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AFI research collection
Name Ivan Sen
Birth Year 1972
Death Year 0000
Country Australia
Comments Ivan Sen is an Indigenous Australian Director, Writer and Musician. Born in 1972 to an Aboriginal mother and a Hungarian-German father, he grew up in Inverell (NSW), in a community that was made up of predominantly 'white Australians'. He went to school with them, but afterwards went to visit his 'black' friends on the other side of town. He often felt conflicted with his identity, and chose not to expose himself as half Indigenous due to the discrimination that he faced in his community. Because of the unsafe environment and the potential that Ivan could have gotten involved with the wrong crowd, his mother forbade him from going out past midnight to protect him from slipping into a life of crime. Eventually he left Inverell to study Photography at Griffith University in Brisbane, and enrolled in the Australian Film, TV and Radio School.

Before making his feature debut Beneath Clouds, Sen directed a number of short films, which is where his obsession for exploring the stories of people with mixed raced culture began. These shorts, Dust(1999), Wind(1999), Tears(1998), won Sen a number of awards, and put his name out in the world of Indigenous Films, yet he still did not feel he was taken seriously until Beneath Clouds.

When Sen's Beneath Clouds made its debut at the Berlin Film Festival, it recieved a standing ovation and won Sen the festival's inaugural award for Best Feature by a First-Time Director. His lead actors also won trophies for their performances.

Currently Ivan Sen has completed his next feature film 'Toomelah' (2011), which is also a story of finding one's identity in a racially conflicted society.

(Tina Ky)
tags: beneath clouds damian pitt dannielle hall dust griffith university IVAN SEN tears toomelah wind 
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