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April 22, 2024

16th NAIDOC screening plays to full house in Byron

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The iQ Inc’s Shane Rennie, Arakwal woman Theresa Nichols and Flickerfest’s Bronwyn Kidd, at the 16th Arakwal NAIDOC Week Short Film screening. Photo Tree Faerie.

From the bizzare to the sublime to the woven, the Arakwal Corporation, Flickerfest and iQ Inc were thrilled to present their annual evening of inspiring Aboriginal storytelling through short film, last night in Byron Bay.

Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2023 with this year’s theme ‘For Our Elders’, the Byron Theatre was full to the brim – the event was introduced by local Arakwal traditional custodian Theresa Nicholls.

Flickerfest’s Bronwyn Kidd and Coedie McCarthy from Bangay Lore. Photo Tree Faerie.

Nine short films were presented fresh from their Flickerfest selection, celebrating the best of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander films from across the country, including local film Bangay Lore by award winning First Nations filmmaker Jahvis Loveday, shot in Brunswick Heads and Byron Bay. Bangay Lore was introduced by First Nations actor Coedie McCarthy who stars in the film and grew up in Mullumbimby.

Tangki (Donkey) was a delightful story told by the women who wove the film’s characters.

Woven donkeys and cats

Highlights of the night were two animated films, Tangki (Donkey) and Kukaputju (The Hunter) with delightful stories told by the Tjanpi Desert Weavers who also crafted the characters in the films.

Also on the bill was the very strange Bunker: The Last Fleet a story told on an Earth, that for six years has been occupied by extra-terrestrial invaders – and a little bit spooky, Wirnitj, a story of the supernatural phenomena of stones raining from the sky.

Elma Kris, known for her work as a dancer, choreographer, actor and teacher at Bangarra Dance Theatre, plays Martha, a laundromat worker who rediscovers her culture in the mud.

Representing the Arakwal mob, Theresa Nichols said she thoroughly enjoyed all of the films presented. ‘They all provided their own unique experience and connecting. Seeing the stories on the big screen was so valuable to myself, my family and our friends.

Martha and the mud

I was drawn to Katele (Mudskipper),’ said Theresa. ‘A story about a Torra straight Islander woman, working in a laundromat, folding washing, ready for her boss to pick up – and thinking of how she had left her life behind – to see how strong she was in her belief and embracing her people and dancing.

‘I believe our people, our Elders, have embedded in us, our journey – through song, strong connections, and beliefs passed down through generations.

‘Honouring Elders past, and present and emerging is an empowering strength within us and is measured in volume through dance, song and story.’

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  1. It would be wonderful to have another showing of these films for those that couldn’t attend on that evening or missed out on purchasing tickets.


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