Trisha Morton-Thomas wearing a black dress and surrounded by black balloons with the Aboriginal flag on them
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/collection/hero_image08-2020/black_screen_cc_hero_occupation_native.jpg

Black Screen Collection

Black Screen collection of films for screenings

Connecting culture with community through screen

Black Screen connects culture, stories and language with community through screen.

The Black Screen collection includes short films and documentaries created by renowned filmmakers.

Black Screen films are made available on a loan basis to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and communities for screenings free of charge.

For more information, visit our Black Screen page.

WARNING: this collection may contains names, images or voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

 

You can also stream the Buwindja collection on NFSA Player – 17 compelling stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trailblazers, icons and dreamers.

 

THE Buwindja Collection on NFSA Player

An older Aboriginal woman, pictured from side on, seated at a table painting
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/09-2020/artists-of-ali-curung.png
Artists of Ali Curung
Courtesy:
Ronin Films
Year:
Year

The Arlpwe Arts Centre and Gallery is in the town of Ali Curung, 350 km north of Alice Springs. It opened in 2008 and provides a focus for the work of a diverse range of Indigenous artists.

Artists such as Anita Dickson, May Nampijinpa Wilson, Judy Nampijinpa Long, Valerie Nakamarra Nelson and artefact maker Joe Bird, talk about their work as an expression of their link to their Country.

Their art represents a means to teach younger people in their community about Country, and also take their stories to a wider public.

This delightful film shows the work of these artists as they talk about their aspirations, intermingled with the dancing and ceremonies that marked the opening of the Arts Centre.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Three Aboriginal men walking in the outback
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/03-2021/artnwer-desert-dingo_1493582_0001_004.jpg
ARTNWER - DESERT DINGO
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1493322
Courtesy:
CAAMA Productions
Year:
Year

Five senior Alywarr lawmen take a 450 km trip from their Central Australian community of Ali Curung to visit the sacred sites of a significant Dingo Songline.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
DVD cover of Australian Biography: Bill Harney featuring black and white photo of Bill Harney
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/aust_bio_bill_harney_dvd_slick.jpg
Australian Biography: Bill Harney
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
505043
Year:
Year

In this interview, Bill Harney recalls the hard school that is bush life. He introduces us to Wardaman culture and talks of the problems facing Indigenous Australians and his hopes for the future. He also explains the importance of remaining connected to traditional ways and the land, and speaks with feeling and insight about surviving in two very different worlds – black and white.

Bill Harney was born in the Northern Territory in 1931 – a time when mixed-race relationships were not accepted and many children were removed from Aboriginal families and communities through a government policy of enforced integration.

He was raised by his Aboriginal mother in the traditions of her Wardaman people. His father was white. From his early years, he showed that he could prosper in both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. Lacking formal education but with determination, enthusiasm and hard work, Bill became successful in business.

As a young teen, he practised reading English from the labels on canned foods and bottles. At 17, he was head stockperson on a huge cattle station. Later, he established his own fencing and tourism businesses.

But it is Aboriginal culture that has been the defining influence in Bill’s life. A fully initiated Wardaman man and respected elder, Bill is a custodian of his people’s stories, including the remarkable Lightning Brothers paintings – some of the world’s most famous rock art.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
DVD cover of Australian Biography: Charles Perkins featuring a black and white photo of Charles Perkins
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/aust_bio_charles_perkins_dvd_slick.jpg
Australian Biography: Charles Perkins
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
420865
Year:
Year

In this interview, Charles Perkins gives his own account of his early life in Alice Springs and Adelaide, his youth as a soccer star, his work on behalf of Aboriginal people and his vision for the future of Australia. 

The first Aboriginal man to graduate from university, Charles Perkins was also one of the most controversial of Aboriginal leaders. As a pioneering Aboriginal spokesperson and bureaucrat, his determined and occasionally combative stance and his energetic entrepreneurial and reformist activities earned him many enemies as well as admirers. 

Perkins’ involvement in the Freedom Ride through rural New South Wales in the early 1960s played a crucial role in demonstrating that Aboriginal people could stand up for themselves. His work as a public servant in Canberra brought about many advances for Aboriginal people, but also attracted a great deal of criticism, culminating in his eventual sacking by the Hawke Government.

This was followed by an inquiry, which cleared him of the charges that were brought against him. Although he did not return to government administration, he continued to speak out on Aboriginal issues.

This program explores the personal experiences that fuelled his restless energy. It seeks to find the roots of the great anger against white injustice that landed him in so much trouble in the course of a life of exceptional achievement. 

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
DVD cover of Australian Biography: Faith Bandler featuring a black and white photograph of Faith Bandler
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/aust_bio_faith_bandler_dvd_slick.jpg
Australian Biography: Faith Bandler
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
403180
Year:
Year

Faith Bandler is a descendant of South Sea Islanders. At the age of 13, her father was kidnapped from the island of Ambrym, in what is known as Vanuatu, and brought to Australia to work as an unpaid labourer in the Queensland canefields. 

During the 1950s, Faith became involved in the peace movement, and in 1956 she was instrumental in setting up the Australian Aboriginal Fellowship. Faith was also a founding member of the Federal Council for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, becoming the director of its referendum campaign in 1967, NSW State Secretary from 1962 to 1970 and General Secretary from 1970 to 1973.

In 1974, Faith decided to direct her energies to the plight of her own people, the 16,000 descendants of South Sea Islanders. She founded the National Commission for Australian South Sea Islanders and, in 1975, made her first emotional journey to her father’s birthplace on Ambrym.

Faith was awarded an AM in 1984 and was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2009.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
DVD cover of Australian Biography: Jimmy Little featuring a black and white photo of Jimmy Little
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/aust_bio_jimmy_little_dvd_slick.jpg
Australian Biography: Jimmy Little
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
377155
Year:
Year

In this interview, Jimmy Little talks about what stardom meant for a boy from the bush, and the profound impact that his Aboriginal heritage has had on his life, and more recently, his music.

In the 1950s Australia's First Peoples were still more than a decade away from being recognised as citizens. So the fact that Aboriginal singer Jimmy Little was able to become a major star on the pop and country music scene was quite remarkable. So much so that when he did achieve mainstream recognition he found that some members of the Aboriginal community regarded him as a turncoat. 

The respect Jimmy Little earned from contemporaries such as Johnny O'Keefe and Col Joye came not just from his musical prowess (his 1960s hit 'Royal Telephone' was a phenomenal success) but also his capacity to remain true to his principles in a world where many lost their way. This is not just the story of a talented Australian but of a strong and immensely likeable one.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Head and shoulders portrait of Indigenous activist Lois O'Donoghue, smiling directly at camera.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/06-2020/ausbio_loisodonahue.jpg
Australian Biography: Lowitja O'Donoghue
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
279242
Year:
Year

Lois O’Donoghue was born at Indulkana in the remote north-west of South Australia in 1932, a time when the situation for Aboriginal people could not have been more desperate.

Lois never knew her white father. At the age of two she was taken away from her mother, who she was not to see for another 33 years. Her quest to be reunited with her mother is central to her story.

After a long struggle to win admission to a training hospital, Lois became the first black nurse in South Australia. Later, she became more involved in Aboriginal rights and worked tirelessly for her people.

In 1976, Lois was the first Aboriginal woman to be awarded an Order of Australia. In 1983 she was honoured with a CBE and in 1984 she was made Australian of the Year. In March 1990 Lois became the founding chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
DVD cover of Australian Biography: Neville Bonner featuring black and white photo of Neville Bonner
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/aust_bio_neville_bonner_dvd_slick.jpg
Australian Biography: Neville Bonner
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
250832
Year:
Year

Neville Bonner grew up on the banks of the Richmond River and started his working life as a ringbarker, canecutter and stockperson. He spent 16 years on the repressive Palm Island Aboriginal Reserve where he learned many of the skills that would help him later as a politician.

Bonner became the first Aboriginal person in Federal Parliament, representing Queensland as a Liberal Party Senator from 1971 to 1983. Bonner crossed the floor 23 times to vote against his own party and in 1982 the Liberal Party demoted him from first to third place on the Queensland Senate ticket. Bonner resigned from the party in fury, stood as an Independent, but was not re-elected.

He later became a Board member of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Neville Bonner was the author of several books including Black Power in Australia; Equal World, Equal Share; and For the Love of Children.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
DVD cover of Australian Biography: Rosalie Kunoth-Monks featuring black and white photo of Rosalie Kunoth-Monks
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/aust_bio_rosalie_kunoth-monks_dvd_slick.jpg
Australian Biography: Rosalie Kunoth-Monks
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
306664
Year:
Year

Until the age of nine, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks lived on remote Utopia Station in the Northern Territory where she learnt the Aboriginal laws of her tribe, the Anmatjere people.

Her father insisted she attend school in Alice Springs, where in 1953 she was discovered by filmmakers Charles and Elsa Chauvel. Rosalie won the lead role in Jedda (1955), a film that became an Australian classic.

Filming took Rosalie away from the life she had known. Though for a year she was exposed to totally new and bewildering experiences, once production was completed she resumed her former life for a time. 

Rosalie became increasingly attracted to the Anglican Church. In 1960 she moved to Melbourne, joined the Community of the Holy Name and became a nun. After 10 fulfilling years in the convent, Rosalie left to set up the first Aboriginal hostel in Victoria.

In 1970 she married, settled in Alice Springs and became involved in social work and politics. The then Northern Territory Chief Minister, Paul Everingham, appointed her an advisor on Aboriginal Affairs. Rosalie stood for election to the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly in 1979, in order to fight the proposed construction of a dam which threatened sacred land.

Although not elected, she continued to oppose the dam, which remained a hot issue for another decade. The issue was finally resolved in 1992 when plans for the dam were abandoned.

Rosalie returned to Utopia Station, where she continued to fight for the advancement of her community and her people.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
DVD cover of Australian Biography: Ruby Langford Ginibi featuring a black and white photo of Ruby Langford Ginibi
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/aust_bio_ruby_langford_ginibi_dvd_slick.jpg
Australian Biography: Ruby Langford Ginibi
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
326599
Year:
Year

The life of Ruby Langford Ginibi (1934–2011) is a story of triumph against the odds.

She was born on a mission station in Coraki, NSW, and her mother left the family when Langford was six years old.

At the age of 16 she embarked on the first of 4 tumultuous relationships and went on to raise 9 children, working as a fencer, cleaner and machinist.

Three of her children died, and one son has spent almost half his life in correctional institutions.

In 1984, after overcoming an alcohol addiction, Langford wrote her autobiography Don't Take Your Love to Town, which won the 1988 Human Rights Literary Award.

Read a transcript of the complete interview.

You can stream Australian Biography: Ruby Langford Ginibi in full as part of the Buwindja collection on NFSA Player.

STREAM Ruby Langford Ginibi Biography

 

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
A man posing next to a framed colourful artwork
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/1551515_0001_007.jpg
Barrba Wadbirra: Journey Together
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1551515
Year:
Year

For NAIDOC Week 2017 the Western Australian Police Force adorned uniforms and police cars with Aboriginal artwork.  

This thought-provoking initiative originated in the Kimberley with Bunuba elder June Oscar AO and Kimberley Police Superintendent Allan Adams. 

It quickly spread across the state and the artwork of seven Aboriginal artists from around Western Australia were chosen for the initiative named Barrba Wadbirra: Journey Together.

This is the story of how two opposing symbols can be brought together to create new meaning and the possibility of change.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
A man in a black shirt smiles in front of a suburban view with the sea in the distance
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/big_fella_-_rodney_feeling_great.jpg
Big Fella
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
810195
Year:
Year

Big Fella is a story about the crippling health effects of diabetes and obesity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia. It's also about one man's love for life, his battle to stay alive and his fight against the demons of obesity and diabetes.

Happy-go-lucky Rodney Ardler weighs in at 185 kg. At 36, Rodney was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He was told his heart and kidneys were in bad shape and that if his life didn't change he would only have a few years to live.

Big Fella follows Rodney's journey of survival. He undertakes a gruelling exercise and weight loss campaign and decides to have lap-band surgery (or gastric banding, when the entrance to the stomach is tightened).

Twelve months after his surgery Rodney ran the City2Surf run, weighing 114 kg. Today Rodney says he's a different man and he hopes the film inspires others in a similar position. He now weighs in at around 110 kg.

Big Fella is extraordinary because it shows the community spirit that exists at La Perouse in Sydney. The whole community rallied to give Ardler back his life.

Close friend Greg Winter and workmate Jeff 'Boppa' Cini opened their wallets to help pay for Ardler's surgery. Nathan Garlic strapped on his runners to help Ardler shed 65 kg. When Ardler reached his goal weight, world surfing champion Koby Abberton made good on a promise to send the 'Big Fella' on an all-expenses-paid trip to Bali.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Black and white, head and shoulders shot of young woman with a serious look on her face and head tilted to the side. Still from the film Brolga.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/12-2020/brolga_5.jpg
Brolga
Year:
Year

In a ravaged future Australia, a solitary hermit guarding a priceless treasure is forced to offer sanctuary to a young girl fleeing murderous scavengers.

With danger around every corner, can they learn to survive together?

Indigenous man wipes white clay onto his face.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/12-2018/buckskin.jpg
Buckskin
Year:
Year

Jack Buckskin is the teacher of an endangered language.

From the northern Adelaide suburb of Salisbury, Jack’s mission is to teach the Kaurna language, the language of his ancestors, to as many people as he can in his lifetime. But this is not easy.

The language was driven to near extinction over a century ago. Now, Jack and fellow language speakers are sculpting a new Kaurna language and culture.

Through that they are seeking to bring a new way of being to the youth of suburban Adelaide, in the form of a new Aboriginal identity, and – with that – hope.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Man wearing a singlet with a print of Indigenous flag inserted where the Union Jack would be on the Australian flag.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/12-2018/captain_of_the_team.jpg
Captain of the Team
Year:
Year

On 20 January 2010, Brendan Short created a Facebook fan page, calling for renewed unity and a further step toward reconciliation. His concept for a new Australian flag would gain thousands of fans.

Captain of the Team is the documented story of Brendan’s attempt to bring unity to a divided Australia. This is a collaborative film by Kris Kerehona, Mary McCartney, Adrian Muscat, Andrew Scarano and Brendan Short.

A version of the film featuring actor Ernie Dingo is in preparation.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/03-2021/black-screen-web-banner.jpg
Cassie Williams
Year:
Year

Cassie Williams plays guitar, sings and tells her stories.

Black line drawing of two dogs facing each other on a white background
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/09-2020/cheeky-dog.jpg
Cheeky Dog
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1021476
Courtesy:
Ronin Films
Year:
Year

Dion Beasley is an Indigenous teenager who is deaf and has muscular dystrophy. He lives with his family in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.

His teachers and carers, including Joie Boulter, encourage Dion's drawing, particularly as a way of expressing his fascination with dogs.

Joie and others launch the successful Cheeky Dog label in Darwin, using drawings by Dion on T-shirts and other product, with royalties going back to a trust fund set up for Dion's benefit.

Dion's family hope that this business will create security and financial stability for his future. At the same time, the designs are a striking vehicle for Dion's distinctive talent and his sense of humour.

This delightful portrait of Dion includes charming sequences in which his drawings are animated.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
An Aboriginal woman in an evening gown curtseys to Prime Minister Gorton.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/12-2018/dancing_with_the_prime_minister.jpg
Dancing With the Prime Minister
Year:
Year

This is a film about 25 Aboriginal debutantes, the prime Minister and a glamorous night in 1968 that turned the heads of a nation at a pivotal time in Australia’s race relations.

Dancing with the Prime Minister documents this remarkable night and the place it holds in Australian history.

Through the experiences and lives of those who were there – the Aboriginal debutantes – the film brings to the screen their extraordinary story, in an era when Australians were optimistic about race relations, but living with the stain of the Stolen Generations policy.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/02-2021/destinydirt.jpg
Destiny in the Dirt
Year:
Year

Destiny in the Dirt is the coming-of-age story of a young boy, Dylan. Through a series of unexpected circumstances, he embarks on an experience that will lead him to a place he never imagined he could end up.  

Starring Bangarra's senior dancer Waangenga Blanco and Ursula Yovich, who you can hear on the soundtrack of Bangarra production Patyegarang (2014). 

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
A dancer in a black dress poses on stage under a bright light
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/1478305_0001_008.jpg
Ella
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1478305
Year:
Year

Ella Havelka was the first Aboriginal dancer to be invited into the Australian Ballet.

Ella’s introduction to dance began at the Dubbo Ballet Studio and, with the help of scholarships and hand-me-down tutus, she quickly started winning local eisteddfods and was soon dancing six days a week.

In 2009, after four years of training in the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne, Ella joined Bangarra, the Sydney-based Aboriginal dance company. Here she learnt not only the very different rigours of contemporary dance, but began a powerful and moving journey of self-discovery into her Aboriginal heritage.

It was not until 2012 when Bangarra did a joint performance with the Australian Ballet, Warumuk – In the Dark Night, that the call of ballet was reignited within Ella. She accepted an offer to become the first Aboriginal dancer to join the Australian Ballet in its 50-year history.

The film follows Ella as she faces the challenges of reverting to being en pointe after four years of barefoot dancing with Bangarra, and we see her face fierce competition for roles.

We also go with the Australian Ballet on tour to China where Ella dances in Graeme Murphy’s celebrated interpretation of Swan Lake in Beijing.

Woven throughout the film is a moving personal journey back to Ella’s roots. Guided by her mother, Ella begins to reconnect with her Aboriginal culture, hearing Wiradjuri language, engaging in basket weaving with elders and visiting the graves of her people for the first time. She also explores her childhood.

Both Ella and Janna give intimate accounts of the circumstances surrounding her birth, for Ella never knew her father, even though he lived in the same town. However, after his death Ella was given a scrapbook of clippings that he had kept, painstakingly documenting her whole career. She feels now that he was, and always is, with her.

Ultimately, we follow Ella as she finds her own unique form of expression through dance, choreographing her own work. Using a blend of Bangarra’s contemporary Aboriginal styles and traditional western ballet, Ella finally expresses herself in her own distinctive way.

Ella was directed by Douglas Watkin, an exciting Aboriginal filmmaker from Queensland making his first long-form documentary after 20 years in television.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
A young woman looking to her left is standing in front of colourful artwork in the background
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/1507243_0001_020.jpg
From the Western Frontier, Series 3 Episode 1: The Third Space
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1507243
Year:
Year

Fair-skinned Noongar girl Meeka Rees struggles to fit into an Aboriginal world despite her grandmother being prominent Aboriginal artist, Sandra Hill.

She goes on a personal journey with her grandmother, mother and sister to understand how an ideology, based on skin colour, underpinned the Stolen Generations policies and continues to have an impact on her family’s ability to identify and connect with their Aboriginality today.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
A young and elder woman are sitting at a table holding and looking at a photograph
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/owning_your_history_1440x990.jpg
From the Western Frontier, Series 3 Episode 2: Owning your History
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1507244
Year:
Year

Eighteen-year-old Brianne Yarran is a talented dancer in her last year of high school. For her final year performance she decides to use her Nanna's story as the inspiration for her solo dance routine.

Bree has always known that her three Nannas were part of the Stolen Generations but she never truly understood what this meant or the impact on their lives.

To do their story justice and to create a powerful dance piece, she must go on a difficult journey and learn the truth of their experience.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Football players in black and white uniform smiling and shaking hands
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/footy_the_lapa_way.jpg
Footy: The La Perouse Way
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
714119
Year:
Year

Footy: The La Perouse Way is the story of a small Aboriginal community located in bustling multicultural Sydney.

It is the journey of a community, whose beginnings were marked by racial division and the suffering it brought. It is about that community embracing football as a starting point to put these historic differences behind it, and forging what has now become a unique and prosperous mix of black and white cultures. Cultures that are working together side-by-side in all aspects of life, with respect, honour, integrity and trust. 

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Three Aboriginal youths walking through an area of trees and scrub. They are wearing traditional dress and one is holding a spear.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/03-2021/greedy-emu_1522693_0002_023.jpg
The Greedy Emu
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1522676
Courtesy:
National Indigenous Television
Year:
Year

The Greedy Emu is a traditional story that demonstrates that neglect and poor behaviour have consequences.

In the Bininj world, sharing is a fundamental obligation. When obligations are not fulfilled, there is always a price to pay.

This songline runs from Croker Island to the Katherine region and takes in central western Arnhem Land.

It is the story of Emu as an old woman, her greed in not sharing food with her grandchildren and the way they tricked her out of necessity so that they could eat food themselves.

It is also the story of her revenge by hurling a throwing stick at them, the way it comes back to lodge in her throat, precipitating her change into an emu, and the transformations of her children into different birds.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/03-2021/black-screen-web-banner_0.jpg
INSTITUTE FOR ABORIGINAL DEVELOPMENT DANCING
Year:
Year

This documentary is about learning the traditions of dance in Alice Springs, Northern Territory.

DVD cover of The Islanders featuring a Torres Strait Islander man spearfishing on a beach
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/the_islanders_dvd_slick.jpg
The Islanders
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
32752
Year:
Year

Above the tip of Cape York, beyond the northern-most point of the Australian continent, are the Torres Strait Islands.

The economy here is based on home gardens and pearl-shell fishing. The culture, with its basis in music, dancing and ceremony, provides a striking contrast to that of mainland Australia.

This film, shot in the late 1960s, shows how strongly old traditions still affect Torres Strait Islander people, even though they also have most of the trappings of modern life.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
A young man holding a rifle in the Australian outback.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/jandamarras_war_1030775.jpg
Jandamarra's War
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1030775
Year:
Year

Jandamarra's War begins by detailing Jandamarra's early years, starting with his birth in 1873.

When he was seven, Jandamarra and his mother Jinny were relocated for their safety to a cattle station at Lennard River Flats, at a time when European colonists were frequently killing Aboriginal Australians.

As a teenager, he left the cattle station with his Uncle Ellemarra to be initiated in Bunuba Law. When they are caught spearing sheep both are sent to prison. After leaving prison, he was expelled from Bunuba society for sleeping with other men's women and soon after he became friends with a police officer named Richardson. Later he killed Richardson, marking the beginning of his three-year war against the Europeans.

In 1894, Jandamarra led a rebellion against invading European pastoralists in order to defend Bunuba land and culture.

Jandamarra spent the last few years of his life hiding in his spirit country, Djumbud. His incredible ability to outwit police officers led many to believe he had magical powers and many pastoralists left the Kimberley area for fear of him.

His life ended when he was shot dead by Mungo Micki, an Aboriginal tracker.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
An older Aboriginal woman stands in the middle of a dusty plain in the outback.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/07-2020/journey-west.jpg
Journey West (Buwarrala Aryah)
Year:
Year

Aboriginal Elders lead their community on a traditional walk across country to reconnect the children and youth to their culture.

Growing concern among young Aboriginal community leaders drew them to the idea of re-enacting a walk that hadn't occurred for almost 30 years.

'Livin' in town we've got too much fightin', too much drinkin', too many kids just walk the streets breakin' and stealin'. I reckon that's bad. Out bush is good, no beer, no drink, no breakin' in.'

The Buwarrala-Journey is a traditional walk for the Karrwa, Yanyuwa, Mara and Kurdanji peoples of the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia.

Practised for generations as part of the initiation of young boys, it was last performed in 1988, and documented in the film, Buwarrala Agarriya – Journey East.

Gadrian Jarwijalmar Hoosan was 12 then and was one of four boys, Daru – boys who were prepared for their initiation ceremony. As an adult he has become a mentor to younger men.

In late 2017 the re-enactment of the walk, Buwarrala Aryah – Journey West, involved over 100 community members (children, their families, teachers and volunteers), covering a distance of 70 kilometres in seven days.

During the walk, Elders share their strong feelings of connection to land; they teach hunting techniques and traditional dancing, which often involves humour and historical storytelling. However, traditional owners worry about the security of their country and water because of the impacts of mining and fracking. 

Through light scrub dotted with anthills, past billabongs and water lilies, and across a vast dry plain blackened by burning off, a group of children, youth and Elders embrace their cultural heritage.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
A man sits on a chair in front of a stone wall on a plain in the outback.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/07-2020/jupurrurla.jpg
Jupurrurla – Man of Media
Year:
Year

A portrait of Warlpiri Elder and Lawman, Francis Jupurrurla Kelly – a pioneer of Indigenous filmmaking in central Australia.

Jupurrurla was the producer of highly-regarded TV programs such as Bush Mechanics, Manyu Wana and Coniston, and was a key figure in the foundation of the Warlpiri Media Association.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Indigenous performer Alice Skye standing in a Melbourne street with a graffitied wall behind her.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/10-2020/ep3-1591584_0001_021alice-skye-laughing.jpg
Kutcha’s Carpool Koorioke: Alice Skye and Emily Wurramara with Uncle Jack Charles
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1591584
Year:
Year

Alice Skye and Emily Wurramara are part of a new generation of Indigenous artists. When Kutcha joins Alice and Emily for Episode 3 of Kutcha's Carpool Koorioke, singing Alice's hit song 'Friends With Feelings', we know that music can transcend generations.

But some things don't, such as Kutcha's understanding of texting and social media lingo, 'LOL, JK I don't get it'. A quick lesson in social media from Alice and Emily sets Kutcha on his way.

Alice speaks about her first song being inspired by her country and her late father, whose presence she feels when she sings.

Emily talks about singing in her language and how her ancestors' spirits are with her, empowering her as a singer songwriter.

Songs: 1. Friends with Feelings (Alice Skye) -- 2. Lady Blue (Emily Wurramara) -- 3. Get Back Up Again (Kutcha Edwards) -- 4. Time Is All I Have (Kutcha Edwards)

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Indigenous singer/songwriter Archie Roach, pictured seated with a guitar in front of a microphone stand
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/10-2020/ep1-1591584_0001_013-archie-roach.jpg
Kutcha’s Carpool Koorioke: Archie Roach with Uncle Jack Charles
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1591584
Year:
Year

In Episode 1 Kutcha cruises along the top of Smith Street singing along with Archie Roach to Archie's 1990 hit 'Charcoal Lane'. 

Archie is one of the country's most celebrated artists and 'Charcoal Lane' speaks volumes to the Koori experience in Fitzroy. Archie talks about first arriving in Fitzroy and discovering his big sister, the sister he had not seen since he was taken at the age of 3.

Songs: 1. Charcoal Lane (Archie Roach) -- 2. We Won't Cry (Archie Roach) -- 3. Blind Joe's Creek (Kutcha Edwards) -- 4. Get Back Up Again (Kutcha Edwards)

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Kutcha Edwards and Bart Willoughby seated in the front of a car.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/10-2020/ep2-1591584_0001_007-bart-willoughby.jpg
Kutcha’s Carpool Koorioke: Bart Willoughby and Bunna Lawrie with Uncle Jack Charles
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1591584
Year:
Year

Kutcha and music legends Bart Willoughby and Bunna Lawrie cruise Fitzroy belting out the defiant Aboriginal anthem 'We Have Survived' in Episode 2 of Kutcha’s Carpool Koorioke.

Bart talks about finding his way to the Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music at the University of Adelaide as a 14 year old in handcuffs; that's when he was introduced to drumming, singing and guitar.

Bunna remembers first performing his song 'Black Boy' in the Vault in Port Augusta. Everyone knew, even then, this was going to be a deadly hit. 

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Indigenous singer/songwriter Dan Sultan, pictured outdoors seated with a guitar next to TV presenter and performer Kutcha Edwards.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/10-2020/ep-4-1591584_0001_009-dan-sultan.jpg
Kutcha’s Carpool Koorioke: Dan Sultan with Uncle Jack Charles
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1591584
Year:
Year

Cruising in Fitzroy, multi – ARIA Award winner Dan Sultan joins Kutcha for Episode 4 of Kutcha's Carpool Koorioke as they belt out the bluesy melodies of Kutcha's 'Roll With the Rhythm'.

Dan talks about how music is 'something that I could always – then, and can still – really rely on it being in the same place as I left it.'

Dan shares the first electric guitar he received, when he was four, and how his clever mum ensured he didn't get an amp to go with it.

Songs: 1. Roll with the Rhythm (Kutcha Edwards) -- 2. Wait'n (Kutcha Edwards) -- 3. Get Back Up Again (Kutcha Edwards) -- 4. Old Fitzroy (Dan Sultan) 

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
A young girl wearing a hat looking over an iron gate
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/minnie_loves_junior.jpg
Minnie Loves Junior
Year:
Year

What does a girl have to do to win a boy’s attention?

Minnie lives in a seaside fishing village. Junior lives there too. Little does he realise Minnie's unrequited love will soon save his life.

Minnie Loves Junior is a heart-warming story of a little boy who loves the ocean, and a little girl who loves the boy.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/03-2021/black-screen-web-banner_1.jpg
Miranda Garling: The Song Maker
Year:
Year

A documentary about musician Miranda Garling that also includes live performances.

Anthropologist Ted Strehlow sitting with two older Indigenous men.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2021/blackscreen_strehlow.jpg
Mr Strehlow's Films
Courtesy:
Ronin Films
Year:
Year

TGH (Ted) Strehlow was one of Australia's most eminent and controversial anthropologists.

This fascinating documentary traces his life from his childhood at Hermannsburg as the son of Lutheran missionaries to his days as a patrol officer and translator in Central Australia and to his death in 1978.

Growing up on the mission with Aboriginal people in the early 1900s, Ted Strehlow spoke the Arrernte language fluently. In later years, he would be driven by a profound desire to preserve Aboriginal language and culture.

The film and sound recordings he made of Aboriginal cultural practices are among the most extensive of any ethnographic filmmaker of the 20th century.

This extraordinary archive became the subject of much controversy. While giving us a glimpse of the unrestricted material in this collection, Mr Strehlow's Films explores some of the complex issues surrounding ownership and access through a range of interviews with historians, museum curators and filmmakers, as well as Aboriginal people directly connected to the Strehlow legacy.

Punctuating this discussion is the personal story of Strehlow himself and his claim to an Aboriginal identity.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
A young and elder woman standing next to each other pose to camera
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/nins_brother_1440x990.jpg
Nin's Brother
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
813302
Year:
Year

In 1960, Agnes Coe (Nin) learned of the death of her brother Milton, an Aboriginal man, in a mine in South Australia, but the story has always been based on loose facts and unanswered questions.

It was rumoured that Milton had been killed by a local police officer after he started a relationship with the man's white daughter.

In 2009, Milton's great niece, filmmaker Mary Munro, makes the journey to South Australia in a search for answers.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
A bearded, middle-aged Aboriginal man in the outback stands staring at camera. In the distant background you can see lighting striking the ground.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/05-2020/putuparri-blackscreen.jpg
Putuparri and the Rainmakers
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1441424
Year:
Year

Ten years in the making, Putuparri and the Rainmakers is an extraordinary eyewitness account of the living traditions of Putuparri’s people.

The film spans 20 transformative years in the life of Tom 'Putuparri' Lawford as he navigates the deep chasm between his Western upbringing and his determination to keep his traditional culture alive.

Director Nicole Ma documents Putuparri's journey, travelling with him and his family on numerous occasions to Kurtal, a sacred waterhole in the Great Sandy Desert where they ritually make rain. Kurtal is a site of deep spiritual significance for Putuparri and his family and the subject of a long-term native title claim over the area.

Tom 'Putuparri' Lawford is a man caught between two worlds: his future as a leader of his people, reconnecting with his ancestral lands and shouldering his responsibility to pass this knowledge on to the next generation; and both his past and present in modern society, where he battles with alcoholism and domestic violence.

Set against the backdrop of this long fight for ownership of traditional lands, Putuparri and the Rainmakers is an emotional, visually breathtaking story of love, hope and the survival of Aboriginal law and culture against all odds.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
A man with his back to camera standing in front of an Aboriginal choir of around 10 or so women with his arms outstretched, as if conducting them. They are all wearing brightly coloured orange and red clothing.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/09-2020/the-song-keepers.jpg
The Song Keepers
Courtesy:
Screen Australia and Brindle Films
Year:
Year

In the obscure churches of remote Central Australia, a hidden musical legacy of ancient Aboriginal languages, sacred poetry and baroque music is being preserved by four generations of song women who make up the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir.

Against all odds and with the help of their charismatic conductor, the choir embarks on an historic tour of Germany to take back the hymns that were given to their great grandparents by German missionaries, now sung in their own Aboriginal languages.

Together they share their music and stories of cultural survival, identity and cross-cultural collaboration.

Come on an adventure as the unlikeliest band on earth goes on tour to the other side of the world! 

You can stream The Song Keepers in full as part of the Buwindja collection on NFSA Player.

 

STREAM The Song Keepers

 

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Animation still showing 3 young Aboriginal kids in the outback. One, in the foreground, is looking towards the sky and the other two in the background are crouched beside the embers from an open fire.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/10-2020/black-screen_wadu-matyidi.jpg
Wadu Matyidi
Courtesy:
Incite Stories/Farda Films
Year:
Year

In this short animated film we’re taken back to the early 1800s when Adnyamathanha children of the Flinders Ranges were inspired, schooled and entertained by their interactions with country.

The characters in the story are three adventurous Adnyamathanha kids who set out for a day of exploration near their camp. The children play traditional games and spook one another with tales of the ancient creatures of their country.

They see unusual tracks that set their hearts and imaginations racing. Then, unexpectedly they make a discovery that changes their lives forever.

You can stream Wadu Matyidi in full as part of the Buwindja collection on NFSA Player.

 

STREAM Wadu Matyidi

 

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Group of people sitting on a wavy bench in a park.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/01-2019/wadu_matyidi_behind_the_scenes.jpg
Wadu Matyidi: behind the scenes
Year:
Year

A behind-the-scenes look at the Wadu Matyidi animated film project.

In a fast paced, light-hearted style we learn how a diverse group of fascinating individuals conceived and developed this exceptional high-tech journey into ancient knowledge.

Wadu Matyidi (War-do Mudgee-dee) is the story of three cheeky Adnyamathanha kids who one day discover tracks that will change their lives forever.

You can stream Wadu Matyidi in full as part of the Buwindja collection on NFSA Player.

 

STREAM Wadu Matyidi

 

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
An Aboriginal youth pictured in profile from the shoulders up with his eyes closed is having paint applied to his face by another person.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/03-2021/wardbukkarra_1466908_0001_006.jpg
Wardbukkarra
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1466908
Year:
Year

The story of the creation of the first people of western Arnhem Land.

It includes the battle between good and evil resulting in the songs and stories handed down today.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Two Aboriginal people sitting in the outback creating an image on the ground using white paint.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/05-2020/we-dont-need-a-map_blackscreen.jpg
We Don't Need a Map
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1513022
Year:
Year

We Don't Need A Map is an epic telling of Australia's history, told through our collective relationship to one famous constellation. It is a challenging, poetic essay about who we are as a nation.

The Southern Cross is the most famous constellation in the southern hemisphere. Ever since colonisation, it's been claimed, appropriated and hotly contested for ownership by a radical range of Australian groups.

But for Aboriginal people the meaning of this heavenly body is deeply spiritual. And just about completely unknown. For a start, the Southern Cross isn't even a cross – it's a totem that's deeply woven into the spiritual and practical lives of Aboriginal people.

Leading Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton tackles this fiery subject head on, in a bold film which challenges us to consider the place of the Southern Cross in the Australian psyche.

Imbued with Warwick's cavalier spirit, this is a thought-provoking ride through Australia's cultural and political landscape.

The film is part of NITV's landmark Moment in History initiative, launched by NITV and Screen Australia to bring together some of Australia's most experienced and innovative Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander filmmakers to create powerful, one-off documentaries that reflect on the place of Indigenous Australians in the country today.

On this journey Thornton has had the formidable support of fellow filmmaker Brendan Fletcher (Mad Bastards), a celebrated director known for a long history of collaborations with Indigenous Australians.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons