An all Indigenous film festival kicked off on Thursday celebrating First Nations culture from across the world through the work of Indigenous story tellers.
Now in its fourth year, the WINDA Film Festival features films directed by Indigenous filmmakers both here and overseas. Artistic director, Pauline Clague, said this year’s festival is helping to bring Indigenous languages alive again.
“I think this year, especially with the year being the United Nations year of languages, we are really seeing a lot of films … fully in their own language and some of them, the communities have had to learn the language again and revitalise it into their community.”
One of the films featured in the festival is Sgaawaay K’Luna: Edge of Knife set on the Canadian Island of Haida Gwaii.
The community there only had four elders who knew how to speak the native local language fluently, and now an additional thirty seven actors are able to speak the language thanks to the four years of filming.
Ms Clague said, “What we learn is that some of the work our filmmakers are doing in that area is not just revitalizing but making our languages live again.”
One of the main motives behind developing an Indigenous film festival was to help bring the community together to celebrate Indigenous stories.
The festival Artistic Director told NITV News, “To be inspired by each other is the thing I love about film festivals.”
The festival is set to showcase twelve Australian premiers, six full-length films, five documentaries and animated shorts from sixteen different countries all exploring Indigenous history, truth and culture.
“To be able to show films from around the world that have a commonality of resilience, of strength …we can sort of mirror that and support each other on the stories that we are not alone,” Ms Clague said.
The festival will be held at George Street Event Cinemas and Barangaroo Reserve in Sydney to “show that we are still here and we are represented in the city areas”.
“We wanted to put it into the city because we felt we needed to maintain the digital storytelling of our stories here in the immersion of the concrete jungle that is Sydney,” Ms Clague said.