Forged from Fire

Forged from Fire

Forged from Fire

Forged from Fire tells the story of how an Australian and international community of blacksmiths, welders, artists and volunteers responded to the devastating Black Saturday bush-fires by creating perhaps the most ambitious public artwork and memorial in Australia – a three tonne, 9.8 meter tall stainless steel and copper gum tree – The Blacksmiths’ Tree.


On Black Saturday, 7 February 2009, townships north-east of Melbourne were threatened by firestorms. Considered Australia’s worst ever natural disaster it resulted in the highest loss of life and injuries from a bushfire in Australia. The conditions in which the fires were ignited and burnt were extreme. After the horror of immediate losses, people had naturally embarked on various journeys of repair and recovery. The Blacksmiths’ Tree was one of them.

Production status

It’s taken over five years to shoot this film. Now we need to complete it. Join our efforts to complete Forged from Fire by making a tax-deductible donation. We need some follow-up interviews and the time to edit our story into a feature length film, around 75 minutes all up.

A selection of screenshots from Forged from Fire.


  • Writer / Director – Andrew Garton
  • Director of Photography – Mike Wilkin
  • Music – Invention in Time, Charles Brown, Neatly Folded Goat
  • Aerial footage courtesy of I-Drone, Brett Chilton and Michael Prinzi
  • Archival footage courtesy of Warwick Page, Quentin Fogarty and Quotable Productions
  • Time-lapse footage courtesy of Barry Thomas
Finding Frank

Finding Frank

Finding Frank

The chance discovery of a rare photographic record of four New Guinean islands in the Bismark Archipelago, nearly a 100 years after they are taken, leads to a journey uncovering the life of a young surveyor, his time on the islands and subsequent escape from the invading Japanese Army 25 years later.


FINDING FRANK began life as a DVD photo reel of Frank Cutler’s extraordinary photos. Filmmaker Andrew Garton was commissioned to complete the DVD. He soon realised the stories behind the collection were the makings of a film.
Frank’s descendants know little of his life in the former German colony of New Guinea and even less is known about the people he knew there, some of whom appear in his photographs. It is also a significant story in Australia’s history, particularly its early relationship with Papua New Guinea that is little known to many Australians.

As research into these photos progressed more stories emerged and they have formed the basis of this film.

Production status

We are now fund-raising towards the production of FINDING FRANK with the financial assistance of the Documentary Australia Foundation through which tax-deductible donations may be made.

Photos courtesy of Frank Cutler’s family.

Ocean in a Drop

Ocean in a Drop

Ocean in a Drop

India’s invisible majority are poor yet literate in their own traditions and increasingly online. Ocean in a Drop is a film about these emergent online populations told by rural women and children, artisans and entrepreneurs. Shot in 2015 the filmmakers visited fourteen villages throughout nine districts across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

A film by Andrew Garton in collaboration with the Digital Empowerment Foundation and INOMY Media and in association with the Internet SocietyAustralia India Institute and the Association for Progressive Communications. Ocean in a Drop is a production of Secession/Films.

Production commenced January 2015. Ocean in a Drop was completed February 2017. The film is accompanied by the book, Right to Know – India’s internet avantgarde, a soundtrack album. An eight-part web series is in post-production awaiting finance towards its completion.

Book a community screening in Australia

Community screenings are a great way to share the experience of watching new films with small groups within intimate settings. It’s also a way to stimulate discussion about the topics explored in the film. Where possible resource materials can be provided and if I can get there, organise a Q&A with the Director.

License fees
  • Small (Up to 75 people):              $210 + shipping
  • Large (Over 75 people):               $315 + shipping
  • Director’s appearance:                Fee and travel costs available on request
Shipping costs include a screening version on DVD or thumb-drive if a download screener is not available.
All screening license fees are put towards the completion of, Forged from Fire – the making of The Blacksmiths’ Tree.
Email or call me to discuss your screening event and the kind of support I might able to provide.

Duration: 75 mins
Completed: 22 February 2017


  • Writer / Director – Andrew Garton
  • Director of Photography – Jary Nemo
  • Second unit camera – Rohit Dhall
  • Design – Cathy Chen
  • Media and Translations – Udita Chaturvedi
  • Translator – Ravi Guria


This Choir Sings Carols

This Choir Sings Carols

This Choir Sings Carols

Once a year, in early October, around 60 people gather at the City of Whittlesea’s Fountain View Room in the northern fringes of Melbourne to begin 10 weeks of rehearsal for a single concert.

The First Impressions Youth Theatre were provided with a mix of amateur and semi-professional gear. With hands-on training, a filmmaker and artists as mentors and they made a short film about this choir that only sings carols.

A production of First Impressions Youth Theatre and Secession/Films in association with the Community Development/Performance Program, City of Whittlesea.

The producers of this film recognise the rich Aboriginal heritage of this country and acknowledge the Wurundjeri Wilam clan as the traditional owners of the land we had filmed upon.

Duration: 30 mins
Completed: May 2016
This Choir Sings Carols has been completed. However, due to high costs of music synchronisation rights, our film has been shelved until these costs, $10,000 AUD, can be met.


  • Writer / Director / Editor – Andrew Garton
  • Mentors – Andrew Garton, Katherine O’Donnell, Matthew Berka
  • Cameras – Ruwanthi Wijetunga, Aron Raward, Kasey Gardner, Ben Chapman, Tenielle Reid, Matthew Berka, Katherine O’Donnell, Andrew Garton
  • Interviewers – Aron Raward, Ruwanthi Wijetunga, Tenielle Reid, Kasey Gardner


Filmed at City of Whittlesea’s Fountain View Room and Redleap Reserve, Mill Park, Victoria, Australia.

With thanks to the City of Whittlesea, Westfield Plenty Valley and Harcourts Real Estate.

Produced with the support of Community and Cultural Development, City of Whittlesea.

Chasing the Sun

Chasing the Sun

Chasing the Sun

From sunrise to sunset in Cape Town’s False Bay.

Format: Video clip
Duration: 5:54

Video clip comprised of 8mm footage shot in South Africa in the 1960s contrasted with video shot 2010. Chasing the Sun was written by Andrew Garton and Roy MacGregor. It was recorded in Cape Town, South Africa, and Hurstbridge, Australia. It was produced and mixed by At Nel in Johannesburg and mastered by Simon Polinski in Melbourne.


‘Chasing the Sun’ by Andrew Garton and Roy MacGregor

At Nel, Johannesburg

Simon Polinski, Melbourne

Guitar and vocals – Andrew Garton
3/4 guitar – Roy MacGregor
Ukalele – Tony Nirta
Marimba – Kate Adam
Backing vocals – Kate Chinnick and Tony Nirta

Silvan Sounds, Hurstbridge, Australia
At Nel Studios, Melville, South Africa
A house-sit in Kalk Bay, Cape Town

Released under license to Secession Records

VIDEO CLIP Produced and Directed by Andrew Garton

Andrew Garton
Roy MacGregor
Chas Unwin

Joe MacGregor, Filmed in 1965

Delia Rowe, Roy MacGregor, Alex Bozas, James Hope, Lianne Greff, Andrew Parker, Anriette Esterhuysen and family, At Nel and family, AliaK, Karen Banks and Alan Tattersal, Grant McHerron and Kitt La Rouge, Sue Green (Silvan Sounds), Lynda Watts, Chip Wardale, Simone White, Jary Nemo, Mike Wilkins, David Nerlich