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Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival 2010

Media Release: June 10, 2010 in Film & Television, Indigenous |

Message Sticks Indigenous Film FestivalCelebrating 11 years, the 2010 Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival commences another decade with remarkable Indigenous storytelling. The Festival will tour the country with screenings in Canberra, Adelaide, Townsville, Broome, Perth, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Melbourne and Mt Isa.

The annual Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival has always showcased the great diversity of Indigenous culture and artists. In 2009, the Festival won the IF Award for Best Australian Film Festival and premiered Warwick Thornton‘s Cannes winner Samson and Delilah.

This year the Festival, curated by Rachel Perkins and Darren Dale from Blackfella Films, focuses on a new crop of exciting and challenging Indigenous filmmakers from Australia and abroad.

Film powerfully reveals the world of the storyteller, and our festival is unique in its exclusive focus on Indigenous storytellers, says curator, Rachel Perkins. Over the past ten years, Message Sticks has gathered a loyal collection of people who come together to share this world as a family of sorts; both on screen, behind the camera and in the audience.

The festival program, may vary slightly at each venue, but details can be found on a particular venue’s website or at Adrian Wills‘ one hour documentary Boxing For Palm Island promises to be a highlight, which tells of the remarkable revival of boxing on Palm Island, a place with a dark history and a notorious reputation. Adrian Wills’ short film, Daniel’s 21st, will also be screened. This film stars Deborah Mailman and is a drama centred around Daniel’s 21st birthday where something has gone horribly wrong.

Director Michael Longbottom returns to Message Sticks with another documentary, Big Fella, from his community at La Perouse; the story of his mate Rodney, who is struggling with the crippling affects of diabetes and obesity. A common experience in Indigenous communities, this is one man’s love for life, his battle to stay alive, and his fight against the demons of preventable disease.

Genevieve Grieves‘ powerful, debut documentary, Lani’s Story, follows a woman’s experience of two relationships — one she has to escape to survive, the other she cannot survive without. It is a moving and intimate portrait of a young woman’s journey from victim to victor, from a broken and violent relationship to discovering the redemptive power of love. The film shows how the courage of one person can transform the lives of others.

In an Australian premiere, Reel Injun, by Canadian director Neil Diamond, takes an entertaining and insightful look at the creation of the Hollywood Indian we have all become familiar with. Travelling through the heartland of America, Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond looks at how the myth of the Injun has influenced the world’s understanding — and misunderstanding — of Natives.

First time filmmaker Mary Munro premieres a very personal documentary, Nin’s Brother, following her family as they journey from NSW to South Australia to unravel the fate of their brother and uncle and to bring him home to a proper resting place alongside the graves of his family.

Shorts from the nations that lead Indigenous filmmaking globally will be shown; Australia, Canada and the USA — Shimasani (USA), Nundhirribala’s Dream (AUS), and Barngngrnn Marrangu Story (AUS) are definite highlights.

June 12, 13 & 17
Arc Cinema at the National Film and Sound Archive,
02 6248 2000
June 15–16
Mercury Cinema,
08 8410 0979
June 19
Dancenorth (Earth and Sea Festival),
07 4772 2549
August 2–3
Sun Pictures Broome,
08 9192 1077
August 4–5
Cinema Paradiso,
08 9227 1771
August 14–15
07 3358 8600
August 21–22
Indigenous Art Fair,
August 24–25
Deckchair Cinema,
08 8941 4377
September 4–5
Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre,
03 8341 7777

Media Enquiries

Emma Collison Publicity, 02 9362 9700, 0418 584 795,