For five nights this winter – at 7:30pm each evening from Wednesday 6 to Sunday 10 July –Kambri at ANU will host a free First Nations Film Festival, held in conjunction with the ANU Film Group.
The Festival has been curated to celebrate and elevate the contributions and stories of First Nations creatives in the film industry. These First Nations-focused films, both old and new, will be screened in the comfort of the dedicated cinema, located in Kambri’s Cultural Centre.
- Wednesday 6 July @ 7:30 pm – Jedda (1955)
Director: Charles Chauvel
Cast: Ngarla Kunoth, Robert Tudawali, Betty Suttor, Paul Reynall
This landmark 1955 film was the first Australian feature to be shot in colour, and more importantly, the first to star Indigenous actors in leading roles. The harsh surrounds of the Northern Territory provide the backdrop for a complex story of cultural identity, as an orphaned Aboriginal girl (Ngarla Kunoth) is adopted by a white family and soon finds herself trapped between two cultures – but belonging to neither.
(PG, 90 mins)
- Thursday 7 July @ 7:30 pm – Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)
Director: Phillip Noyce
Cast: Everlyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury, David Gulpilil, Kenneth Branagh
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year is director Phillip Noyce’s powerful and award-winning drama about the stolen generations. Based on the true story of three Aboriginal girls who, after being forcibly removed from their mothers in 1931, escaped from a mission settlement to find their way home. They make their 2,400-kilometre journey by way of the ‘rabbit-proof fence’, which once stretched the entire length of Western Australia.
(PG, 94 mins)
- Friday 8 July @ 7:30 pm – My Name is Gulpilil (2021)
Director: Molly Reynolds
Cast: David Gulpilil
In 2017, David Gulpilil was diagnosed with lung cancer and given only six months to live but defied the odds to tell one last story: his own. This intimate documentary charts his extraordinary life as an actor, dancer, singer, painter and Aboriginal elder, as Gulpilil reminisces on a life bridging two cultures and reflects candidly on mortality. It ultimately was his last performance before passing away in November 2021.
(M, 101 mins)
- Saturday 9 July @ 7:30 pm – Sweet Country (2017)
Director: Warwick Thornton
Cast: Hamilton Morris, Sam Neill, Bryan Brown, Ewen Leslie
In 1929 Alice Springs, when Aboriginal stockman Sam (Hamilton Morris) kills a white station owner in self-defence, he and his wife are forced to go on the run – pursued by a vengeance-fuelled posse intent on bringing Sam to justice one way or another. Director Warwick Thornton’s award-winning Australian Western is a haunting cinematic experience that contrasts the beauty of the territory with the ugliness of the acts that transpire there.
(MA, 113 mins)
- Sunday 10 July @ 7:30 pm – The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson (2021)
Director: Leah Purcell
Cast: Leah Purcell, Rob Collins, Sam Reid, Jessica De Gouw
In 1893 on an isolated farm in the Snowy Mountains, the heavily pregnant Molly Johnson and her young children struggle to survive in the absence of her drover husband. But running the farm soon proves to be the least of her worries when unexpected visitors arrive. Leah Purcell pulls triple duty, writing, directing and starring in the titular role in this Indigenous feminist reimagining of Henry Lawson’s classic Western tale.
(MA, 108 mins)