First Nations Film Festival returns as part of National Reconciliation Week

  • Peter Gray
  • May 22, 2023
  • Comments Off on First Nations Film Festival returns as part of National Reconciliation Week

Now in its fifth year running, the First Nations Film Festival (Formally known at the Virtual Indigenous Film Festival) is returning with a new name and, once again, as part of National Reconciliation Week. The festival runs from the 30th of May to the 3rd of June, 2023, and features a selection of award-winning films, each with a virtual screening and live audience participation via Live Chat.

Each film explores a unique element of First Nations culture, experience and storytelling. The festival aims to bring audiences together from around the country, and spark discussions surrounding the 2023 Reconciliation Week theme: Be a Voice for Generations. The festival also focuses on corporate, government and education sector participation, with organisations such as PWC, AWS, Kmart, Accenture, Amnesty International, Rotary and United Nations all purchasing tickets for employees in previous years.

This year’s festival will present four feature films and a program of First Nations Short Films.  Films include Larissa Behrendt’s portrait of the incredible Aboriginal artist Richard Bell in You Can Go Now; Douglas Watkin’s’ Alick And Albert, a profound documentary about the extraordinary friendship of acclaimed artist Alick Tipoti and Prince Albert; Bill Code’s Lake Of Scars, a story of allyship and reconciliation in a place unlike anywhere else in Australia; and We Are Still Here, which comprises of eight stories by and about First Nations people. There is also a First Nations short film strand featuring award-winning short films Wirnitj, Djambi, Sunnies and Close to the Bone.

The festival will kick off with a Welcome to Country, and includes moderated live chat discussions during each screening.

Alick and Albert director Douglas Watkin said: “I am honoured to be a part of the First Nations Film Festival and to have my film Alick and Albert showcased alongside other powerful First Nations stories. Through the friendship of Alick Tipoti and Prince Albert II of Monaco, and the generosity of the Badulgal people of Badu Island and the Monégasque people of Monaco, Alick and Albert demonstrates the power of two communities from opposite sides of the world working together towards a common goal. This is a timely reminder of the importance of friendship and collaboration in addressing the challenges facing our country and planet today.”

This year, the First Nations Film Festival is supporting and raising funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF).  Audiences will have the option of donating directly to the festival’s ILF fundraiser during the screenings in the live chat window. ILF is a national charity of the Australian Book Industry, working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander remote Communities across Australia. They are Community-led, responding to requests from remote Communities for culturally relevant books, including early learning board books, resources, and programs to support Communities to create and publish their stories in languages of their choice.

For more information about the First Nations Film Festival, click through to their official site. To donate to the fundraiser, visit here.

Peter Gray

Film critic with a penchant for Dwayne Johnson, Jason Momoa, Michelle Pfeiffer and horror movies, harbouring the desire to be a face of entertainment news.