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Ronin Films


Les McLaren

Annie Stiven and Les McLaren have spent 15 years in PNG since the early 1970s, working in government cultural institutions, and on independent film projects about culture and change. They both speak and read tok pisin (Melanesian Pidgin) fluently.

They have written, produced and directed five documentaries which have been invited to international festivals including nominations for Best Film at Cinema du Reel in Paris and Golden Gate in San Francisco. They have been invited to present films at festivals in Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, New York, and Hawaii.

Cowboy and Maria In Town was awarded Best Documentary at Dendy Awards, Sydney Film Festival, also nominated for Best Documentary AFI, Australian Human Rights Award, ATOM Awards, and in International Festivals. Pikizjaa was also nominated for the Dendy Awards Best Documentary. Taking Pictures, about documentary filmmakers in PNG, has screened widely and continues to sell internationally.

Les was the Senior Video Producer with the Training Technology Centre who have produced award winning multimedia products - including the Australian Humanitarian Award (Education) for CDROM in 1999, and the AIMIA Grand Prize, and Best Education & Reference award for a CDROM in 2003. In 2003 Les spent four months in Bougainville working with the UN-led peace monitoring group as a liaison officer with Bougainvillean, Australian, New Zealand, Fijian and ni-Vanuatu personnel.

Les McLaren and Annie Stiven co-wrote a short history of filmmaking in Papua New Guinea for the Australian Documentary Conference 1993, ISBN: 0646165402. Les McLaren also wrote a short memoir about early film & music experiences in Papua New Guinea for Meanjin Quarterly, Vol 62, No. 3: ISBN-10: 1740660951 ISBN-13: 978-1740660952



Cowboy is a reformed 'raskol'. Unemployed, illiterate and with a jail record, he invents an electric guitar out of scrap materials and plays his distinctive rock 'n' roll on street corners, earning just enough for his family to get by...


KAMA WOSI was filmed on the largest of the Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea. The poetry of songs and the art of singing are major parts of Trobriand aesthetic traditions...


TAKING PICTURES is a thoughtful look at the way Western cameras have represented the lives of Papua New Guineans. Before the 1970s, the Commonwealth Film Unit represented the people of PNG in a paternalistic way, as curiosities...

LIFE IS A VERY STRANGE THING (English language version) »

NOTE: The streaming file available on Vimeo-on-Demand through the link on this page is the English language version (with English subtitles for French dialogue)...

LIFE IS A VERY STRANGE THING (French language version) »

NOTE: The streaming file available on Vimeo-on-Demand through the link on this page is the French language version (with French subtitles for English dialogue)...