The Travelling Film Festival opens in Katherine tomorrow with a historically pertinent documentary which takes viewers on a journey through an acclaimed Australian dance company's growth over four decades.
Firestarter - The Story of Bangarra tells the story of three Indigenous brothers - Stephen, David and Russell Page - who turned the newly born dance group Bangarra into one of Australia's leading performing arts companies.
Premiering at the Brisbane International Film Festival on October 11, 2020, the documentary has since won awards at the Adelaide Film Festival and the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards.
"This captivating documentary explores the loss and reclaiming of culture, the burden of intergenerational trauma, and - crucially - the power of art as a messenger for social change and healing," Travelling Film Festival manager Sanam Rodrigues said.
It is "against all odds" a selection of acclaimed feature films, documentaries and shorts will be screened in Katherine over the weekend with the return of the regional tour of the Sydney Film Festival.
To the manager of the Travelling Film Festival, it was inconceivable six months ago that Australia's longest running film tour would be able to go ahead.
"Against all odds, with such strange times and resulting cancellations of some of our other regional festivals last year, we are thrilled to continue our 2021 tour in the Territory with Katherine this February," Travelling Film Festival manager Sanam Rodrigues said.
That "patrons will get to attend and watch on the big screen, the local premieres of all the extraordinary films on our program, from Australian and international talents", is clearly a good start to the new year, he said.
Screened at the Katherine Cinema this weekend, the festival is highlighting highly regarded films from major international festivals, as it tours through 18 locations across the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.
Other stories from around the globe include: Poland's Oscar nominee for Best International Film Corpus Christi; Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, direct from Berlinale 2020.
A Son, a Venice Film Festival winner, set in the warm Tunisian countryside, and The Perfect Candidate, directed by Saudi Arabia's first female director Haifaa Al-Mansour, which takes a revealing look at the changing role of women in Saudi Arabia.
"Also included in the program is The Climb, witty and smart, this hilarious prize-winning buddy comedy follows two bickering best friends as they drag themselves painfully through adulthood," Rodrigues says.
"And to round off the program, a documentary hailed as 'one of the most heart-warming spy movies of all time' by Indiewire, the charmingly insightful The Mole Agent."
Australian short film Diving In, about disability and finding love, concludes the festival on Sunday, before it heads to its next location, Alice Springs.
"This year TFF is proud to present an extraordinary Australian short film selection, including Ayaan, a Sydney Film Festival 2020 finalist, and the Screenability initiative, showcasing provocative cinema by filmmakers with disability with Diving In, Safety Net and Groundhog Night," Rodrigues says.
Tickets to the film festival are now on sale and can be purchased on the website here.
Full Subscription tickets can be purchased providing 30 per cent off the program.
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