CinefestOZ acknowledges the Wardandi and Piblemen people, the spiritual and cultural custodians of this land on which we live and work. We honour and respect the significant role First Nations people play in our community and in guiding us and allowing our festival to flourish.
Genna Chanelle Hayes – AKONI
Genna Chanelle Hayes
Actress | Filmmaker | AKONI
Born in the bush and raised on a sheep farm in the country, Genna Chanelle Hayes has been on a mission to explore different worlds ever since. Her first quest out of the nest landed her in America’s deep south as a high school student. It was here that eyes were opened up to inequality and racial injustice. She went on to attend the University Of Queensland mixing human rights with acting, journalism and mathematics. After graduating, Genna travelled extensively – lugging her backpack across six continents and sixty plus countries, curiously absorbing all she could. Upon returning to Australian shores, she embarked upon an acting career that organically evolved into filmmaking. She is known for using film to advocate for humans rights in an effort to inform and catalyse positive change. Her films have screened internationally at schools and festivals, including the 68th and 69th Cannes Film Festival. Akoni is her feature film directorial debut, of which she also single-handedly produced across Australia, Ghana, Nigeria and the United Kingdom.