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NAIDOC Week Spotlight: Josh Barbo

05 July 2022
Josh Barbo on the set of Mob Talks – photo by Brad Halstead

As a part of the SAFC’s NAIDOC Week celebrations, we are profiling some of South Australia’s First Nations rising screen stars.

Josh Barbo is a Whadjuk-Noongar screen practitioner born and raised in South Australia, currently taking part in the SAFC and Channel 44 First Nations Internship. An emerging screen creative, in the past he’s worked assisting on SAFC-supported documentary Dusty Feet Mob: This Story’s True and The Mulka Man, and has worked with Country Arts SA as part of their SAFC supported Nunga Screen short film initiative.

As a part of his internship with Channel 44, Josh has most recently enjoyed working as a camera assistant on upcoming show Mob Talks. Led by First Nations Internship alumni Keith Gilbey Warrior and Rick Hutcheson, Mob Talks is a unique talk show that connects and talks with influential South Australian First Nations people, covering all kinds of issues and topics from spirituality, politics, representation, and allyship and more.

Josh gained further experience as a participant in Country Arts SA’s short film course and worked across producing, directing, sound and lighting departments on Cedric Varcoe, a four-minute portrait of Ramindjeri Elder and artist Cedric Varcoe. This poignant short film allowed Cedric to share insights into his inspiration, unique artistic practices on Country and how his artworks tell stories. The insightful film was featured as part of Country Arts SA’s 2022 Nunga Screen, an initiative which shares and celebrates First Nations cultures, stories and languages through film and provides opportunities for emerging and established South Australian First Nations filmmakers to showcase their films across South Australia. The program is supported by the South Australia Film Corporation and runs each year during Reconciliation Week, and in 2022 during NAIDOC.

Josh tells us that the SAFC Channel 44 First Nations Internship has allowed him to build and develop his skillset. Alongside his internship, Josh is working on several projects through his final semester of screen studies at Flinders University.

Josh says his favourite thing about working in the screen industry is how collaborative it is, and aspires to produce and direct his own works, especially gaining experience in animation and on more extensive TV series.

“Achieving and creating things and bringing others to add their own content just creates such quality – the right people can bring new perspectives and ideas to a project,” he says.

“I’d love to produce and direct my own projects. I’m also aiming to build my skills, and I’d like to understand all the aspects of film-making in depth to be able to direct people comprehensively.”

As for his favourite Australian screen production of all time, Josh names 2010 feature film Animal Kingdom.

” I love the drama, and seeing good Aussie actors together. That film made me feel proud to be a part of the Australian film industry. I would love to see that quality continue down the track in all Aussie productions,” he says.

Mob Talks will air on Channel 44 in the second half of 2022 – keep up to date with them via their Facebook or Instagram.

Find out more about how the SAFC supports South Australia’s First Nations screen sector here.

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