Francis Jupurrurla Kelly

Francis Kelly is a Warlpiri man from Central Australia. Francis was born in 1952 in the bush at Mt Doreen Station on Warlpiri land near Yuendumu in the Northern Territory.

He began his work in media in 1984 when he became a key person in the Yuendumu Television Project along with Dr Eric Michaels. The project led to the establishment of the internationally known Warlpiri Media Association. In conjunction with other Warlpiri community members he established the first Aboriginal TV station in Australia at Yuendumu in 1985.

 Francis has been an influential figure in the development of Aboriginal media in Australia. He has been a Board member of Australia’s iCTV (Indigenous Community TV) and NITV (National Indigenous TV) in recognition of his experience in and knowledge of remote media.

Working with David Batty of Rebel Films he co-directed the innovative Bush Mechanics series. He has teamed up again with David Batty to co-direct Coniston.

David Batty

David Batty's career has spanned 27 years of writing, producing, directing and shooting both documentary and drama throughout most parts of remote Australia and in recent years Melbourne and Sydney. Over the years Batty has carved his own unique style of documentary filmmaking which is vibrant, intimate and rich in detail. The immediacy of his work comes from having a close rapport, trust and great access to often isolated and rarefied communities. He combines local knowledge with great story telling to make television that is fresh, pertinent and thought provoking.

Based in Alice Springs for twelve years and then Broome for a further 12 years and now in Melbourne, Batty has a long and distinguished history of making programs with and for Aboriginal people. His filmmaking career began around 1980 in Alice Springs during which time he played an integral part in establishing the television production unit at CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association).

The culmination of Batty's work in Central Australia can be seen in the hit television series, "Bush Mechanics", originally screened on ABC TV in 2001 to a national audience of over three million viewers. David's recent projects include directing two episodes of the popular SBS series "Going Bush", shooting and mentoring "Veiled Ambition" and writing, directing and shooting Australia's first made for mobile documentary "Marree Man"


Producer and Co-Executive Producer

Jeni McMahon

Producer Jeni McMahon established Rebel Films in 1999 with director David Batty and has established a reputation for creating a diverse range of highly successful, award winning documentaries with a uniquely Australian focus. She has a passion for telling stories from remote indigenous Australia including the iconic and hugely popular Bush Mechanics Series and Going Bush with Olympic gold medalist Cathy Freeman and AFI award winning actor Deborah Mailman.

Jeni has collaborated with some of Australia’s most esteemed documentary filmmakers such as Brian McKenzie, David Bradbury and David Batty as well nurturing several award winning emerging directors. Award winning films include Veiled Ambition, Best Short film promoting Human Rights at the 2006 Melbourne International Film Festival, Marree Man , Finalist at the 2007 Mipcom Mobile and Internet TV Awards, Halal Mate, 2007 United Nations Media Peace award nomination, Desert Heart, Love’s Harvest ADG Award 2009, and Pride of Warriors 2010 ATOM award and 2010 Human Rights Film Festival Award Australia.

Jeni’s most recent credits include producing the award winning documentary "And Then The Wind Changed", executive producing On Borrowed Time, (MIFF 2011) with Academy Award nominated director David Bradbury.

Co Executive Producer


Susan Locke

Susan Locke has worked across a number of professional areas including adult education, community development, website development, Aboriginal heritage and Aboriginal media.

Susan worked for PAW Media from late 2005 to late 2012 holding a variety of roles. From early 2008 to the end of 2012 Susan was General Manager, oversighting and leading PAW Media’s radio, music and video productions. 

Susan worked as Executive Producer on dozens of PAW Media’s award winning cultural and community videos as well as commissioned productions. 

Personal statement

From the time I first gained funding in 2008 for the Coniston documentary as a smallish undertaking for local audiences, through to its screening at the Sydney Film Festival, there was never a moment when I thought that this story didn’t need telling. Having heard the story first-hand when I arrived in Yuendumu I felt compelled to support its telling by the people affected. It has been a privilege to be involved in the documentary and there is a great sense of accomplishment that PAW Media has been able to work with Rebel Films in such a way that local people call it “their film” and that wider Australian audiences have been moved by the story.



Hugh Miller

One of Australia's most exciting emerging cinematographer's, Hugh Miller’s film credits include ‘The Bet’, ‘Right Here, Right Now’, ‘Orange Love Stories’ and the 2006 Project Greenlight film ‘Solo’. Other credits as DOP include one of the ‘Blackjack’ telemovies for Network Ten, the short film ‘Ash Wednesday’ and several high-profile commercials. 

With Coniston, Hugh has renewed his association with the desert and the Bush Mechanics crew. Hugh was DOP on the Bush Mechanics series of 2001.


Bergen O'Brien

Upon graduating from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in 2001, Bergen moved to Yuendumu where he worked as Video Coordinator at Warlpiri Media Association. He now lives in Melbourne and works as a freelance editor. His recent credits include:
Halal Mate – Tha Brothahood (2007), Love’s Harvest (2007), Going Bush (2006) – episode 1 & 2.


Michael den Elzen

Den Elzen started doing music for films in the 80s, the first being As The Mirror Burns (1990 release date). He worked with Phil Judd and Schnell Fenster on the soundtrack for the movie Rikky and Pete (1988), and was also involved with Phil Judd on the soundtrack for The Big Steal (1990) and Mr. Reliable (1996).

He did the soundtrack to David Batty's Rodeo Road (1999) which lead to producing, recording, and co-writing the music for the TV series Bush Mechanics (2001) in Yuendumu about 300 km north-west of Alice Springs, and the soundtracks to other David Batty films, Sisters, Pearls and Mission Girls (2003) and Taylor Made (2003), as well as the TV series Inventions From The Shed (2005), all aired on the ABC.

Den Elzen also worked on a project with painter and artist David Munro called Birdbrain, whose music was used in the TV series The Secret Life of Us and in the film Ghosts of the Civil Dead (1988). Other composer credits include Trespass (2001), Beyond Sorry (2004), Bush Bikes (2003), Us Mob (2005) and Aurukun-Voices From The Cape (2008) by David Vadiveloo, Case 442 (2005) by C.A.A.M.A., Going Bush (2006) by SBS TV, Marree Man (2007), the series Halal Mate (2007) (for which he was nominated in the category of "Best Music for a Documentary" at the 2008 APRA-AGSC Screen Music Awards), That's Australia (2007), Desert Heart (2007) and Wedding Makers (2008) by Rebel Films, Artists At Work - David Frazer (2007), IOU - Lloyd Rees (2007) and Tom Moore - Glassorama (2008) by Tony Wyzenbeek at ABC TV, and the SBS series Love's Harvest (2007) by Brian McKenzie and Rebel Films.

Latest News

Coniston wins Award of Excellence

08.29am 23 July 2013

Coniston has won an Award of Excellence at the July 2013 ...CONTINUED »

Coniston broadcast on the Australia Network

17.23pm 25 June 2013

Coniston is part of the Australia Network indigenous lineup for ...CONTINUED »

Buy or Rent Coniston Film

19.22pm 30 April 2013

Coniston is now available to buy from the following ...CONTINUED »

Coniston on iView

08.46am 17 January 2013

After its screening on ABC on 14 January, Coniston is now ...CONTINUED »

Coniston screens on ABC1 TV 14 January 2013

11.19am 12 January 2013

Coniston will air for the first time on ABC1 TV on 14 January ...CONTINUED »

Coniston wins Best Docudrama Award at ATOM 2012

12.42pm 23 November 2012

Coniston was awarded the best Docudrama Award at  ATOM ...CONTINUED »

Coniston trailer online

17.18pm 03 October 2012

Haven't been able to get to see the Coniston documentary yet? ...CONTINUED »

Coniston on ABC's NT 7.30 Report

12.22pm 22 September 2012

Coniston was covered by the ABC's NT 7.30 Report on 21 ...CONTINUED »

Coniston sells out at Araluen

12.09pm 22 September 2012

It was an exciting night at Ataluen Theatre in Alice Springs on ...CONTINUED »

Coniston selected as finalist in the 2012 ATOM Awards

10.51am 04 September 2012

We are delighted that Coniston has been selected as a finalist ...CONTINUED »

Ticket sales open for Coniston documentary screening in Alice Springs

12.55pm 21 August 2012

Ticket sales have opened for the September 17 screening at ...CONTINUED »

Coniston at the Melbourne Film Festival

13.20pm 12 July 2012

Coniston has been selected for the 2012 Melbourne International ...CONTINUED »

Coniston screening sold out at Sydney Film Festival

15.15pm 11 June 2012

It was an exciting moment when Fiona Kitson and Elijah Jones ...CONTINUED »

Coniston documentary selected for the 2012 Sydney Film Festival

21.01pm 09 May 2012

We are thrilled that Coniston has been selected for the 2012 ...CONTINUED »

Coniston documentary nears completion

09.25am 19 April 2012

The Coniston documentary is in the final stages of post ...CONTINUED »

Coniston documentary gets into gear

12.11pm 18 June 2011

We've been very busy lately with finalising the financing and ...CONTINUED »

Francis Kelly receives the 2011 Tudawali Award

15.02pm 13 May 2011

Francis Jupurrurla Kelly, a key figure in the development of ...CONTINUED »

Coniston documentary : moving ahead

12.12pm 12 April 2011

The revised treatment for the Coniston Massacre documentary has ...CONTINUED »

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