Signs of Life - Kangaroo Island after the bushfires

Non-narrative documentary. The footage was filmed on Kangaroo Island, South Australia 25th - 30th January 2020. I was on the island doing some volunteer work making videos for some locals as a small contribution to the post bushfire recovery. After that work I decided to travel through the western end of the island where the fires had been the most intense. I planned to capture some footage, but didn't want to focus on the worst of the aftermath as the media had well and truly covered that. Camping under the stars on the first night out I had a flash that I could try and capture 'Signs of Life', I had the title and then it was a matter of seeing if I could find many. Soundtrack: Andrew & me
Best Cinematography - European International Film Festival 2021
Award Winner – Category Film on Nature/Environment/Wildlife - Tagore International Film Festival 2021

  • Ashley Starkey
    The First Anzac Day, The Path of Totality, Rockana
  • Ashley Starkey + Andrew Muecke
    Rockana, The Path of Totality, Footpath
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Other
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 24 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 14, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    99 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Tagore International Film Festival
    June 30, 2021
    Category Best Film on Nature/Environment/Wildlife
  • European International Film Festival
    Saint Petersburg
    Russian Federation
    May 15, 2021
    Best Cinematography
Director Biography - Ashley Starkey

Ashley Starkey is a filmmaker, photographer and artist. Born (1967) and based in Australia he’s won awards there including Most Outstanding Music Video, Best CD Artwork, and Major prize winner of the Anne & Gordon Samstag Jeffrey Smart competition. His work has been screened on television and in film competitions, and published in magazines, around the globe. He’s been writing, filming and editing documentaries for nearly twenty years. Films and images created from detritus, junk, found objects and the discarded are an ongoing passion for Starkey, and his 'Rockana' has been selected to screen at a number of festivals around the globe.

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Director Statement

The smell left behind by the bushfires was something I anticipated and I got used to it fairly quickly. What I didn't expect was how hot the ground would still be and how complete the devastation was at the far western end of Kangaroo Island, Flinders Chase. Despite this, just two weeks after the fire, the Australian native flora was already beginning to sprout. But, although birds and insects feature in this video, I didn't see any signs of either for many hours travelling through Flinders Chase. It was just me alone with the smell of the fire, the heat from the ground, and powerful winds.