Animal Requiem

Inspired to amplify the urgent call-to-action by climate activists, a small group of makers set their minds to creating an artwork that could not be ignored. The result is an extraordinary 4-metre tall Burning Koala animatronic puppet. This short film captures the koala's maiden outing, a funeral march for the 3 billion animals lost in the Black Summer bushfires. Accompanied by the haunting presence of Extinction Rebellion's Red Rebels, the Burning Koala brought passers-by into a state of shock and mourning, as it made its way along the St Kilda beach in Boon Wurrung country.

  • David Urbinder
  • David Urbinder
  • techteist
  • Julian Meehan
    Still photography
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  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 40 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 17, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    0 AUD
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Director Biography - David Urbinder

David Urbinder is a filmmaker-cum-activist whose work is dedicated to addressing the multiple converging ecological crises of this century. His films are made with the explicit purpose of moving people to act with urgency.

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Director Statement

The makers of the Burning Koala dedicated thousands of hours, immeasurable expertise and their enduring passion to create something that will undoubtedly benefit the Australian environmental movement for many years. To witness it in person is an extraordinary experience. It evokes awe, terror and grief in equal measures, and it cannot be ignored as it looms over a crowd of humans. My original purpose in filming the Burning Koala's maiden outing was primarily as a memento, and secondarily to promote future Burning Koala actions. When I began to assemble the footage, I realised that something more could be made of it. I hope this short film helps train our collective awareness onto saving our nonhuman neighbours and their irreplaceable homes.