Life After Coal is set against the backdrop of Morwell, a Victorian mining town perched on the edge of the world’s largest open-cut brown coal mine, and two power stations one set to close by 2028. The economic landscape of an area once responsible for producing 85% of Victoria’s electricity is changing drastically.
In the face of an unknown future, those that are setting a new agenda are not the politicians or the coal executives, but community groups and activists.
A group of colourful local artists, determined to delve into the inherited wicked problem facing their home, have a plan. Through exploration of identity, technology, history and politics, their artworks help the townspeople to envision a future and process the collective trauma of the end of the fossil fuel era. Paving the way for what life after coal could look like in Australia and the world.
Josie Hess (they/them) is a non-binary writer/director from Gippsland who works across documentary, narrative and pornography.
Their work has been recognized by The Guardian, The Age, The Feed, ABC News, Filmmaker Magazine and Art Link among others. Josie co-directed their first feature documentary Morgana in 2019 (co-directed by Isabel Peppard) which premiered internationally at Fantasia International Film Festival, nationally at Melbourne International Film Festival and won Best Independent Documentary at the Gold Coast Film Awards and San Fran Indie Fest.
Josie’s work has made waves in the porn world, with experimental short ‘Labia of Love’ winning ‘Hottest Artful Porn Award’ at the Toronto International Porn Awards. In 2020, they co-directed ‘All of Me’ (co-directed by Morgana Muses) a short documentary about a sex worker with cerebral palsy, which has screened around the world, including at Berlin Porn Film Festival.
In 2020, their next documentary project ‘Life After Coal’ was selected to take part in The Pitch Lab, an initiative by AFTRS, The Doc Society and AIDC. The project was the recipient of the philanthropic development and production grants through the Lab via the MaiTri Foundation’s Story Program.