Winda Film Festival is returning for its fourth year to proudly celebrate and showcase mob from across the country and the globe on the big screen.

In 2019, Winda sees 12 Australian premieres, along with six full-length feature films, five documentaries, and live and animated shorts from 16 countries. From thrillers and romance to true stories and clever Australian TV series, Winda packs a punch placing the voices of First Nations artist, filmmakers and activists first.

Winda Artistic Director, Pauline Clague said the film festival moves to show the power within First Nations storytelling.

“We wanted to create Winda to showcase our films from the bush to the international … to celebrate our filmmakers making our stories,” Ms Clague said.

“So often don’t have festivals around [like this], they are often in the corner rather than the main event, we wanted to have something that was connected to our storytelling.”

Winda, a Gumbaynggirr word from the north coast of NSW, means stars.

“The Milky Way around this time is when the Emu’s head is looking down on its people to check in,” Ms Clague said.

“We just wanted to marry the connection of our old history of storytelling around this time with the new.”

Winda will premiere, Not Just Numbers, a film directed by Shirleen Campbell, recent recipient of the 2020 Northern Territory Local Hero Award at the 2020 NT Australian of the Year Awards. The film centres around Ms Campbell’s journey working with community to overcome family and domestic violence.

“She is such a strong, staunch woman fighting for that community and for the camps against domestic violence,” Ms Clague said.

Winda will host films from Australia, New Zealand, Cook Island, Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, North America, South America, Easter Island, Russia and Ireland and will host special events such as virtual reality experiences.

Winda immerses viewers within the stories of First Nations people globally but also weaves a tapestry of common experiences between these communities.

“Indigenous stories have such strong connections across the international spectrum,” Ms Clague said.

“We aren’t alone. Even though we are, here in Australia, considered a minority of three percent, we’re 370 million strong in the Indigenous community across the world.”

Winda Film Festival opens Thursday November 21 and runs until Sunday November 24 at Events Cinemas on George Street, Sydney, NSW.

For more information and tickets head to: windafilmfest.com .

By Rachael Knowles