CinefestOZ celebrates another successful year in Broome.
Located on Yawuru Country, the CinefestOZ Broome festival has just concluded its second year, leaving inspired filmmakers in its wake. CinefestOZ has expanded to the corners of Western Australia, serving as a powerful platform to celebrate Australian voices and stories with CinefestOZ Broome focusing on Indigenous stories, shining a spotlight on Australia’s first storytellers.
CinefestOZ Broome’s mission is to highlight Indigenous voices, experiences, and stories. Through a carefully curated selection of films, this festival provides a unique platform for Indigenous filmmakers from Australia, Torres Strait Island, and New Zealand to share their narratives with the world.
Set at Sun Pictures Broome, the world’s oldest outdoor picture garden festival featured the festival screened a diverse range of films, including documentaries such as Kindred and Rebels with a Cause, Muru, a New Zealand feature film and 6 short films including The Tale of Mr Kimberley, Allira, Babanil, To Be Silent, Katele and Marlu Man. These films gave audiences an opportunity to celebrate home grown stories, such as Mr Kimberley, as well as international films. What makes these films even more special is that they were all created by First Nations filmmakers. These films represent a rich tapestry of Indigenous storytelling, bringing to life the traditions, culture, and experiences of Indigenous communities. CinefestOZ Broome welcomed a group of incredibly talented and esteemed filmmakers, including Adrian Russell Wills, Kelton Pell, Marlanie Haerewa, Zac James, Azie Dungey, our CinefestOZ Broome Ambassadors Mark Coles Smith, and Mitch Torres. Their presence added depth and insight to the festival, allowing attendees to engage with the creators beyond the screen.
Audiences also were welcomed to the Willie Creek Pearl Farm for the Meet the Filmmaker Lunch where they not only enjoyed tour of the pearl farm and lunch but were also privy to a raw and emotional Q+A with Mark Coles Smith, Azie Dungey and Adrian Russell Wills. Early in the week, filmmakers were invited to participate in insightful industry workshops intended to utilise the incredible talent of our visiting filmmakers to ensure the growth of the West Australian and Kimberley film industry.
The festival was warmly received by the community, with beautiful and welcoming crowds in attendance. The atmosphere was described as celebratory and even healing for some. The festival’s mission is to aid in reconciliation by offering a platform for First Nations people to build community, heal, and celebrate their stories. The impact of CinefestOZ Broome is expected to be significant. By emphasising the importance of having Indigenous people on screen and by giving Indigenous filmmakers a stage to voice their stories, the festival contributes to the broader cultural dialogue in Australia.
As the festival concludes its second year, we at CinefestOZ and Goolarri Media envision a bright future. With the goal of continued growth and an unwavering commitment to Indigenous storytelling, CinefestOZ Broome will undoubtedly remain a vital force in celebrating and promoting Australian voices, stories, and cultures on the world stage.
In the years to come, we can expect CinefestOZ Broome to play an even more prominent role in amplifying Indigenous voices and experiences in cinema and contributing to the ongoing journey of reconciliation in Australia.
A special thank you to our collaborative partner Goolarri Media, who played a significant role in facilitating this extraordinary event and made it possible.