Screen festival highlights Noongar stories

Man speaking at indoor event

CinefestOZ Albany lit up cinema screens in April with an entertaining film program and a keen focus on Aboriginal filmmaking. We supported the festival’s industry program, in which a panel of film industry guests presented insights into including and respecting Indigenous culture in screen production, producing self-funded films, developing ideas for the screen and how to progress in the industry.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan opened Kinjarling Koort, a free community event featuring a Noongar dance group along with a celebration of Indigenous films.

Members of the public were invited to experience Virtual Whadjuk, an immersive virtual reality presentation of life in Noongar country before colonisation. Wearing VR goggles and gloves, viewers gained an idea of life around the Swan River before European settlement, and learned the Noongar practice of tossing a handful of sand into the water on arrival at a river, lake or ocean.

Highlight screenings at the festival included Edward and Isabella, filmed in Albany by independent filmmaker Adam Morris, and How to Please a Woman by director Renee Webster. Festival selections also presented stories about zombies, drugs and surf, migrant experiences, paranormal, future Hong Kong, and mental health.

Documentaries screened at the festival covered Julian Assange, the element carbon, pioneering Aboriginal filmmaker Bill Onus, climate change and plastic pollution, and boarding house life for Indigenous students.

Photo: Actor Kelton Pell spoke about Aboriginal participation and representation in the film industry at the CinefestOZ Industry Program. Photo by Krysta Guille.

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