyghostfilm.com) Currently she is involved in a female horror anthology film, in post production on a feature documentary about a chimpanzee Cobby: The Dark Side of Cute and in pre production for her next feature film Kate Kelly, a western about Ned Kelly’s sister. She currently works as a Lecturer in Film & Television at Deakin University, Melbourne.
Michael Vale is a visual artist, writer, curator and academic. In addition to exhibiting paintings, installations, photographs and video works he has also worked as a TV writer, scenery painter, interior designer, and art administrator. In 2006 he completed his PhD at Monash University with a multi-media “art fiction” project entitled Le Chien qui Fume – A Smokey Life.
Primarily trained as a painter, Vale has also worked extensively in film and TV as a script writer and support crew and, more recently as a director and production designer. He has held 16 solo exhibitions since 1986, as well as participating in numerous curated group exhibitions and short film festivals. He is currently employed as a lecturer in Painting at Monash University, RMIT University, and (since 2002) as a visiting lecturer at the Hong Kong Art School. His artworks are held in several public collections in Australia, as well as private collections both here and overseas. During the early 1980’s Vale was the inaugural director of Linden Contemporary Art Centre in St Kilda, and also worked as chief writer for the children’s TV show Shirl’s Neighbourhood (175 x 30 minute episodes) as well as brief stints with Henson International TV, the ABC, and 3CR community radio. He has recently completed production design on a feature length film “Johnny Ghost” (dir. Donna McRae).
Donna and Michael have collaborated on the multi media project Le Chien qui Fume, (feature film in development with AFC & Film Victoria support). Within this ongoing project they have made short films & videos, culminating in a film award from Asolo Film Festival, Italy, for ‘best film on art’. They have also initiated a formal sideproject mcraeandvale, andwill be holdingtheir first installation show The Innocents at Westspace in August 2011.
Both live and work in Melbourne, Australia.