‘ALUK Fundraiser Gig’ / Dogmilk Films

‘ALUK Fundraiser Gig’ / Dogmilk Films

Last week I met with Dogmilk Films, a Melbourne-based production company known for their ‘Degustations’ - monthly small-space film screenings from local and emerging filmmakers.

Running out of a the converted milkbar artist’s space Flowers, Sam and Fraser of Dogmilk spoke to me about their ethos as a young company and group of people: bringing together filmmakers, artists and interesting people that, for the time being, are stratified in different groups across Melbourne. In bringing people together through events and filmmaking, they work connectively and passionately.

Dogmilk spoke to me about their most ambitious project yet: a feature documentary on the distinctive and haunting funeral practices of Toraja, Indonesia.

'“In the isolated mountains of South Sulawesi can be found Toraja. Its native animist belief system, Aluk To Dolo (Way of the Ancestors), has provided its people with a unique cultural identity and distinctive rituals.

Since the arrival of Christian missionaries in 1908 and the near total conversion of the population, the survival of this ancient oral tradition is threatened.

Ne Minda, one of the last living spiritual leaders of Aluk To Dolo, lives a humble existence carrying out domestic rituals with his daughter and grandchildren.

Through this family dynamic, Aluk will explore the inter-generational transmission of cultural knowledge and the inevitable transformation of the Torajan identity in the modern world.

Aluk will observe Aluk To Dolo’s sacred connection to Toraja’s natural environment and ancestry, as well as the Torajan people's singular approach to life and death.”

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As they showed me their teaser for Aluk, I couldn’t help feeling that this was happening in the right place, and the right time. Dogmilk has a nose for story, and an intuition to bring it together.

In this spirit, Dogmilk Films is putting together a fundraiser gig and silent auction at a secret location in Collingwood next month. With a stream of DJs, artists and performers working to bring ALUK alive, I get a feeling of community.

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Follow the link to ALUK’s fundraiser event right here, or if you can’t make it, but still dig what Dogmilk’s doin’, then consider a donation at their Indiegogo. Keep an eye out on their Facebook page for more degustations and events.

Article by Georgia Ketels.

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