Get the popcorn ready for this year’s Birrarangga Film Fest—it’s a special one!

Closing night film Falls Around Her, starring Tantoo Cardinal. Photo supplied by ACMI.

Over 40 features and short films by Indigenous people from around the world will be presented at this year’s Birrarangga Film Festival.

Melbourne is holding the festival from April 26th to 29th at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). ACMI will show selected films and host a range of panel discussions with Indigenous film industry creatives.

This year’s special guests are critically-acclaimed actor Tantoo Cardinal and esteemed writer, director and video artist Darlene Naponse. The creatives will be flying to Melbourne from Canada.

The duo are part of the team of creatives behind Falls Around Her, which will be the festival’s closing night film.

It tells the story of singer Mary Birchback, played by Ms Cardinal, who leaves her privileged life of fame to reconnect with her First Nation.

Mary Birchback returns to her home reserve and its surrounding woods but discovers her past world is not so easily abandoned.

Birrarangga Film Festival will this year showcase a range of genres and stories, including Our Family, Our Culture which is a collection of cross-continental stories shining a light on the similarities between cultural values.

The festival will also show a series of shorts called The Reality of Humanity that explore the more difficult truths faced by Indigenous communities.

Renowned Yorta Yorta Wurundjeri film creative and the Festival’s Artistic Director Tony Briggs said this year’s festival theme is ‘humanity through family and culture’.

“There is something for everyone at Birrarangga Film Festival, with inspiring feature films, thoughtful panel discussions and specially curated shorts packages for families and children,” Mr Briggs said.

One panel discussion will look at the history of the Indigenous TV and film industry with historian, activist, actor, performer and academic Gary Foley.

Another panel will be a dialogue between leading Indigenous female creatives from around the globe who are working in the screen industry.

“We’re looking forward to Melbourne audiences coming along to ACMI to immerse themselves in stories from talented First Nations filmmakers from around the globe,” Mr Briggs said.

By Hannah Cross

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