Over 40,000 years of culture. A celebration of spirit, land and wisdom that connects us all, KANYINI is a sacred principle of unconditional love and responsibility to all things.
It is a principle that underpins Aboriginal Indigenous life, linking four main areas of responsibility:
Tjukurrpa (philosophy, Law and religion)
Ngura (country – land)
Waltytja (family and kinship)
Kurunpa (spirit, soul and psyche)
KANYINI the film chronicles the experiences of respected Central Australian Indigenous Elder and Stolen Generation survivor “Uncle” Bob Randall as he communicates the concept of Kanyini to Australians via his personal story to ‘whitefella’ filmmaker Melanie Hogan.
Told with passion, political insight, dignity and warmth, this is not only a story of one man and his people but the story of the human race that draws on notions of caring, support, nurturing, and responsibility. In the original film (Produced and Released in 2006) Randall tells of his experiences in his own words and paints a fascinating and troubling portrait of two cultures in conflict occupying the same land.
We are now twelve years on. Uncle Bob Randall sadly passed away in 2015 and with full support from Uncle Bob’s family and community, KANYINI - The Film, is to set to be re-released with a new introduction from Uncle Bob’s daughter Dorethea presenting the film in the context of today’s cultural and political context.Oneness.
Life is Spirit. Spirit is Life. With a significant shift in cultural consciousness over these last 12 years, Uncle Bob’s message is more pertinent than ever. It is about walking together in harmony with understanding, respect and pride. It is about creating a friendship, and a channel of two-way learning so that as a country and a group of people on this land, we can go deeper. Deeper into understanding and accepting our collective history so as to be proud of our land, our unique history, our foundations and move forward to heal more deeply as a nation.
“It is only through understanding the way our past has shaped our present, that we create a better future allowing Indigenous and non indigenous cultures to truly come together and reconnect with the land” Uncle Bob Randall.
How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?
KANYINI, the original film was, and remains an incredibly powerful film. Uncle Bob Randall’s incredible life story and his message of Kanyini - a sacred principle of Connectness and unconditional love and responsibility to all things that underpins all of Aboriginal Indigenous life, was powerful and still remains so. As Australia’s cultural narrative has developed over the last 12 years, perhaps this film is even more relevant now. Uncle Bob Randall passed away in 2015, and with full support of his family and community, the proposal to re-release KANYINI involves a slight re-edit of the original film plus a shoot of a new introduction with footage of Uncle Bob’s daughter Dorethea and other key members of Bob’s family and community. We are seeking to keep Uncle Bob’s message alive, empowering the community further and placing the message within the context of today’s political and cultural map. The original film KANYINI and the associated outreach program YARN UP in 2006, was used as a showcase example of philanthropic funding and the huge positive impact this can have. With the re-shoot and re-release we propose to stay firmly in line with the ideals of the original film. We are hoping to inspire new behavior, as well as challenge current attitudes. We also hope to empower community and ultimately change the cultural narrative – thus holistically meeting the aims of a philanthropic foundation such as Documentary Australia Foundation.
What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?
Aims & Objectives
KANYINI was the first feature documentary by filmmaker Melanie Hogan, who has since written, produced and directed two more documentary films with Indigenous Australians which were both premiered at the United Nations in New York. Melanie is currently writing a feature film script to assist both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to heal from their collective colonial past. With it now being twelve years since KANYINI’s first release by Hopscotch films, one of the key aims and objectives of re-releasing KANYINI is to encourage more Australians to walk in the shoes of their Indigenous brothers and sisters. To go deeper. To begin to learn, to respect, to understand, and to start that friendship with Indigenous Australians that we have for so long been missing. In an interview with Filmmink in June 2017, filmmaker Melanie Hogan said, “there certainly seems to be more openness and excitement in the general community about Indigenous storytelling and Indigenous filmmaking and art”. However both Melanie and Dorethea Randall (the daughter of the late Bob Randall) feel we haven’t yet gone deep enough. As a country and as a group of people on this land, we still haven’t heard or felt deeply the past from an Indigenous perspective. We still have a long way to go in terms of understanding and accepting our collective history in order to heal more deeply as a nation. Another key aim and objective of re-releasing KANYINI is to encourage young Australians to aspire towards having a ‘two-way learning’ relationship with Indigenous Australians. That is, to be open towards learning from Indigenous Australians as well as sharing what they know with Indigenous Australians. "There is a great fusion still yet to occur between Indigenous and mainstream, non-Indigenous Australian cultures", says Melanie Hogan. Melanie Hogan, herself, learnt a great deal from developing a friendship with Indigenous elder Uncle Bob Randall. Bob and his family embraced her like a family member and taught her all about how to connect to country and how to extend her notion of ‘family’ to include non-human life forms. With a re-release of KANYINI, Melanie and Dorothea both hope to also inspire what Uncle Bob inspired: to turn around any negative attitudes people may hold towards Indigenous Australians and replace them with more positive attitudes. To share that which is missing in our non-indigenous culture – the connection to country, the relationship and care for country that our brothers and sisters learnt over 40,000 years. We can learn from them. And with this respect and understanding, we can move forward healing as a nation
What is your education and outreach strategy?
Our proposal to re-release KANYINI will be a rolling strategy.
With this submission we apply for the funding for Stage 1, the budget to re-shoot and re-edit the film.
This new version of the film will be offered for release and broadcast in Australia and Internationally with a strategic rights management strategy – theatrical, DVD, VOD, terrestrial and non standard rights being available.
The new version of the film will also provide the basis for future stages of the project as a whole.
These future stages will include:
- Development of a screening tour of Australia through metropolitan and regional centres
- Development of an outreach program for schools
- Development of a program called Kanyini Ambassadors, empowering children to really connect with Uncle Bob’s key messages
- Development of an education outreach program for families – including Kanyini Camps empowering the indigenous communities to share their culture, wisdom, and knowledge of country
Our core team for the re-release of KANYINI has been selected strategically, with each member bringing their valuable expertise and wisdom to the table. Our core team is an equal mix of Indigenous and non-Indigenous women. All employment opportunities within the KANYINI project will insist upon equal opportunity, inclusion and support for diversity.