Jobs Events Advertise

First Nations directed psychological horror film The Moogai headlines Sundance Film Festival

Rhiannon Clarke -

Australian filmmaker Jon Bell's psychological horror film, The Moogai, is set to have its world premiere at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.

This groundbreaking film will be the first Australian First Nations title to be featured in the midnight section of the festival.

A First Nations writer and director, Mr Bell, known for his involvement in Cleverman, RedFern Now and Black Comedy, said he was in complete shock over being accepted in the prestigious festival Sundance.

"What a truly great honour it is for The Moogai to premiere at Sundance Film Festival. I still can't really accept that it's true," he said.

"Sundance has had such a long history with First Nations peoples that getting to put this film alongside all of the others is something that just feels like it's not real.

"Nothing is made in a vacuum and I have such a great team to share this with. I'm over the moon."

The plot of the movie revolves around a young mother who experiences a growing sense of instability as she is terrorised by an evil spirit that she believes is attempting to harm her children.

Short film the Moogai has now been turned into a feature length film. (Image: supplied, Screen Australia)

The critically acclaimed short film written by Mr Bell originally premiered in 2020 and received recognition at various film festivals including Cinefest, Sydney Film Festivals SXSW, and Melbourne International Film Festival.

Now, The Moogai is making its debut at Sundance as a full-length feature film, with Shari Sebbens taking on the lead role, supported by Meyne Wyatt as her husband, along with Tessa Rose, Clarence Ryan, and Jahdeana Mary.

Screen Australia's Head of First Nations, Angela Bates, expressed immense pride to have supported production of The Moogai.

"Its selection for Sundance Film Festival as the first Australian First Nations title in the Midnight Section heralds a significant moment for First Nations storytelling, continuing the momentum in showcasing our talents on a global stage," Ms Bates said.

"Congratulations to writer/director Jon Bell, co-producers Mitchell Stanley from No Coincidence Media, Causeway Films' Kristina Ceyton and Samantha Jennings.

"The cast for their incredible performances including Shari Sebbens, Meyne Wyatt and rising star Jahdeana Mary, and the entire team for bringing this authentic and powerful narrative to life.

"It's a tremendous achievement for everyone involved."

Sundance Film Festival is the largest independent film festival in the United States.


Directions hearings continue ahead of inquest into 2021 death in custody of young mum
The latest directions hearings concerning a 30-year-old Yamatji, Noongar, Wongi and Pitjantjatjara woman who died in custody at...
Jarred Cross 23 Feb 2024
In a heartbeat: smart watches helping to close the gap
When Aunty Mary Waites joined a research trial aimed at helping to reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease in Abori...
Rudi Maxwell 23 Feb 2024
Groote Eylandt residents call for land council probe
Hundreds on a remote Northern Territory Island have called on the federal government to investigate "potential gross misconduct"...
Neve Brissenden 23 Feb 2024
Experts say MP's approach to NT youth crime is not evidence-based
Experts have criticised calls from Labor MP Marion Scrymgour for the NT to show “tough love” to juvenile offenders, arguing her...
Dechlan Brennan 23 Feb 2024

   Rhiannon Clarke   

Thomas Weatherall’s play “Blue” explores the complexities of coming-of-age
The captivating play “Blue” delves into the complexities of a coming-of-age narrative, exploring themes of family dynamics, masc...
Rhiannon Clarke 20 Feb 2024
Children's book “Kaal Tackles Eczema” aims to help families manage skin condition
Eczema affects a significant number of Aboriginal children residing in urban regions, with nearly 20 per cent being affected by...
Rhiannon Clarke 20 Feb 2024
Northern Territory grants open doors for artists
Grants are currently being offered in the Northern Territory to fund the purchase, transportation, and installation of equipment...
Rhiannon Clarke 19 Feb 2024
Troy Cassar-Daley drops new album Between the Fires and tour dates
Accomplished musician and Gumbaynggirr/Bundjalung man, Troy Cassar-Daley, has dedicated more than thirty years to his career, up...
Rhiannon Clarke 19 Feb 2024