Aleph Documentary – Press Kit

Title: Aleph Melbourne – Celebrating 20 Years
Duration: 9:54 (full specs below)
Date of completion: 26 July 2016
Place of production: Melbourne, Australia
Facebook: aleph20project

The amazing story of the group that changed the face of LGBTIQ acceptance in Jewish Australia.

Synopsis (25 words)
The amazing story of Aleph Melbourne, the support group that changed the face of LGBTIQ acceptance in Jewish Australia, from inception in 1995 to 2015.

Synopsis (37 words)
The amazing story of Aleph Melbourne, the controversial support group that changed the face of LGBTIQ acceptance in Jewish Australia. Rich with archival material, take a captivating and nostalgic journey from inception in 1995 through to 2015.

Synopsis (long)
Aleph Melbourne was founded in 1995 as a social and support group for gay Jewish men. Over the next 20 years this tiny organisation would have a huge impact on the Jewish community in Victoria.

Come on a roller-coaster ride and look back on the achievements and set-backs faced by this amazing group that has transformed the level of acceptance of LGBTIQ people in one of

Includes interviews with key members and friends of the group, radio and TV interviews, and a fascinating collection of media and other nostalgic items.

The story is beautifully woven together with the music of Melbourne Klezmer band Klezmania.

A unique view of one of Australia’s most interesting and diverse communities.

Director Biography
Michael Barnett was born in Melbourne in 1969 to English-speaking immigrant parents of Eastern European Jewish tradition.  He attended a combination of government and Jewish day schools, attended an orthodox synagogue with his family in Doncaster and was a member of the Jewish scout troop.

At the age of 26 he broke open the closet doors and accepted himself as a gay man, embarking on a journey that would set him up to be a controversial activist.  Combining his skills as a photographer, radio announcer, blogger and computer geek he propelled himself head-first into fighting for equal rights for LGBTIQ people, combating youth suicide and challenging religious oppression and influence in government.

He also found himself heading up a social, support and advocacy group for queer Jews in Melbourne.  He did this to raise awareness of the marginalisation and vilification he and others faced from within the Jewish community, along with wanting to provide a safe space and a voice for this sub-community.

Director Statement
Aleph Melbourne turned 20 in 2015 and it felt appropriate to commemorate this milestone by making a documentary. Having played a pivotal role in much of the group’s history, together with having amassed a huge archive of material about the group I was well placed to coordinate such a project.

Funding a documentary was going to be the first hurdle to cross. We received a small community grant which kicked things off and additional funds were raised through crowd-funding. With finances in the bank I met with YouthWorx Productions, who were very happy to help tell our story.

I had a mammoth job ahead of me, as my archives were all in the one place but not very organised. I meticulously sifted through 20 years of newspaper clippings, photographs, radio and TV interviews and a variety of other miscellaneous items.

Working closely with the production team, we came up with a broad storyline. The frustrating part for me was working out what to include in the short amount of time available to us. We had enough material to fill at least an hour, so it was going to be a case of picking the absolute highlights and being extremely judicious.

It’s not often I was grateful to be unemployed, but this project might not have come to fruition if I hadn’t had the spare time available to commit to it due to having been out work for several months on end. I made the most of this time to coordinate meetings, shoots, working with the editing team and so forth.


We now have a record of our 20 years, from 1995 to 2015. We’ve unearthed amazing archival material and brought together the people who helped make this journey possible. I’m proud to be part of this story, shared with so many amazing people, each who have made such an important contribution.

Hi-Res Image gallery
(Click on individual gallery image and follow link below to hi-res image)

Interactive Online Screener / Hi-Res download (1920×1080 591MB MPEG-4 file)

Interactive Online Screener / Hi-Res download (1920×1080 2.25GB MPEG-4 file)
NOTE: This cut is for cinemas that find the 591MB file too compressed
(Available on request)

45 second clip (for promotional purposes only, with download facility available)

2:22 trailer (223MB MPEG-4 file, with download facility available)

Digital Cinema Package (DCP)
(Available on request – file size 3.5GB)
Wraptor DCP 2k 1998 x 1080 Flat
25fps frame rate (PAL)
5.1 Surround Sound

SRT Caption File
English (14kb)

: Michael Barnett
Production: YouthWorx Productions & Michael Barnett
Cast: Shaun Miller, Michael Barnett, Elizabeth Syber & Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli
Music: Klezmania

Michael Barnett

Postal address: Available on application

Festival Screenings

Technical Specifications
Format : MPEG-4
Format profile : Base Media / Version 2
Codec ID : mp42 (mp42)
File size : 591 MiB
Duration : 9mn 53s
Overall bit rate : 8 344 Kbps
Codirector : codirector
Production studio : studio
ContentType : Unknown Type
Encoded date : UTC 2016-07-26 03:38:34
Tagged date : UTC 2016-07-26 03:38:34

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Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : Baseline@L5
Format settings, CABAC : No
Format settings, ReFrames : 1 frame
Muxing mode : Container profile=Baseline@4.1
Codec ID : avc1
Codec ID/Info : Advanced Video Coding
Duration : 9mn 53s
Bit rate : 8 185 Kbps
Width : 1 920 pixels
Height : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate mode : Constant
Frame rate : 25.000 fps
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.158
Stream size : 579 MiB (98%)
Language : English
Encoded date : UTC 1950-07-26 03:38:34
Tagged date : UTC 1950-07-26 03:38:34

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Duration : 9mn 53s
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 154 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 44.1 KHz
Frame rate : 43.066 fps (1024 spf)
Compression mode : Lossy
Stream size : 10.9 MiB (2%)
Title : Stereo
Language : English
Default : Yes
Alternate group : 1
Encoded date : UTC 1950-07-26 03:38:34
Tagged date : UTC 1950-07-26 03:38:34

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