The inaugural BIRRARANGGA Film Festival (BFF) happens from 26 - 29 April 2019.
BIRRARANGGA Film Festival celebrates Global Indigenous Films that explore the curatorial themes of ‘Humanity through Family and Culture’. First Nations relationships to the image as a form of expression, particularly in Australia, is connected to thousands of years of cultural practices. This Festival honours that history and acknowledges the contemporary currency of the moving image, of film, as an expression of the human experience.
Curated by Wurundjeri (Woiwurrung) / Yorta Yorta screen creative and actor Tony Briggs (creator & writer of The Sapphires), the Festival will present over forty beautiful, raw, inspiring and heartbreaking feature length and short films from across the world. BIRRARANGGA Film Festival features films from Australia, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Mexico, Russia, Greenland and Peru.
BIRRARANGGA is the Woiwurrung word for ‘River location’. Wurundjeri/Yorta Yorta Elder, Aunty Zeta Thomson has given her blessing to use this name for the Festival. Rivers connect Indigenous people across the world; they have fluidity, movement and life, just as feature films do.
The Festival is also a celebration of tomorrow’s emerging Australian filmmakers, providing them with opportunities to pitch and connect with some of the most respected and established film industry leaders in Australia.
The core vision for BFF is to nurture leadership and provide visibility to global Indigenous filmmakers while facilitating opportunities to forge new international relationships between screen practitioners. BFF creates a platform for Indigenous storytelling, encourages emerging leaders in the screen industry and creates visibility for Indigenous filmmakers.
When I was young my grandmother, Nanny Theresa Clements (Yamak) would sometimes perform cleansing ceremonies on family members. Songs and stories were part of cultural practice, and these ancient ways have been handed down through the generations to this very day.
Aboriginal Australians are from the oldest living culture on earth. The Aboriginal way of thinking and our beliefs tell us that country, our country, has its own spirit. The old people would sing to these spirits; The stars, river, water, land and fire. Everything was connected to the journey of our people.
I think that the BIRRARANGGA Film Festival will show a strong similarity between Aboriginal cultures from around the world, and that our journeys have been and will continue to be connected with the same strong spirit journey. I hope that the BIRRARANGGA Festival will be the start of a long lasting connection between all of the Aboriginal cultures to share their stories on our country.
Aunty Zeta Thomson - Elder
Wurundjeri (Yarra Yarra Clan) /Yorta Yorta (Dhulanyagan Clan)
Spiritual & Cultural Advisor
BIRRARANGGA Film Festival are currently looking for volunteers. If you’re passionate about the moving image and First Peoples culture, we would love your help! We are looking for reliable film enthusiasts who possess strong communication skills and enjoy working in a fast-paced environment.
There are a variety of roles for volunteers and we invite anyone with a keen interest to take part. Roles include:
Assisting and Stage Managing
Providing program information to attendees
Bumping in and bumping out
If you are interested, please fill out the form below and let us know a bit about yourself (your interests and work experience), and what role/s you may be interested in. Festival volunteers will also receive a BFF T-shirt, access to films, the opportunity to meet new interesting filmmakers and people.
BIRRARANGGA Film Festival simply can’t happen without the support and generosity of great people such as yourself, so be our BFF and be part of our exciting inaugural Festival!
If you have any questions, email email@example.com.