No Surrender

Starring Bernadette Walong

A Physical TV Company Production

in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

No Surrender

Starring Bernadette Walong


No Surrender tells the story of a young Indigenous woman who is invaded, terrorised and physically attacked by an unseen intruder wielding a camera. As she nears the point of surrender, the woman’s spirit separates from her body and, through the language of dance and spiritual movement, she finds the strength to fight back and overcome her attacker.

No Surrender is a film about the struggle between invasion and resistance. It is about the incredible capacity of the human spirit to overcome insurmountable odds.

No Surrender previewed in October 2001 at Popcorn Taxi in Sydney, launched by Paul Clarke, Head of Entertainment and Music at ABC TV.

SCREENINGS (2002-2005)

St Kilda Film Festival in Melbourne;
TTV Performing Arts on Screen in Riccione, Italy;
the Commonwealth Film Festival in Manchester, England;
the Woods Hole Film Festival in Massachusetts, USA;
the International Festival of New Film in Split, Croatia;
the ReelDance International Dance on Screen Festival in Australia in Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Lismore (touring thereafter to the University of Melbourne and to Argentina as part of Festival Buenos Aires Danza Contemporanea);
Short Trips @ The Melbourne Fringe 2002 Best Film Award;
the Manly ScreenWorks Short Film Festival;
Fano International Film Festival in Italy;
IMZ dance screen in Monte Carlo;
Anchorage Film Festival in Alaska;
The Kinesthetic Eye, An International Dance for Camera Screening,
in Minneapolis and in Wellington;
Constellation Change Screen Dance Festival in London;
Dance Moments at the Goethe-Institut in Krakow;
Canberra Short Film Festival;
Captured: A Videodance Series at Dance Theatre Workshop, in New York City;
Park City Film Music Festival in Utah (twice);
Festival Castel dei Mondi in Andria, Italy;
Noosa Film Society in regional NSW;
CineMoves: A Forum for the Exhibition of Dance and Movement on Film, in Sydney
Short Sited and Film Illawarra in Wollongong;
The Third Video Art and Artistic Video Review: Video Dia Loghi, in Turin, Italy;
Cockatoo Island Festival, Sydney;
Limmud Oz, Festival of Jewish Learning and Culture, Sydney.

No Surrender was broadcast nationally in Australia on ABC TV in May 2002 and showcased on TV Slovenia in June 2002. It is distributed to the non-theatrical market in Australia and New Zealand in 2003 by Marcom Projects and in the USA by Artworks Video. ScreenSound Australia has invested in a 35mm archival film print for its Australian Dance Collection. It has been acquired by the National Film and Video Lending, a screen studies collection owned by the National Library of Australia and managed by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).

No Surrender won Best Experimental Film at the 2002 Annual ATOM Awards for Film, Television, Radio & Multimedia in Melbourne, and Best Music for a Short Film in the 2002 APRA-Australian Guild of Screen Composers Screen Music Awards. In international competition for Awards for Best Impact of Music in Independent Film at the 2004 Park City Music Festival, Utah, No Surrender won the Gold Medal for Excellence: Audience Favorite in Short Films. It was Highly Commended by the Australian Cinematographers' Society and Shortlisted for Best Sound Design at the Australian Screen Sound Guild Awards - both in the Short Film category. It was Shortlisted for the 2002 ReelDance Awards and a Finalist for the Short Trips @ The Melbourne Fringe 2002 Best Film Award.


June/July 02

by Keith Gallasch

“In a dramatic reversal of one of cinema’s favorite tropes, the pursuit of the terrified woman, the subject of No Surrender’s gaze, an Indigenous woman (dancer Bernadette Walong), wakes to find a camera (our point of view) prying between her thighs. A violent chase ensues, rich in night time colour, strange locations and hand-held urgency until the woman’s spirit is unleashed in an ecstatic dance. She turns on the camera with fists, kick-boxing knockouts and flame, the shattered lens flickering to faltering readouts. No Surrender exploits digital possibilities to the painterly max with slo-mo strokes, sudden zooms and deft super-impositions. In a cinema with wrap-around sound, as at the Popcorn Taxi Sydney premiere, music and sound design stunningly amplify the immersive quality of the cinematography. It’s a rare experience for the audience being cast as the baddy.”


August 7, 2002
by Jill Sykes

Excerpt from “Diversity of dance on the big screen”, a review of the
ReelDance International Dance on Screen Festival at The Studio, Sydney Opera House.

“Australian and New Zealand contributions, shortlisted from the ReelDance awards, tended to look for the intense and dramatic more often than the humorous or quirky.

“No Surrender, performed by Bernadette Walong to the choreography and direction of Richard James Allen, is a powerful partnership of performance and screen techniques. The nightmare attack – on a person, country or culture – …after its valiant conclusion, No Surrender emerges as a memorable short film.”

REALTIME/New Media Scan 2002: film
October/November 02
by Hunter Cordaiy

Excerpt from “Sometimes it goes like this…”

“Exploring the plasticity of the image through digital effects is part of the drive behind the best experimental short films, where the compression of time and image makes the wondrous especially effective. Physical TV’s ATOM award-winning short dance film, No Surrender is a good example ( Director Richard Allen calls it “a digital age story” where the camera (cinematographer Andrew Commis, editor Karen Pearlman) is a malevolent presence on screen, forcing the audience to question the intention of the technology used to construct the narrative. This too is a form of interactivity, but more subtle and ultimately intelligent. No Surrender points the way to the possibilities that abound when collaboration occurs across forms and new technologies are integrated into the totality of the vision.”


Writer, Choreographer, Director: Richard James Allen
Music: Michael Yezerski
Performed by: Synergy and Veronique Serret
Producers: Isabel Perez, Richard James Allen, and Karen Pearlman
Director of Photography: Andrew Commis
Production Designer: Lea Lennon
Costume Designer: Justine Seymour
Editor: Karen Pearlman
Sound Designer: Liam Price
Titles Designer: Trish Dixon
Script Consultant: Linda Aronson
Artistic Consultant: Bernadette Walong
Production Company: The Physical TV Company
in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Executive Producers for the Physical TV Company:
Richard James Allen and Karen Pearlman
Executive Producer for the ABC: Paul Clarke

Copyright © 2002 The Physical TV Company Pty Ltd

Loading more stuff…

Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?

Loading videos…