• For the first time in Australian history, multiple Indigenous-based films have been selected for the AACTA Awards, the biggest screen awards of the year. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
With five Indigenous-made productions nominated at the AACTA Awards, Australia is increasingly recognising and embracing Indigenous storytelling.
Laura Morelli

30 Oct 2017 - 12:27 PM  UPDATED 31 Oct 2017 - 11:43 AM

Honouring screen excellence in Australia since 1958, the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards recognise film, television and documentary screen craft beauty.

From directing, producing and acting, through to cinematography, composition and costume design, more than 50 awards each year are handed out at Australia's highest film and television Awards.

The AACTA Awards, a continuum of the AFI Awards, held annually in Sydney will this year see the likes of not one, but four Indigenous-made productions up for a nomination:

For the first time in history, Indigenous filmmaking has been recognised unlike ever before in the AACTA Awards, which is Australia's equivalent of the Oscars, enabling filmmakers to set their careers on an established platform.


ZACH’S CEREMONY: best feature-length documentary

Produced by Zach’s father, Alec Doomadgee, Sarah Linton and directed by Aaron Petersen, the film was conceptualised over a decade ago, when Zach began questioning his identity, culture and heritage. The film explores the coming of age story and father, son relationship between Indigenous teenager, Zach Doomadgee and his father, as they young boy searches for connection to his ancient culture in the modern world.

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IN MY OWN WORDS: Best Documentary Television Program

Kaytje Writer and Director, Erica Glynn’s documentary In My Own Words, focuses on mature age students in Brewarrina, a northwest NSW town with a majority Aboriginal population, where 45-65% of Aboriginal adults are functionally illiterate.

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'In My Own Words' follows the journey of adult Aboriginal students and their teachers, as for the first time in their lives, they discover the transformative power of being able to read and write.


SERVANT OR SLAVE: Best Cinematography in a Documentary 

Through testimonies and archival footage, Steven McGregor’s documentary Servant or Slave looks at the history and legacy of indentured servitude that was prevalent in Australia. From the late 1800s, until as recently as the mid-70s, thousands of Aboriginal girls taken from their families, were forced into domestic slavery by the Australian Government, purportedly employed as servants, but denied wages, education and most significantly, their childhood.

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MIRO: Short Fiction Film Nominee 

Set against the sweeping backdrop of WWII and the vast Australian outback, Victoria Wharfe McIntyre’s Miro highlights the service of Indigenous soldiers as well as the social situation they faced on their return to Australia at the end of the war. The WWII Aboriginal Western explores one man's ability to rise and reclaim what has been taken from him.


SERVANT OR SLAVE: Best Original Music Score in a Documentary

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