Films: Our People Will Be Healed and Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance
Director | Canada
Bio: Alanis Obomsawin is one of the world’s leading documentarists and a living legend of Indigenous cinema. Her astounding body of work has left an indelible impact on the Canadian psyche, and she remains a leading force in film production in Canada. An activist filmmaker, Alanis has always been driven by a desire to give Indigenous peoples a voice. Her list of accomplishments is profound this is her 50th Feature Doco, Alanis continues to develop and direct new projects.
The Indigenous Canadian film stalwart will also run a Masterclass at UTS prior to the screening of Our People Will Be Healed, sharing incredible insights gained from her 50 years strengthening the Indigenous voice in film.
Film: After the Apology | Director | Australia
Bio: Prof. Larissa Behrendt is the Professor of Indigenous Research and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is a regular columnist for The Guardian. She has published numerous textbooks on Indigenous legal issues. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and a founding member of the Australian Academy of Law. Her most recent book is Indigenous Australia for Dummies. Larissa wrote and directed the feature film, Innocence Betrayed and has written and produced several short films. Larissa won the 2002 David Uniapon Award and a 2005 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for her novel Home. Her second novel, Legacy, won a Victorian Premiers Literary Award. Larissa is Chair of the Bangarra Dance Theatre and a board member of NSW Museums and Galleries. She is the Ambassador of the Guwara Aboriginal Campus at St. Andrew’s Cathedral School in Sydney and a board member of the Sydney Story Factory, a literacy program in Redfern. She was awarded the 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year award and 2011 NSW Australian of the Year.
Film: Ka Puta Ko Au and will present Brave New Lens
Founder and Director of Māoriland Film Festival | New Zealand
Bio: Libby has enjoyed a long career in radio, television and film; as a reporter, writer, presenter, director and producer. Libby’s company Blue Bach Productions has created work for Tourism NZ, Māori tourism, Creative NZ and other agencies as well as broadcast documentaries and entertainment series for NZ and abroad. She is the Festival Director of the Māoriland Film Festival and the project manager of the Māoriland Hub. The Māoriland Film Festival was founded in 2014. Based in Otaki, the annual festival showcases indigenous films and the international work of native cinema talent and attracted 10,000 people in 2017. The Māoriland Charitable Trust has now bought the largest building in Ōtaki village to create the cinema and arts venue the Māoriland Hub.
Films: Waru – Ranui vignette, Ka Puta Ko Au | Director | New Zealand
Bio: Renae Maihi (Ngati Whakaue, Ngapuhi) is an award winning & critically acclaimed writer & director in theatre & film. After completing a Drama degree in 2005 she went on to write her debut play Nga Manurere, starring Keisha Castle-Hughes. NZ Herald Best of 2009 favoured Nga Manurere as the “surprise jewel of the year” & proclaimed, “More Maihi Mahi please.” The short film Redemption which she co-wrote with Tim Balme & Katie Wolfe travelled to Berlin Film Festival, Sundance & won the Best Short Film at Toronto’s Imaginative Film Festival 2010. Renae then went on to write & direct her NZFC funded & award winning short film Butterfly that she accompanied to various international film festivals in Toronto & Germany. Her play PATUA won Renae the Adam NZ Playwrights award for Best Play by a Māori Playwright. In its debut season directed by Renae, critics called Patua a “NZ Classic” & the NBR noted that it should be “Studied in every high school in NZ.” 2015 was a busy year for Renae, she directed a NZ on AIR funded music video LOCKDOWN by REZIST before spending 2 months in New York City at NYFA developing her filmmaking skills with the support of the NZFC & Ngati Whakaue Education Endowment Trust. Whilst there she wrote & directed her most recent short film Mannahatta shot entirely on location in New York City. Mannahatta will begin its international festival run in October this year in Toronto. Renae is currently one of the directors selected by the DEGNZ for a female Director focused incubator initiative and along with two other Directors was selected by the NZFC for the 1-year accelerator mentoring initiative which grants her direct mentorship with experienced directors & opportunities such as the MIFF accelerator program with the overall view of getting her to feature film level. It is her ambition to begin her career as a feature film writer/director with her trilogy series The White Feather Prophecies.
Film: Possum | Director | New Zealand
Bio: Writer and director Dave Whitehead, has spent over twenty years in the film industry as an award winning sound designer and composer. Possum is his directorial debut and marks a turn in his career towards writing and directing. Dave is developing several of his original feature film scripts and looks forward to bringing those stories to life. Amongst other international awards, he has been nominated for a BAFTA for sound, has two MPSE awards and is an AMPAS member.
Film: Meke | Co-Producer | New Zealand
Bio: Piripi Curtis, was previously a school teacher, however was lured away from the classroom to join his brother Richard Curtis who is a seasoned camera operator with over 20 years’ experience in the television industry. The brothers share an interest in hunting, so through Richards television contacts the two created one of Maori TV’s most watched shows ‘Hunting Aotearoa’. Piripi and a collective of filmmakers from the Rotorua area informally joined forces with Steambox to create shorts and dramas, the success of this venture has seen the group create some iconic films from their region.
Kodi Bedford and Bjorn Stewart
Film: Last Drinks at Frida’s | Directors | Australia
Bio: Bjorn Stewart is Kuku Yalanji man and a graduate of the University of Wollongong, finishing his bachelor of Creative Arts in 2009. From there he has directed, devised and collaborated with talented artists and theatre makers in Australia. He has trained under Chris Ryan (Sydney Theatre Front, Version 1.0) mentored by Wesley Enoch (Former Artistic director of Queensland theatre Company, current Festival Director of Sydney Festival), Leah Purcell (Director of Cleverman, Redfern Now) and Kim Mordaunt (Director of The Rocket 2013).
Film: Kia Tau | Director | New Zealand
Bio: Yamin Tun’s experiences as a child migrant have been reflected in her award-winning short film Wait, which took out the Jury Prize for the Best New Zealand Short Film at the 2016 New Zealand International Film Festival and screened at film festivals around the world.