New documentary, Juanita Nielsen NOW

Juanita Nielsen NOW launches at Antenna

Juanita Nielsen NOW, an experimental documentary exploring the ongoing implications of an unsolved murder, launched on October 17 as part of Antenna Documentary Film Festival. Juanita Nielsen Now is adapted from the highly acclaimed experimental video installation, The Beehive, which won the Australian Centre for the Moving Image/Artbank 2018 film commission and is touring across Australia with Museum and Galleries NSW in 2022-2023. The Beehive is driven by an algorithm, with 1334 different versions, making each viewing experience different. The Beehive was a critical success and won huge audiences at The Sydney Festival, among other venues. Juanita Nielsen NOW brings this original and important story to the big screen.

Andrew F Peirce, from The Curb, writes “There’s a distinct pleasure that washes over you as you experience a piece of filmmaking that pushes against the boundaries of the form of storytelling it is working within. Juanita Nielsen NOW is one such film that engaged completely with my emotions, leaving me stunned and shaken by the sheer force of its narrative. Filmmakers have long teased apart the reality of the documentary format in an effort to help the truth of the story find a path out of the maze of its existence. Dharawal country-based filmmaker and artist Zanny Begg uses her creative force and brilliance to explore the truth that hides within contested histories”. To read the full interview check out The Curb.

On July 4th, 1975 Juanita Nielsen – style icon, journalist, activist – went to what she thought was a business meeting at The Carousel Club, Kings Cross, and vanished never to be seen again. Juanita was an unforgettable Sydney character with her large beehive hairdo, long false eyelashes and fashionable clothes. Glamorous and well-connected Juanita built a powerful alliance between construction workers and residents that stopped Sydney’s developers in their tracks. With millions of dollars at stake, Juanita vanished never to be seen again.

Juanita Nielsen NOW explores the unsolved mystery of Juanita’s disappearance through the eyes of those living in Sydney today. The title is a reference to the name of Juanita’s newspaper, NOW, and the continuing relevance of her story. Bringing together a cast of actors, performers, activists, stripers, sex workers, and beekeepers Juanita Nielsen NOW probes what it means to live in a city that killed one of its own.

Published by zannybegg

Zanny Begg lives in Bulli, on Dharawal land, and is an artist and film maker who is interested in hidden and contested history/ies. She works with film, drawing and installation to explore ways in which we can live and be in the world differently: this has included working with macro-political themes, such as alte-globalization protests, and in micro-political worlds, such as with kids in a maximum security prison.