Have you seen a ghost in the City of Vincent?

The winners of the City of Vincent Film Project have been announced with films about honeybees, ghosts and neon signs to be produced for screening in July.

Among the teams receiving funding to make their film project a reality is former Pride WA President Paul van Lieshout (pictured) who is heading a team creating a film about ghosts in the City of Vincent.

Revelation Perth International Film Festival partnered with the City of Vincent for a film project which offered an opportunity for filmmakers to tell stories in and about the City of Vincent, with $15,000 being allocated to fund three short documentaries.

Revelation Film Festival Director Richard Sowada said the grass-roots project has been enormously rewarding.

“It’s about having a real creative impact at a community level and brings many of these emerging filmmakers into the international fold,” Sowada said.

Paul van Lieshout is one of the producers behind Ghosts of Vincent, an expository-participatory documentary that looks at historical people and venues within the area of the City of Vincent.

The film investigates the legend of ‘Kanga’ the ghost who haunts the newly renovated Leederville hotel, but also focuses on other venues and locations of interest in the Vincent area.

The aspiring producer, who is also a current affairs presenter on RTRFM 92.1, chatted to OUTinPerth about his new project.

How did your team come up with a story about ghosts in the City of Vincent?
I saw an ABC article on Facebook that showed that 30 per cent of Australians believe in ghosts and aliens. So naturally I started to question all of my friends and neighbors about their belief systems.

I started wondering how many people in my local area thought ghosts were real. The City of Vincent has around 35,000 residents which means that 10,000 of them are true believers!

Are you a believer in ghosts?
I do believe in ghosts! I haven’t seen any in a while, but I used to live in a house in Maylands that I was utterly convinced was haunted. There was always a bump in the middle of the night, and my housemates said they’d seen the outline of a big figure in the dark. They might have been trying to scare me though, as I am quite gullible. In saying that, I’m not alone! Over 30 per cent of Australian’s believe in ghosts and paranormal activity.

Without giving too much of the film away, who is Kanga?
The legend of Kanga! He’s even had a bar dedicated to him in Leederville. Kanga is thought to be a nice enough guy, who ran a betting shop in the tower of the Leederville Hotel. These days we hear stories of his shadow being seen around the staircases and former staff say they’d heard someone speak when they knew they were on their own.

Film producing is something new for you, most people know you from radio, how did you get into this new venture?
It is really new to me! As part of my undergraduate course at Edith Cowan University, I got to make a series of TV programs for commercial stations, it taught me the fundamentals of film making and since last semester…I’ve been hooked!

As for getting the grant, I saw the call out for applications on social media and it seemed the perfect opportunity for me to get some experience and try my hand at film making.

What I love about this project is that it’s not just another doco. We’re calling for submissions and stories about ghosts from everyone in WA and in particular the City of Vincent area. I’m hoping we get enough leads that we could even run a late-night ghost tour.

We have a medium on board,and a professional skeptic, to convince us whether or not these other stories are real. People can post on our Ghosts of Vincent Facebook page or send us a message if they have a story they want us to investigate.

The other projects funded in the scheme include a film about a beekeeper and a film about neon signs. All the films will be screened at Revelation, the Perth International Film Festival in July.

Graeme Watson

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