Aboriginal movies & DVDs

Movies with Aboriginal content were rare before the mid-1990s. It wasn’t before the international success of the movie Rabbit-Proof Fence that the awareness for Aboriginal issues increased, even in Europe where this film was screened for almost half a year in Germany. Many of the films listed here are available on DVD or Blue-Ray.

Browse movies by Aboriginal directors

Movies by Aboriginal directors
These movies were all directed by an Aboriginal person. Their content might not relate to Aboriginal culture.

Browse movies by non-Aboriginal directors

Movies by non-Aboriginal directors
This section lists movies with Aboriginal topics which were directed by non-Aboriginal people.

Need help finding a film?

Browse the timeline: An Aboriginal film timeline lists all movies in chronological order.

List of suppliers: Can’t find a film? Check out my supplier list and tips on how to find Aboriginal films.

Buy DVDs: Browse for Aboriginal movie DVDs in my Aboriginal Book Store.

If you have heard of a movie not listed here, please contact me.

Cinema is performance, that's how us blackfellas have connected with it. It's where we come from, with our storytelling. A lot of dreaming stories are about moral stories and news and teaching… that's the way Indigenous filmmakers are thinking.—Warwick Thornton, Aboriginal director [1]

Selected statistics

Box office result of Bran Nue Dae in July 2010, which is the second best of the past 12 months [3].
Box office result of Samson And Delilah in July 2010, which puts the movie in sixth place [3].
Number of documentaries in the 1980s with Aboriginal credits [5].
The same number for 2000 - 2010 [5].
Number of TV viewers who watched Bran Nue Dae. Same number for Australia: 0.978 million [7].
Number of feature films/TV dramas with an Indigenous Australian in a key role in the 1970s [4].
The same numbers for 2000 - 2010 [4].
Number of shorts directed by an Aboriginal director in the 1990s [5].
The same numbers for 2000 - 2010 [5].
Number of videos the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies needs to digitise before 2025 or their content will be lost [10].
Number of audiotape reels directly related to film material the Institute needs to preserve [10].

Aboriginal film festivals

Check out the following pages to find the program of the Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festivals in Sydney:
2013 Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival program
2012 Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival program
2011 Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival program
2010 Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival program
2009 Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival program
2008 Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival program
2007 Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival program

A lot of whitefellas in the press put shit on Aboriginal communities. That's one of the reasons why I make films.—Adrian Wills, Aboriginal director [2]

From traditional dreamtime tales to the challenges of contemporary Indigenous life, our film-makers give an insiders' view of what it means to be a Black Australian in the 21st century.—Rachel Perkins, Aboriginal director [8]

We’re not trying to educate people; we’re just trying to give them access to a life that they might not have ever seen before. That for me, is the beauty of what we do as filmmakers; that special thing of showing people a different world, and helping them one screening at a time.—Warwick Thornton, Aboriginal director [9]

Movies listed for research

Many more films are out there. I’ve created a list of movies waiting for research where you might find a film not listed here.

Fact: The original versions of more than 90% of all Australian films made during the pre-1930 silent era are missing.

We've had plenty of so-called Aboriginal content created by non-Aboriginal producers, writers and directors. But the issue of Aboriginal control is paramount. Now is the time to invest in genuine Aboriginal screen culture as the unique film sector of tomorrow.—Michael Coughlan, director of an Aboriginal film skills training company [6]

Aboriginal actors eager

“People have to start from somewhere and you would be surprised how many Aboriginal people have a desire to be on the screen and give it a go,” says Aboriginal director Beck Cole. “If people keep casting the same people over and over again, we’re not going to build up that body of skills and people to draw on.” [6]

Fact Aboriginal actor Steve Dodd played a blind man in the movie The Matrix.


View article sources (11)

[1] 'Shot from the heart', Deadly Vibe 147, 5/2009 p.5
[2] 'Tears, laughs and plenty more', Koori Mail 476 p.28
[3] SMH, 17/7/2010
[4] 'Filmmakers celebrated', Koori Mail 486 p.19
[5] The Black List: Film and TV projects since 1970 with Indigenous Australians in key creative roles
[6] 'Film strategy', Koori Mail 487 p.40
[6] 'Cole's debut feature film a part of Message Sticks', Koori Mail 499 p.6
[7] 'Networks hit movies', MX News 2/5/2011 p.2
[8] 'Festival hits the road', Koori Mail 500 p.30
[9] 'Samson and Delilah-Director's cut', Reconciliation News 8/2009 p.7
[10] 'AIATSIS granted $5m to bring history into 21st century', The Age 9/5/2015

Cite this article

An appropriate citation for this document is:

www.CreativeSpirits.info, Aboriginal culture, retrieved 29 August 2015