What does it mean to be Tasmanian?

We have all seen the usual videos that promote cities, states and countries. Young people clicking wine glasses, start-up spaces, leisurely walks by the water. We have all of that in Tasmania but we wanted to focus on what feels distinctly of this place. We wanted to tell the truth. So we gathered a few inspiring Tasmanians to help us tell the story of this place and its culture.

Over two years, we listened to hundreds of Tasmanians in hour-long, one-on-one interviews. Some of them had just arrived. Others told us about connections to this place lasting six generations or sixty thousand years.

Our agency partners, The20, were as invested as we were in the story we heard from Tasmanians. They believe it is at the core of who they are, as individuals and as a company.

Like us, they wanted to share it. So they proposed a video that in a little over two minutes (and in only a few words) somehow said it all.

We agreed on a few constraints. The only way to tell the overarching story was through the stories of individual Tasmanians we had heard in our interviews.

It had to be true to quietness, to hard work and overcoming obstacles, to the special environment we all work in, and to the extraordinary outcomes of Tasmanian passion and ingenuity.

Yet it couldn’t be boastful or false. We weren’t allowed to use buzzwords. We had to be courageous about our shortcomings, the work we still have to do. And everyone involved had to be Tasmanian.

Easy, right?

Be honest

We learned a lot in our hundreds of interviews. We learned that if we were not honest about this place, its history, and its culture our most important audience—Tasmanians—would not see themselves in the story. It is non-traditional, in place-branding and economic development, to begin a promotional video with evocations of isolation and devastation, of feeling forgotten, of feeling misunderstood and underestimated.

There is so much that is special about Tasmania. It is extraordinary: this place, these people, and what they do. But why is it like that? Tasmanians told us not to forget the struggle and hardship of the past and present. It is through working together to overcome these struggles and hardships, to reckon with our past, that we build what we most love about this place.

The best way to tell this Tasmanian story is through Tasmanians themselves. In our short film you meet respected elders and young people, inventors and entrepreneurs, advocates and activists, all of them doing things a bit differently. They were generous with their time and candid about their own stories. Through them, you can feel what it's like to live, create, work, and cooperate here in Tasmania.

In order of appearance in the film: Rodney Gibbins, Joan Evans, Bill McHenry, Terrapin Puppet Theatre, Rodney Croome, Robert Clifford, Jemma Blair, Natalie Potter & Emily Versluys, Carleeta Thomas, Julian von Bibra, Luca Brasi, Seana Gall, Ana Pimenta, Ethan Bligh, David Shering, Curly Haslam-Coates, Joanna Smart, and Jeanette James.

Creative agency: The20
Cinematographer: Joshua Lamont ACS
Assistant Camera: Ross Giblin