Les McLaren studied filmmaking, taught music at the National Arts School and ran the National Archive of Traditional Music in PNG, and was also employed with the UN peacekeeping mission in Bougainville.
Les McLaren & Annie Stiven have worked in Australian screen production in several genres over forty years. Their five films made in Papua New Guinea observed cultural practice and cultural change: Pikizjaa, Kama Wosi, Namekas, Cowboy & Maria in Town (Winner Best Documentary, Sydney Film Festival), and Taking Pictures. They directed and produced the interactive website/TV Series Pacific Stories for ABCTV/Online, and Les wrote and directed the 3-part documentary series Viva Timor Leste!
They co-wrote a short history of filmmaking in Papua New Guinea for the (Australian) Documentary Conference 1993, (ISBN: 0646165402) and Les 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).