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Grant Saunders: Teach A Man To Fish

Teach a Man To Fish written and directed by Grant Leigh Saunders explores his struggles with identity and living away from country

NITV follows one man’s journey back home to re-connect with his culture in documentary Teach a Man to Fish

NITV invites you to join one man’s journey of self-discovery in new feature documentary film, Teach a Man to

Filmmaker, academic and musician Grant Saunders was struggling with his identity. As a fair-skinned, middleaged
Aboriginal man, with a Norwegian wife and two young children, Grant felt disconnected from both his
country and his family, having spent over 20 years away from his home of Taree.

Grant spent years bottling up hurt and anger from experiencing overt racism. Filmed over a decade, Teach a
Man to Fish finds Grant dissecting his Aboriginal identity, as well as exploring the cultural identity of his
children. He faces the dilemma of figuring out how he will instil pride and understanding in his kids of his Biripi
culture, community and country, whilst also acknowledging both his mother’s and wife’s cultural heritage.

Like his father Ray and his grandfather Horry before him, Grant had always secretly wanted to be a fisherman.
Their fishing business meant the world to the Saunders family and held them together, providing for Horry and
grandmother Faith’s six sons and three daughters. The business was more than just a job – it was an act of
defiance in a time when Aboriginal people had limited work opportunities and lived in a segregated society.
When Grant’s uncle Steve, his father’s main fishing partner, quit fishing Grant latched onto the opportunity to
take his place and fulfil a childhood dream. But it was also a chance to spend time with his father, to reconnect
after their relationship had broken down some time ago.

When he started filming ten years ago, Grant intended to tell the story of the politics and family history behind possibly the oldest Aboriginal commercial fishing business on the East Coast of Australia, but found that his own very personal story was inextricable from what unfolded before him.

Teach a Man to Fish follows Grant’s personal journey back home to pick up the family fishing trade and learn that there is infinitely more to fishing than he ever expected.

NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Orman said:
“Set against the captivating backdrop of Biripi Country (Taree) this film gently brings audience into a complex world where family legacy and relations, Aboriginal culture, fishing practice and politics combine to pose deep questions about modern identity. Teach a Man to Fish is an intimate account of one man’s search for meaning that is at once open, honest and sure to make you feel good. NITV is extremely proud to share this story which says so much about contemporary Aboriginal experience and the lives touched by it.”

Teach a Man to Fish is a Jotz Productions and Sonic Nomad film, commissioned by NITV, with funding from Create NSW and developed with support from Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department.
Watch Teach a Man to Fish on NITV (Channel 34) on NITV (Channel 34) on Sunday 28 October at 8.30pm

Link to trailer:

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