In summary

  • Recent Swinburne Media and Communications student Matt Bolin has won Best Short Documentary at the New York Los Angeles International Film Festival
  • His film, The Philosophy Documentary, features Swinburne teachers and students
  • Philosophy lecturer and course convenor, Dr Glenn McLaren, says the film is very impressive and highlights how philosophy is often overlooked

Recent Swinburne student Matt Bolin has won Best Short Documentary at the New York Los Angeles International Film Festival for his film The Philosophy Documentary.

The 20-minute documentary explores why philosophy is a vital part of society and features many teachers and students at Swinburne.

Matt studied the Bachelor of Media and Communications and philosophy units as part of his degree. He says winning Best Short Documentary is ’pretty amazing’ and that he enjoyed ’creating awareness about an amazing topic among a new audience’.

The film’s concept happened by chance, according to Matt. He was waiting in line at the Atrium Café on Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus when Philosophy Convenor and Lecturer, Dr Glenn McLaren, happened to be waiting in line as well and suggested he make a documentary about him and the lead of Swinburne’s Philosophy department, Associate Professor Arran Gare, after seeing another one of Matt’s films.

’The rest was history after that meeting,’ he says.

Dr McLaren appeared in the documentary and says that it has given people ’a new appreciation' for philosophy.

‘Matt wants to do something positive in the world and is someone not to be underestimated. I’m not only delighted that he has had this success, but that we have contributed to it in this way.’

The Philosophy Documentary

The Philosophy Documentary

Critical thinking

A key theme in The Philosophy Documentary is how the field is often overlooked. Matt believes that in a fast-paced world, many feel they don’t have time to reflect.

’The assumption is that the process of thinking doesn’t weigh up to the process of doing. In reality, you need both of them to feel a sense of balance in your life.’

Swinburne is unique in having holistic process philosophers, which are part of a small but growing field and ’the future of philosophy’, according to Dr McLaren.

‘Process philosophy is a small but growing field in the world and from my perspective, the future of philosophy. Our perspective is unique in bringing together the Arts and Sciences and we provide students with a deep understanding of reality to empower them to effectively confront the immense challenges humanity is facing.’

Matt says it was ‘such an honour to represent Australia on the international stage’ and is currently in the process of making an adult animation.

‘I would like to produce quality films for people to enjoy and provide a sense of happiness through my work to as many people as possible in the way that Film and Television did for me growing up.’

Related articles