Elle Liu holds a Bachelor degree in Film Studies with a major in Scriptwriting from the Communication University of China, Beijing. She is currently studying in the Masters of Global Media Communication at the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne. Her research interests include screen cultures, digital communications, media convergence, journalism practice and cinema studies. Recently, her research has focused on using close textual readings to analyze gender and sexual identities in contemporary queer representations. Prior to her postgraduate studies, Elle Liu was a freelance screenwriter with a primary focus on adolescence, fan subcultures, and cultural translation. She has worked in various media corporations including China Central Television and had artistic practice in the area of Film and Television Production as script coordinator, journalist, and editor. She is pursuing her career of the moving image concentrating on digital art, creating serial narrative and story content for the screen.
At first, I thought the Middle East week would be quite tough since I am not so familiar with films produced within that area. However, when I did the research, I found that there were so much to explore and discover. Especially for countries like Lebanon and Egypt, they have thousand years of civilization and plenty of cultural legacies. Meanwhile, because of the social-political instability, Middle East countries, such as Iraq and Israel, are quite often to be the subject of much controversy. Film related to these countries predominantly touch on the topics of war and politics, including post 9/11, the Gulf war, the civil war of Lebanon etc.
This week’s topic is Africa, however, due to the social-economic instability, some African countries have a poor appreciation towards films. Though it was a little difficult to discover the cinematic treasure within specific African countries like Ethiopia and Tanzania, I did find a way to address the issue. Since the research part is supposed to map out ACMI collections, it is reasonable to connect the existing rich ACMI materials with the limited content that is related to the cinema of particular African countries. In that, it is a tricky line to walk between addressing both ACMI collections and the cinematic content which belongs to each county, for like, the cinema history of Kenya, however, I will try my best to balance that.
Thanks to Natalia, I learned quite a lot from this week's creative writing workshop. I know now that writing a story is not just about putting all the information together, but also about engaging the readers as much as possible. A short story could not give out all the details, however, a good story empowers the readers to explore more by themselves after reading the story. I also know that the research track provides most of the raw materials for the creating writing crew to select, modify, and reorganize. In that, I will keep gathering interesting and useful information for my creative writing partner, James, who will be as a selective God for my draft stories.