Filmmaker and RMIT alumnus Ling Ang challenges what it is to be a modern day philanthropist with her support of The Capitol.
In response to RMIT’s Capitol Theatre Appeal, the 27-year-old filmmaker donated $500,000 to support the University’s vision to reactivate the iconic theatre for students, industry and the people of Melbourne.
Melbourne’s Capitol Theatre, designed in the 1920s by Marion Mahoney Griffin and Walter Burley Griffin, features spectacular geometric architecture. RMIT acquired the theatre in 1999, but had to close it to the public in 2014. The RMIT Capitol Theatre Appeal was launched in 2017. Ang was inspired to give to the appeal by plans to transform the building into a creative space for students, industry and the community of Melbourne.
“The first time I saw The Capitol I was on my way to a class in the theatre. All I saw was this geometric wonderland of a ceiling. The Capitol isn’t limited to being a cinema or a lecture theatre. We want to try and create a circle of life within the theatre, where students can interact with industry people. That connection between students and industry is really important in helping people see that their dreams aren’t so unattainable.”
The act of giving back was a value instilled and encouraged by Ang's family.
“I was brought up to always give back to something that I was lucky enough to be a part of. To try and help other people who might need that extra push.”
Ang dispels most of the conventions of your average philanthropist, and is grateful to be in a position where she can give back.
To be able to give back while I’m in the midst of my career and have my finger on the pulse at the same time is amazing.
I came back from overseas looking for infrastructure that could help harbour more creativity for myself and my peers, and The Capitol was the perfect platform to help harness that.
Ang has been a documentary filmmaker for nine years, with her work showcased around the world in New York City, London, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney. Movie watching featured strongly in Ang's Gold Coast upbringing, which inspired her into studing a Diploma of Screen and Media at RMIT and pursue a career as a filmmaker.
“It’s storytelling that I love. I work mostly in documentary. I’m captivated by what people have to tell me, and I love having the chance to inspire other people.”
Acknowledgement of country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer