Sensory Environments

  • ACMI Studio 1 Federation Square, Flinders Street Melbourne Australia

Sensory Environments | Eight films | 79 mins

Join EFFA in the ACMI Studio for an immersive sensory journey into the natural world, with a package of superbly crafted experimental short films. Look at the vastly diverse environments around us through a unique new lense, as EFFA takes you on a visual and aural journey through landscapes that are both familiar and foreign.

From the pulsating pavement of the southern hemisphere’s largest carpark right here in Melbourne, to the mysterious flights of the Common Starling, this collection will uncover the often imperceptible state of flux that defines our environments.  

The Films:

Celestial Object

Dir. Benjamin Balcom | USA | 2014 | 11mins  

Here are the playful recordings of a naturalist - the observations of a difficult object. As the study accelerates and numerous cinematographic strategies are employed, the information gathered becomes noise; all these measurements become scribbles.


Dir. Elle Marsh | Australia | 2015 | 4mins

Exploring the beauty & emptiness of Australia’s largest car park, Vacant examines what urban sprawl and transport means for sustainable living and its implications on a city’s cultural identity. With an evocative soundscape and photography recorded on location at Melbourne's International Airport carpark.

Fossil Lights

Dir. Lise Fischer | France | 2016 | 15mins  

In the Pyrénnées-Orientales, Jacqueline, 85, walks again on the paths leading to the Canigou Peak. Through this solitary wander, she observes, relives and remembers. On her body appear the images of the past, a time when the ascension of the peak was a family tradition. She is the witness of a memory that, little by little, seems to infuse the mountain.

The Art of Flying

Dir. Jan van IJken | Netherlands | 2015 | 15mins  

A short film about ‘murmurations’: the mysterious flights of the Common Starling. It is still unknown how the thousands of birds are able to fly in such dense swarms without colliding. Every night the starlings gather at dusk to perform their stunning air show in one of the most spectacular and amazing natural phenomena on earth.


Dir. Boris Labbé | France | 2015 | 11mins

From the infinitely small to the infinitely large, all things in the universe are tightly connected: they interact and restructure in a combination of movements and perpetual metamorphoses.

Currents & Waves

Dir. Jan Hendrik Brüggemeier & Hugh Davies | Australia | 2015 | 3mins

Part of the Nature in the Dark (NITD) 2 project, Currents & Waves showcases the continuous movement of plants and animals as they exist in a world of water. Observing how frequency and oscillation of waves affect these living things in mesmerising ways, the film shows how these otherwise invisible currents organise the shape, movement, habits and navigation of the underwater world. Featuring source material shot at the Merry Marine Sanctuary, Bunurong Marine National Park and Flinders Pier in Victoria.


Dir. Vladislav Knezevic | Croatia | 2014 | 13mins

A.D.A.M. is a film about the attempt to obtain control over a monitored piece of space junk that unexpectedly gained consciousness. An atlas of intensive empty landscapes, urban megastructures and lost horizons immersed in a cacophony of languages, codes and communication networks forms the basis of this metafiction about the relationship between man and machine.

Rare Earthenware

Dir. Toby Smith | UK | 2015 | 7mins

This project follows more well-concealed journeys taking place across global supply chains. It retraces rare earth elements, which are widely used in high end electronics and green technologies, to their origins - documenting the voyage from container ships and ports, through wholesalers and factories, back to the banks of a barely-liquid radioactive lake where the refining process takes place.