memory film: a filmmaker’s diary

a film by Jeni Thornley

An immersive, poetic documentary about transformation

memory film is an immersive feature documentary based on Jeni Thornley’s historical Super 8 archive (1974-2003), filmed during the decades of her personal and political filmmaking, while producing Maidens, To the Other Shore, Island Home Country and the collaborative feature For Love or Money. The film documents three decades of activism and film production, amidst the dynamic politics of women’s liberation and intense social change; memory film is also a road movie of an inner journey of liberation – gender fluidity, love and its tribulations, the pleasure and pain of motherhood, violence against women and the desire for a world free of war and colonising.

    Our Team

    Writer & Director  –  Jeni Thornley
    Producers –  Tom Zubrycki & Jeni Thornley
    Editor –  Lindi Harrison (ASE)
    Executive Producer – Sue Maslin
    Composer  – Joseph Tawadros
    Sound Designer – Tristan Meredith
    Colourist – Nicholas Hower
    Picture Finishing – Post Lab IO 

    Nominations & Awards

    Australian Innovation Award Nomination, Black Magic MIFF 2023

    Top 10 Australian Films, The State of Australian Cinema 2023

    Best Documentary, Australian Film Critics Association Nomination 2023

    Best Sound in a Documentary, Tristan Meredith AACTA Nomination 2024

    cinema screenings

    The ARC Cinema - National Sound & Film Archive - Canberra

    28th August 2024 


    Q&A with Jeni Thornley, Filmaker 


    Melbourne Cinematheque - Retrospective, ACMI Oct 2024

    30th October 2024


    Contested Histories : The Documentaries of Jeni Thornley

    Visible Evidence Conference XXX

    17-20 December, 2024

    Monash University  – Caufield Campus


    memory film will be available on  Antidote Streaming followed by release on specialist sites such as DocPlay, Brollie and Chronicle plus Educational sites later in  2024-2025. 

    watch the trailer

    Composer : Joseph Tawadros (AM)

    “With a sweeping score by Egyptian-Australian multi-instrumentalist Joseph Tawadros and inspired by the minimalist sensibility of silent cinema as a dialogue-free piece, Thornley’s “farewell film poem to life” unfolds with a haunting tactility, along with the celluloid’s visible grain.” (MIFF 2023).

     Composer Joseph Tawadros released his new album The Virtue of Signals on Spotify, June 2024, featuring original music composed for memory film 


    Click logos for full review link

    memory film is a meditative experience, one that embraces Jeni’s ability to reflect on her past and the legacy that she has helped instil in her own family. Yet, it equally encourages the audience to reflect on their own heritage and legacy, and in a considerate and  tender manner.”  Andrew Pierce.

    “A pretty lovely experience, images and fragments of lives and people and recordings as Jeni Thornley recalls ghosts of a past and a present.”

    Comprising fragments of super8 footage, spanning three decades (1974 to 2003), the documentary brims with warmth, beauty and life. Watching memory film is a strongly emotional experience which only deepens upon repeat viewings. It’s one of my favourite Australian films in recent memory.”
    Grace Boschetti.

    memory film recalls the diary works of underground filmmaker Jonas Mekas…Drawing on the inspiration of Japanese death poets, a tradition in which elders write poems about the transience of life as a legacy to their children, there is something exceptional about this documentary.” 

    “The film’s retrospectiveness allows audiences to draw parallels to their current lives, with nations currently at war and women struggling through a range of issues – the desire for liberation remains.
    Irene Diakanastasis 

    Jason di Rosso interviews Jeni Thornley about memory film, The Screen Show, ABC Radio 10.8.23 

    memory film supported by


    Jeni Thornley – Anandi Films

    Tom Zubrycki  – JOTZ

    Gil Scrine – Antidote Films

    ©2023 JOTZ Productions with Anandi Films, Filmfest Ltd.

    memory film was made in Garigal country (NSW) Australia. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land

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