• Filmmaker Warwick Thornton's film We Don't Need A Map takes a journey through Australia's cultural and political landscape. (Sydney Film Festival)Source: Sydney Film Festival
The annual Sydney Film Festival kicks off tonight and this year First Nation filmmakers from Australia and around the world intimately share their stories and culture on screen.
By
Laura Morelli

7 Jun 2017 - 5:06 PM  UPDATED 8 Jun 2017 - 4:45 PM

Over the course of 12 days, Artistic Director, Nashen Moodley and his team will feature nearly 300 films from all over the world, diving deep into every angle of cinema, these including: documentaries, revived classics, features and short films.

The opening night gala will be held at the State Theatre and will welcome internationally renowned Kaytje filmmaker, Warwick Thornton, whose documentary, We Don't Need a Map, investigates viewers’ relationship to the Southern Cross and takes them on a journey through Australia's cultural and political landscape.

Thornton enables Australia to see the five-star constellation's astronomical, colonial and Indigenous history, providing an insight into the spiritual importance held by Aboriginal people.

In fact, Thornton isn’t the only filmmaker with a focus on First Nation peoples. Sydney Film Festival has a dedicated line-up showcasing work by Indigenous filmmakers from around the world. Be it stories from the red sands of Western Australia, to the snowy landscapes of the Arctic Circle, the audience is provided with a deeper more enhanced contextualised understanding of the life, culture and country of some of First Nations people.

Expected to walk the ruby red carpet tonight is a star studded crowd consisting of:

Warwick Thornton (We Don't Need A Map)
Russell Crowe (The Water Diviner)
Bryan Brown (Australia Day)
David Wenham (Ellipsis)
John Jarratt (Wolf Creek)
Matt Day (Rake)
Rove and Tasma Walton (Mystery Road)
Damon Herriman (Down Under)
Wayne Blair (Cleverman)
Darren Dale (In My Own Words)
Rachel Perkins (Jasper Jones)
Jan Chapman (The Babadook)
Kriv Stenders (Australia Day & The Go-Betweens: Right Here)
Margaret Pomeranz (film critic)
David Stratton (previous festival firector & Ian McPherson Memorial Lecture)

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Indigenous films featured at Sydney Film Festival

The Festival, together with NITV and Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, is showcasing the following First Nations’ films

Three documentaries:

Connection to Country - Tyson Mowarin
In My Own Words  - Erica Glynn
We Don’t Need a Map - Warwick Thornton 

Two short documentaries:

Finding Mawiranga - Dylan River
Marrimarrigun - Kimberley West

First Nations titles:

Maliglutit  - Zacharias Kunuk
Angry Inuk - Alethea Arnaquq-Baril

Short films:

Blight  - Perun Bonser
Last Drinks at Frida’s - Bjorn Stewart
Brown Lips - Nakkiah Lui (competing in this year’s Dendy Awards

Feminism and Film retrospective:

My Survival as an Aboriginal- Essie Coffey and Martha Ansara. 
The film is considered to be the first documentary directed by an Australian Indigenous woman.

Two Laws - Carolyn Strachan and Alessandro Cavadini. 
The film is a 1981 documentary made by the Borroloola Aboriginal Community.

Box Set program:

The first two episodes of the ABC’s highly anticipated second season of Cleverman, directed by Wayne Blair, Leah Purcell and co-written by Ryan Griffen

For a list of the whole program and information on tickets, go to the Sydney Film Festival website; sff.org.au 

'We Don't Need a Map', 'Connection to Country' and 'In My Own Words' all coming to NITV in July 2017 

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