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Benjamin Gilmour - book author

Benjamin Gilmour was born in Germany in 1975, but has lived most of his life in Australia where he works as an ambulance paramedic, filmmaker and writer. His first book, Warrior Poets – Guns, Movie-making and the Wild West of Pakistan, was published in 2008, based on his experiences directing the award-winning feature film Son of a Lion.

Benjamin Gilmour is the author of books: The Gap: A paramedic’s summer on the edge, Paramedico: Around the World by Ambulance, The Saint of Pakistan: an extract from Paramédico, The Travel Bug, Warrior Poets, Cameras & Kalashnikovs, Jirga: The screenplay, Herding Kites: A Celebration of Australian Writing

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In this riveting memoir, Gilmour recounts the call-outs that summer: some dangerous, some gruesome, some downright ridiculous. And we meet fellow paramedic Tom who, they say, can get a laugh out of everyone except the dead. As the city heats up that summer, however, even Tom begins to lose his sense of humour. People are unravelling – and Benjamin and Tom are no exception.

The Gap is a vivid portrait of the lead-up to Christmas; an unflinching, no-holds-barred look at what happens after the triple-zero call is made – the drugs, nightclubs, brothels, drunk rich kids, billionaires, domestic disputes, the elderly, emergency births, even a kidnapping. Patients share their innermost feelings, and we witness their loneliness, their despair and their hopes.

Beautifully written and sharply observed, The Gap exposes the fragility of our lives and the lengths the paramedics will go to to try to save us.
Paramédico is a brilliant collection of adventures by Australian paramedic Benjamin Gilmour as he works and volunteers on ambulances around the world. From England to Mexico, and Iceland to Pakistan, Gilmour takes us on an extraordinary thrill-ride with his wild coworkers. Along the way he learns a few things, too, and shows us not only how precious life truly is, but how to passionately embrace it.
The journey of a bug with an identity crisis

A strange little bug doesn’t know who he is or where he’s from. Even his name is a mystery. So he sets off to seek answers. He journeys the world meeting wonderful creatures, seeing amazing sights and eating delicious food. Adventures he has, but still no one knows what insect he is. Maybe, just maybe, the path he is on is the answer he seeks.

The Travel Bug is a gently philosophical picture book about identity, fate, the joy of travelling, and the discovery of kindness and kinship across cultures.
On a journey through the remote North West Frontier of Pakistan, Australian Benjamin Gilmour discovered an astonishing culture - 'one of strong beliefs and a suspicion of outsiders, a love of Hollywood films and an obsession with making guns'. With unstoppable determination, Benjamin decided to return a year later to make a movie about those tribal regions - despite the fact that he had never actually made a film before and that it was illegal and extremely dangerous for him to do so. Warrior Poets is a riveting memoir about Benjamin’s journeys to Pakistan and the making of the film.
Moved by his travel experiences in Afghanistan and encounters with war veterans in Australia, filmmaker Benjamin Gilmour wrote a screenplay set in the current Afghan conflict.

His story was about a former soldier returning to Afghanistan to look for the family of a civilian he had killed in battle and to seek forgiveness. Gilmour cast Sydney actor Sam Smith in the lead role, and the two of them flew to Pakistan where they planned to shoot the film with funding from a local investor. But the plan fell through. Their shoot was blocked by the Pakistani secret service and the money disappeared. Instead of cutting their losses and returning home, Gilmour and Smith decided to carry on to Afghanistan and make the film in a country still at war.

Collaborating with a small crew of Afghans, Gilmour and Smith set about shooting their scenes in one of the most dangerous provinces crawling with Taliban and Islamic State militants. After two months living rough, facing countless obstacles and near-death experiences, Gilmour and Smith emerged from Afghanistan with a movie.

This is director Benjamin Gilmour¹s true behind-the-scenes account of making the film Jirga in Afghanistan.

About the Author

Benjamin Gilmour is an author and filmmaker, director of the films 'Jirga' (2018), 'Paramedico' (2012) and 'Son of a Lion’ (2008), author of the books Paramedico – Around the World by Ambulance, a tie-in with his recent film of the same name, and Warrior Poets about the making of his first feature film in Pakistan. He is based in northern New South Wales, Australia, where he lives with his partner Kaspia and three children, Paloma, Romeo and Bohème.
Marking ten years of the National Young Writers' Festival (NYWF), Herding Kites is a new anthology celebrating the breadth, originality and dynamism of Australian writing.
Bringing a semblance of order to a decade of creative chaos, Herding Kites showcases the talents of everyone from unheralded underground mavericks and hot up-and-comers to internationally acclaimed wordsmiths - all writing for the love of the craft and not just the salvation of a cheque.

Anthologised by Michael Williams, the book includes short stories, poetry, plays, scripts, memoirs, comics, artworks and more. The diversity reflects the ethos of the festival itself by putting writers from different backgrounds and levels of experience on equal footing.
Herding Kites is a joint initiative of the NYWF and Affirm Press.

Contributors include:
Anna Funder, Pat Grant, Lisa Dempster, Luke You, Ula Majewski, Shaun Tan, Tuppy McIntosh, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, James Stuart, George Dunford, Max Barry, Krista Berga, Tim Parish, Aoise Stratford, Tai Snaith, Alicia Sometimes, Amelia Walker, Benjamin Gilmour, Steve Smart, Mandy Ord, Julian Novitz, Josephine Rowe, Tom Keily, Laura McKay, Geoff Lemon, Jo Waite, Eddy Burger, Nick Earls, Jo Waite, Kate Crawford, Justin Heazlewood, Krista Berga, Gabrielle Everall, Doug Hendrie, Krissy Kneen, Andrew Slattery, David Blumenstein, Kami, Tom Civil, Sophie Cunningham, Benito Di Fonzo, Lisa Greenaway, Shaun Tan, James Phelan, Lou Smith, Lee Tran Lam, Richard Watts, Keg de Souza, Tom Doig, Henry Feltham, Tobias Manderson-Galvin, Bravo Child, Jennifer Mills, Anna Krien, Chay-Ya Clancy, Linda Jaivin, Nicholas Low, Bec Giggs, Vanessa Berry, Chris Flynn, Daniel Watson, Anna Westbrook, Andrew Lowenthal, Romy Ash, Ianto Ware, Augusta Supple, Leigh Redhead, Charles Firth, Fiona Katauskas.