BIRRARANGGA Film Festival: A Boy Called Piano + Q&A Unclassified 15+

A seated man leaning against a wall and looking out a window
22 June
Arc Cinema
See below
Dir: Nina Nawalowalo, Unclassified 15+, New Zealand, 2022, 57mins, DCP, Subtitled

This screening is part of BIRRARANGGA Film Festival at the NFSA. 

A Boy Called Piano – The Story of Fa’amoana John Luafutu tells the remarkable story of Fa’amoana’s time as a state ward in the 1960s and the intergenerational impacts of these experiences. The film was directed by Nina Nawalowalo and produced by Katherine Wyeth, with Executive Producer Tom McCrory, and stars Fa’amoana himself, his son Matthias, and grandsons Tāne and Micah, alongside Aaron McGregor, Tupe Lualua and Patrick Nawalowalo McCrory, with a stunning score by Mark Vanilau.   

Growing from the long-term collaboration with Fa’amoana Luafutu and the Luafutu Aiga, the film blends dramatised sequences inspired by the play A Boy Called Piano – written by Fa’amoana Luafutu and Tom McCrory – with powerful interviews and beautiful aerial and underwater photography, translating Nina Nawalowalo’s celebrated visual storytelling to the screen for the first time. Nawalowalo’s theatre company, the Conch, has been honoured to walk alongside Fa’amoana and the Luafutu Aiga as they courageously bring their untold story into the light, with the kaupapa of connecting directly with survivors and illuminating the survivor experience in wider society. 

Preview short film: Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair 
2021 | Unclassified | 29 mins | DCP | CAN | D: Alanis Obomsawin 

As the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Senator Murray Sinclair was a key figure in raising global awareness of the atrocities of Canada’s residential school system. With determination, wisdom and kindness, Senator Sinclair remains steadfast in his belief that the path to actual reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people requires understanding and accepting often difficult truths about Canada’s past and present.  

Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin shares the powerful speech the Senator gave when he accepted the WFM – Canada World Peace Award, interspersing the heartbreaking testimonies of former students imprisoned at residential schools. The honouring of Senator Sinclair reminds us to honour the lives and legacies of the tens of thousands of Indigenous children taken from their homes and cultures and leaves us with a profound sense of hope for a better future. 

Join us for a post-screening Q&A with A Boy Called Piano director Nina Nawalowalo and filmmaker Matthias Luafutu, son of Fa’amoana Luafutu. 


Tickets and passes:

Full $22 | Concession $17 | Blak Tix $13 
Purchase 3 Film Pass for $45  
Purchase 5 Film Pass for $75


About BIRRARANGGA Film Festival

The NFSA is proud to partner with BIRRARANGGA Film Festival, celebrating Global Indigenous Films that explore the curatorial themes of ‘strength, resilience and the environment’. First Nations relationships to the image as a form of expression, particularly in Australia, is connected to thousands of years of cultural practices. Curated by Wurundjeri (Woiwurrung)/Yorta Yorta screen creative and actor Tony Briggs and producer/curator Damienne Pradier, BIRRARANGGA honours that history and acknowledges the contemporary currency of the moving image, of film, as an expression of the human experience in relation to our natural surroundings. 

BIRRARANGGA is a not-for-profit organisation that advances and promotes Indigenous filmmakers by encouraging innovative ways of thinking, creating and developing all Indigenous forms of the art of cinema. Donations over $2 are tax deductible. Your generous donations support will help maintain the operation of Australia's only Indigenous-led film festival. Donate to BIRRARANGGA



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