Three NITV Films to Screen at Sydney Film Festival

NITV today welcomed news that three significant new films from leading Indigenous filmmakers, all commissioned by NITV, have been invited to screen at the 2017 Sydney Film Festival.

We Don’t Need A Map, directed by Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah) and produced by Brendan Fletcher (Mad Bastards), will be the Festival’s Opening Night Film and has also been selected in the prestigious Sydney Film Festival Official Competition.

The Official Competition celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2017, marking a decade of awarding the Sydney Film Prize to each year’s most ‘audacious, cutting-edge and courageous’ film.

In My Own Words, from Director Erica Glynn and Producer Darren Dale, and Connection to Country, from director Tyson Mowarin, producer Robyn Marais and Executive Producer John Moore, have also been selected to screen at the Sydney Film Festival.

The three films were each commissioned under National Indigenous Television (NITV) and Screen Australia’s Moment in History landmark Indigenous documentary initiative. Also commissioned under this initiative was Occupation: Native, from Director Trisha Morton Thomas and producer Rachel Clements. In the lead up to the proposed referendum on Constitutional Recognition, this initiative brought together some of Australia’s most experienced and innovative Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander filmmakers to create powerful, one-off documentaries that reflect on the place of Indigenous Australians in the country today. The suite of four films have their broadcast world premieres on NITV later in 2017 as part of a season of documentaries titled ‘You Are Here’.

NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Orman said, “These extraordinary documentaries are playful, profound and beautiful. We have worked with teams from across Australia and it’s been an honour for NITV to breathe life into these projects.”

Head of Indigenous at Screen Australia, Penny Smallacombe said, “It is a reflection of the outstanding quality of these three bold, compelling documentaries that they will premiere at the Sydney Film Festival. We are proud to partner with NITV on the landmark Moment in History initiative, bringing the powerful work of Australia’s leading Indigenous filmmakers to our screens, and look forward to the full series premiering on NITV and SBS.”

‘We Don’t Need a Map’ is a feature length documentary about five stars – The Southern Cross – and our complex relationship with them. The Southern Cross is the most famous constellation in the southern hemisphere. Ever since colonisation it’s been claimed, appropriated and hotly-contested for ownership by a range of Australian groups. But for Aboriginal people the meaning of this heavenly body is deeply spiritual. And just about completely unknown. Warwick Thornton, one of Australia’s leading film-makers, tackles this fiery subject head on in a bold, provocative and poetic essay-film. Production company is Barefoot Films.

‘In My Own Words NSW’, by production company Blackfella Films, follows a range of Aboriginal adults, as they take up a pen for the first time and learn to read and write. Today up to 65 percent of Aboriginal Australians are functionally illiterate in English, but in North West New South Wales moves are afoot to whittle away at this appalling statistic and give hope to some of the most marginalised people in our country.

‘Connection to Country’, by production company Weerianna Street Media, follows a group of Indigenous people from the Pilbara as they battle to preserve Australia’s unique cultural heritage from the ravages of a booming mining industry.

NITV acknowledges the support for this initiative from Screen Australia, Screen NSW, Screen West and Screen Territory.

Visit http://www.sff.org.au and http://www.nitv.org.au


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