Indigenous Victorian filmmakers explore Treaty in new short film series from film Victoria

Four Victorian-made short documentaries exploring the theme of Treaty are set to hit screens during NAIDOC Week 2019, with the support of Film Victoria and NITV.

The Treaty initiative supported Indigenous Victorian filmmakers to create an original short film about what Treaty means to them and their local community, and links in with the theme of this year’s NAIDOC Week, Voice.Treaty.Truth.

What If, from writer/director Daniel King, brings five Victorian community members together to contemplate what if a Treaty was signed in 1788, when the first British ships arrived in Botany Bay.

In Unceded, by musician and filmmaker Robbie Bundle (Keeping Harmony: The Earth Songlines & Mixing It Up), three Aboriginal men meet in a recording studio to discuss what a Treaty is all about and record a song titled ‘Unceded’.

Tarneen Onus and Paul Gorrie teamed up on Young Mob Questioning Treaty, asking young Aboriginal people who are traditional custodians in Victoria to share their insights into what has been happening and what they believe needs to happen in the Treaty process.

Social commentator and screenwriter Nayuka Gorrie has written and directed Treaty Now?, reflecting on her own position on a Treaty, alongside that of her grandmother Aunty Sandra Onus and friend Oscar Monaghan.

The filmmakers were supported through the development of their idea and into production, under the mentorship of Executive Producer Beck Cole (Redfern Now, The Warriors, First Australians), Series Producers Tony Briggs and Damienne Pradier of Typecast Entertainment (The Sapphires, The Warriors) and Philippa Campey and Samantha Dinning of Film Camp (Bastardy, Words from the City).

Film Victoria CEO, Caroline Pitcher, said: “We’re so excited to see these four compelling works by Victorian Indigenous filmmakers premiere on NITV to mark the start of NAIDOC Week. The subject of Treaty is an important and critical national conversation and each of these films voices a perspective that is unique, propelling audiences to connect with Australia’s indigenous culture.”

NITV Chanel Manager, Tanya Orman, said: “We are very proud to be able to facilitate the creation of such strong, fresh, short-form documentaries from Victoria-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander filmmakers. The films speak directly to this year’s NAIDOC theme of Voice, Treaty, Truth and form an important part of our NAIDOC offering. We are also grateful for the ongoing support and partnership offered by Film Victoria that made this possible.”

Executive Producer Beck Cole said: “This incredible collective of stories documenting the issues around Treaty in Victoria brings previously unheard voices to the screen. It was a privilege to work with this group of emerging Indigenous film makers on four inspiring, poetic and sometimes funny short films that probe deeply at a complex and sometimes misunderstood movement. I can’t wait to share this formative series with engaged audiences.”

Treaty will air on NITV on Sunday 7 July at 6.30pm, preceding Songlines, with a repeat at 1.20pm on Monday 8 July. NAIDOC Week 2019 runs from 7-14 July.

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