Tjintu Pakani: Sunrise Awakening


Tjintu Pakani: Sunrise Awakening charts the growth and awakened awareness of a group of Aborigines as they discover themselves at the Black Theatre Arts and Culture Centre in Redfern.

The first national Aboriginal performing arts workshop held at the Black Theatre in Redfern in 1975 acted as a catalyst for spreading the performance movement and participants became trailblazers back in their home communites. Tjintu Pakani: Sunrise Awakening is the film of the 6-week workshop, and it also includes footage of the first professional performance by Black Theatre’s dance group under the direction of Carole Johnson in 1976.

Winner of the documentary prize at the Sydney FIlm Festival of 1976, this is both an important historical document and an entertaining, informative overview of the importance of dance in the creation and regeneration of Aboriginal cultural identity.

The students featured in Tjintu Pakani went on to influence, teach and mentor other Aboriginal people, sharing their knowledge, skills and expertise across Australia and beyond. They became legendary trailblazers in the Aboriginal arts world.


Release dates
15 July 1976 - Sydney Film Festival screening - Sydney Filmmakers’ Cinema
First prize - Greater Union Awards, documentary category, Sydney Film Festival May 1976
Henry Peters, Daryl Williams

The half-hour version was televised on ABC.

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An appropriate citation for this document is:, Movies - Tjintu Pakani: Sunrise Awakening, retrieved 11 December 2018