WHAT IS RINGBALIN?
Ringbalin - River Stories is a geo-located documentary that invites you on a journey along Australia's
great Murray Darling Rivers, with Aboriginal Elders from the oldest cultures on
earth acting as your guides. It contains dozens of traditional and personal stories and
takes the form of a film, an iPad/iPhone App, and website.
This story starts in 2010 during Australia’s worst drought in history. The Murray Darling River was dying. A group of Aboriginal nations united to try to save the river and the life that relied on it by performing the traditional Ringbalin ceremony.
It took them on a 2,300 km journey following the river system, and we captured this historic experience on film. We went along to film what happened. By the time they had finished dancing, the rain was falling, and what followed were the biggest floods on record.
As we filmed, we realised how many
wonderful, funny and wise stories the Aboriginal Elders could tell that went
way beyond the immediate expedition. So we decided to record as many as possible
and put them in an interactive documentary, so that travellers (real and
armchair) could be guided on a journey along the River Murray and its sister
the Darling. The stories are funny, sad, inspiring, educative, profound and moving.
There are anecdotes, songs, yarns, wisdom, history, insight, dancing and facts
told from the unique perspective of the people who have been living on the
river for 40,000 years. For an example, watch Auntie Beryl's story about the Emu Stars here.
We wanted to make 40 short films with the Elders. But thanks to their enthusiasm and generosity, and the fine quality of their contributions, we've now collected many more that that, as well as photo stories and audio tales that capture Aboriginal perspectives of the river to enhance a real visit to the location, or to give you a virtual adventure from the comfort of your own home. The experience provides a candid window onto a rich and ancient culture, with access far beyond what the average tourist can discover.
HOW THE APP WILL WORK
Whether you're on the other side of the world or just down the road, you can experience this journey. Travel virtually online, or come and visit the river in person where the stories will be all around you.
The Elders will find you as you enter their Countries. The sound of clap-sticks will alert you as you near the places where they're waiting to tell their stories.They've made journeys for you to follow, with stories of the rivers and streams and songs of the waters and their peoples.
If you take the journey in person, notifications will alert you when you're near a ‘story site’. There are more than fifty hand-painted maps, all GPS coded, to guide you to the exact locations where the Elders' stories are told, and along with the filmed stories there are intriguing audio and photo stories to enhance your trip.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO GET US OVER THE LINE
On October 20 we'll release a free ‘prototype' version of the app, and we're pretty excited about that. But we want to release the full version as we originally imagined it ,with all the functionality and content to deliver on our original vision. To do that we need to raise some extra cash to pay the bills, edit all the stories we've collected, add in more smart tech and make this all available via the (iPad and iPhone) app.
Here's what we need the money for:
1. Sound mix, grade and online for all the additional stories: $10,750
2. Rights to use Archie Roach's gorgeous song Jamu Dreaming: $2,600
3. The cost of car hire and fuel to field test the app up the river (two weeks on the road): $1500 + $1500
4. Adding in some clever functionality that lets you place yourself on the map and have the app act as though you were physically there in terms of how it responds and what it offers: $1,300
5. More smart tech that places a virtual ‘geo-fence’ around the sites on the map/in the app so if you have the app and are travelling in country, we provide relevant notifications as to what is around you: $3,350
6. Updating all the ‘sharing’ features in the app to take into account pesky iOS7 changes (thanks Facebook, Twitter and Apple!): $1,600
7. Some money for marketing so that we can tour it to SXSW and a European multiplatform festival: $5,200 (although we'll probably need a bit more because Australia is so far away!)We'll do as much of this as we can, depending on how much we can raise. If we beat our target we'll be able to record more of these wonderful stories before the old people pass on and their wisdom, humour and family stories are lost. But we know that's a lot to hope for, and we'd be grateful just to be able to pay for some of the essentials and complete the app we've been imagining for so long!
WHO WE ARE
Director and DP Ben Pederick (blue t-shirt), editor Jos Pederick (far right), stills photographer and cinematographer Ali Sanderson (second from right) and motion graphics designer Michael Duff are the team behind Goodmorningbeautiful Films. We make films about human struggles, rights and the environment worldwide, and we're won awards including the Grand Prix du Bassac, Cambodian Environmental Film festival (2008), Best Online Journalism, the Society of Environmental Journalism (2009) and First Prize in the Hong Kong Human Rights Press Awards (2012).
But making the Ringbalin project wouldn't have been possible without the remarkable creative team that's come together with GMB to realise this project: producer Julia de Roeper and production manager Chrissy Kavanagh at JDR Screen, Jennifer Wilson and her amazing digital development team at The Project Factory, graphic artist Yianni Hill at We're Open and EP Sue Maslin of FilmArtMedia. And of course our awesome editors Jonnie Morris and Daniel King, and producer's attachment Nara Wilson!
SHARE, SHARE, SHARE.
If you can't contribute to the funding campaign, we'd still love your support. Please use the Indiegogo share tools to tell all your friends about this awesome interactive project, and help us make a big loud noise on social media!
Please help us get this new way of telling stories finished and into peoples hands, hearts and minds.