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Creative collaboration brings awards for flood film


Media and Content
2 February 2023
Cinematic picture of a girl lying on her side

Southern Cross University alumni Dr Yantra de Vilder and Dr Leigh Carriage are earning international acclaim for a stunning film and musical tribute to the resilience of the Northern Rivers.

A composer, musician, sound artist and filmmaker, Dr de Vilder is the creator of short film After The Flood, which recently won the Best Composer and Best Experimental Film categories at the New York Independent Cinema Awards, and Best Music Score at the Berlin Shorts Awards. It is also in the running at other international festivals.

Visually spectacular, After The Flood also has a score highlighted by the ethereal and beautifully layered vocals of Dr Carriage, a renowned singer, composer and educator who this year celebrates 25 years as a music lecturer at Southern Cross University.

After The Flood was filmed around Mullumbimby in 2022 and is centred around young actor Jade Lee. Ideas such as 'we rise up' convey how hope, resilience and optimism can flourish from tragedy. The project comes as the Northern Rivers prepares to mark a year since the devastation of the 2022 floods.

“To have composed After The Flood in the Northern Rivers, it really showed me the importance of spirit of place,” said Yantra. “I could feel it in the earth. The music came through like a lament, but also as a dynamic expression of hope.”

Leigh agrees, saying: “I think the success of the film gives an ongoing voice to all those affected by the floods.”

The pair met as music students at Southern Cross University in the early 1990s and found an immediate connection.

Yantra's credits include her own musical/visual projects and work with the BBC, Australia Council, APRA and legendary pianist David Helfgott. She is also the founder of Pianos for the People, which recycles pre-loved pianos to bring the joy of music to public and private spaces. In the aftermath of the 2022 floods, 14 pianos found new homes in the Northern Rivers.

A woman playing an accordion in front of a sandstone rockfaceDr Yantra de Vilder

Leigh has released several acclaimed albums and has performed at leading national and international festivals. In 2022, she received the Australian Women in Music Humanitarian Award.

While both have individual projects in development – for example, After The Flood will feature in Yantra’s new rock opera, Credo – they remain responsive to collaboration.

“We speak the same musical language, one founded on listening, respect and trust that allows us to capture the magic,” said Yantra.

Watch After The Flood on Youtube.


Media contact: Southern Cross University media and content team, [email protected]