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Ivan Sen on Dreamland

By Sista Girl Productions, 2009 2:51 minutes

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Rather than shot-listing his films, Ivan Sen takes many photographs. Before making Dreamland, Sen spent time in Nevada taking photographs and drawing inspiration for the film from the location. Making Dreamland was ‘a quest for purity’ that was accomplished through Sen’s capacity to completely lose himself in the process of creation. Dreamland is a unique piece of work that does not rely on conventional genre expectations but invites the viewer to approach it as a work of art. Sen observes that Indigenous filmmakers offer a unique sensibility and perspective in their work that is of great value to both Australians and international audiences.

Collection Blak Wave


Discussion Points

In filming Dreamland, Ivan Sen maintained complete control of the creative process. He wrote, directed, photographed, composed and edited the film, so it is very much an autonomous work. By approaching filmmaking in this way, he has produced a work with a distinct energy that elicits a unique response from the audience.

  • What kind of demands does Sen’s unique vision make on his audience?

In inviting the audience to experience his film as a work of art, does Sen offer them an energy and sense of autonomy that is not available in conventional narrative films?

Sen comments that ‘the Indigenous perspective is one that the world can do with, especially today.’

  • What do you think he means by this?
  • How might this comment relate to Sen’s own creative trajectory towards a purer form of filmmaking?