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Sydney is host to the Indigenous Film Festival since its inception in 1999. The festival premiers a fine selection of Aboriginal films in drama, documentary, comedy and shorts, often followed by a short question and answers (Q&A) session. Many of the film reviews you find on this site come from my visits to the Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival which is very popular.
Aboriginal filmmakers have used the lens to capture the feelings and thoughts of our people, talking about their lives at a turning point in Australia's history. — Darren Dale, Blackfella Films, co-host of the film festival
9th Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival program
Venue: Sydney Opera House, Playhouse. The festival then tours nationally.
What's new this year? For the first time, the festival will also include two days of special screenings for secondary students on July 2 and 3.
Friday, 4 July 2008
Gala Opening Night and Party | 8pm
Saturday, 5 July 2008
River of No Return
Darlene Johnson | 52 min | 11am - 12.30pm
A touching story of change and transformation, this fascinating film follows Frances Djulibing (Ten Canoes) as she strives to achieve her dream of becoming a Hollywood movie star.
Followed by an artists talk with the movie's star and director.
Allan Collins | 52 mins | 1.30pm - 2.30pm
This beautifully filmed film uncovers uncanny real-life phenomena from the 1940s and 50s.
Australian & International Shorts
Various directors | 3.30pm - 5pm
One River All Rivers (not in official program)
Panel Discussion: When Film Intervenes in Life
6pm - 7pm
The panel of speakers includes Marcia Langton, Tom Zubrycki and filmmaker Julie Nimmo. They discuss the politics of representation using clips from Julie's unfinished documentary The Intervention which details the Government's controversial move into remote Aboriginal communities.
Sunday, 6 July 2008
When Colin met Joyce
Rima Tamou | 52 min | 11am - 12.30pm
A profile of political activist Joyce Clague and her husband.
Kelrick Martin | 52 min | 1.30pm - 2pm
A powerful and dramatic story about familial love follows James Morris as he returns to Taree after 13 years in prison.
Wanja: Warrior Dog
Angie Abdilla | 26 min | 3.30pm - 4.15pm
Aunty Barb has been living on the Block in Redfern for 12 years and Wanja was her dog for 6, attacking and chasing the police, keeping them at bay from her family.
Courting with Justice
Debbie Carmody | 26 min | 4.15pm - 5pm
A former Norseman pub manager was charged with the manslaughter of an Aboriginal man, but found not guilty. The dead man's partner searches for justice.
5.30pm - 7pm
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the invention of Aboriginal Television.
Hosted by Rachel Perkins in conversation with Warlpiri Media's Francis Jupurrula Kelly, Simon Japangardi Fisher, Simba Jupurrula Nelson and Connie Nakamarra White.
More Aboriginal films
Explore hundreds of Aboriginal movie reviews or check out one of the past film festivals:
- 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
- 2007 Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival program