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MAC Collection the focus of documentary film by renowned film director

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Mildura Regional City Council, Media Release, 12 April 2021

The Mildura Arts Centre (MAC) will host the premiere screening of a new documentary film inspired by the internationally recognised MAC Collection this month.

An Improbable Collection is the work of renowned film director Bruce Beresford and photographer Cordelia Beresford and will been screened in the MAC Theatre at 7:30pm on Saturday 17 April.

The film focuses on the colourful careers of artists Sir William Orpen and Sir Frank Brangwyn, whose works Bruce saw for the first time in London in the 1970s.

It was Bruce’s discovery of a larger body of the artists’ work as part of the MAC Collection eight years ago that inspired the half-hour documentary that will screen later this month.

Source : Mildura Regional City Council

While not widely known in modern times, Brangwyn and Orpen’s artwork was world famous until the mid-1930s.

Mainly shot in Mildura in 2014, filming for An Improbable Collection was also undertaken in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Belgium.

Councillor for Arts, Culture and Heritage Mark Eckel said he was present during a previous presentation evening with Bruce Beresford at MAC, which he described as a “fascinating and intriguing occasion”.

“This is such an exciting opportunity for Mildura Arts Centre,” Cr Eckel said.

“To have MAC and Mildura feature in a documentary film by such a widely respected and innovative film maker will help us further open up to the world the unique culture of our community and the Mildura Arts Centre Collection, which deserves to be showcased internationally.”

Brangwyn and Orpen’s work came to be included in the MAC Collection through Senator R.D Elliott (whom the Elliott Award is named after), who in 1944 bequeathed his significant art collection to what would become the founding bequest to Mildura Arts Centre Collection.

Elliott collected the Brangwyn and Orpen artwork during the 1920s and 1930s, and actually became friends with Orpen.

The documentary’s premiere at MAC on Saturday 17 April will be followed by an In conversation event with Bruce Beresford and Arts and Culture Development Manager Antonette Zema. 

Tickets for the screening are $15 each.

All proceeds from tickets sales will directly support conservation work to Sir Frank Brangwyn’s Steelworkers mural held in the Mildura Arts Centre Collection.

Bruce Beresford background

Sydney-born Bruce Beresford has directed more than 30 feature films,including Driving Miss Daisy, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1989. 

Beresford was also nominated for an Academy Award for the script for 1979’s Break Morant, and his direction of Tender Mercies (1981).

His work on Black Robe (1992) won him a Canadian Academy Award, as well as Best Director, Best Script, Best Photographer and Best Actor.

Other films include Crimes of the Heart (1995), The Fringe Dwellers (1996), Double Jeopardy (1999), Evelyn (2002), Paradise Road (2001) and Mao’s Last Dancer (2009).

More recently he worked with Eddie Murphy on Mr Church (2015), part four of the television series Roots (2015), and Flint with Queen Latifah and Betsy Brandt.


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