For South Australian filmmaker Nara Wilson movies aren’t just about telling stories and filling seats. They’re also a medium for driving change. As a Kokatha, Wirangu and Larrakia child growing up in Adelaide, she faced challenges experienced by Indigenous people right across Australia.
“I grew up copping a lot of flak… it was a weekly, if not daily thing,” Nara told Inside South Australia.
“I wanted to get into the film industry because I grew up seeing a lot of stereotypes around Aboriginal people… so I wanted to create positive stories.
“I saw it (film) as a way to tackle those stereotypes. We’ve got so many stories to tell… I wanted to be part of a group of people making beautiful art.”
The young filmmaker already has a suite of stories under her belt. As a student she beat a field of established film industry professionals to win Best Indigenous Film at the 2013 Shorts Film festival with ‘Dance Free’. The film, which she wrote, produced and directed, was loosely based on her own experiences.
“I wanted to get into the film industry because I grew up seeing a lot of stereotypes around Aboriginal people… so I wanted to create positive stories."
That win gave Nara the confidence to commit herself to a career in film. Other projects have included five 13-minute documentaries for NITV, a television commercial for MOSH (Minimisation of Suicide Harm) and ‘Ringbalin’, a documentary and iOS App launched at the Adelaide Film Festival about Aboriginal stories from the Murray River.
Nara launched her most recent film, ‘A Time for Reflection’, During NAIDOC Week 2015. The documentary stars Kaurna Elder Stephen Goldsmith and explores the future of reconciliation in Australia.
To Nara, the power of film in addressing stereotypes and other Indigenous issues, such as health and education, cannot be overstated.
“Many people don’t get to meet Indigenous people,” she said.
“Film has the potential to be in our cinemas, homes, phones, laptops. People can be educated through film.”
Nara recently took on a role as a producer for Adelaide-based company 57 Films, where she works on corporate projects and hopes to secure funding to produce Indigenous documentaries.
“The staff and team are amazing, very welcoming and encouraging. I think I will be constantly growing and upskilling… It’s a very nurturing environment.
“They have done good Indigenous content in the past and have worked with communities in the APY lands… I want to build on that.”
South Australia is an ideal place for a young filmmaker to be based, according to Nara.
“Many people don’t get to meet Indigenous people. Film has the potential to be in our cinemas, homes, phones, laptops. People can be educated through film.”
“We don’t need to go interstate for funding… (and) South Australia has the most beautiful landscapes, like the Flinders Ranges and our Beaches,” she said.
57 Films is a Brand South Australia member.
This article was originally published on Inside South Australia. Read the original story.