Donate to DAF or a Film
Choose where you would like to direct your donation.
Donate to DAF
Donate to a Film
GET APPROVED FOR FISCAL SPONSORSHIP - NEXT DEADLINE 23 APRIL 2019
Documentary Australia Foundation
News & Events
FAQs & RESOURCES
Films Seeking Funding
Films Previously Funded
Host a screening
Not for profits
Spirits in the Stone
About The Film
Get in touch
Get in Touch
Feel free to contact me about anything related to the film.
See more films
Other films you may like...
Arts, History, Human Rights, Indigenous, Social Justice
Imagine Australia today with no Indigenous cultures, languages and communities. This would be our present reality if government racial policies of the 1950s and 60s were enforced unopposed. Ablaze is the remarkable true story of an Aboriginal leader and a band of dedicated supporters who stood up to them and, against all odds, changed the course of history. This film entertainingly celebrates the power of a few to ingeniously outsmart and overcome mighty forces. In this feature documentary, Opera singer Tiriki Onus sets out to solve the intrigue surrounding a mysterious 70-year-old silent film recently discovered inside a vault believed to be made by his charismatic Aboriginal grandfather William ‘Bill’ Onus. A Yorta Yorta/ Wiradjuri man from Victoria, Bill Onus is a truly heroic cultural and political figure who revived his people’s culture in the 1940s and 1950s and ignited a civil rights movement. His enormous talents as entertainer, business entrepreneur, theatre impresario, the first Indigenous filmmaker and television host were all used in service of winning social justice and equality. He generated international support from music stars like Harry Belafonte, a close friend of Martin Luther King, and Paul Robeson who earned an ASIO file after he spoke out for the rights of Indigenous Australians. As Tiriki pieces together clues to the film’s origins, he unearths dark intrigues that shape the story into a real-life thriller about a murky secret campaign to stop Bill’s rising international influence and to halt the rise of the Aboriginal civil rights movement. Through never-seen-before archival footage, state-of-the-art animation, vividly created digital motion graphics, dramatic recreations and eye-witness accounts, Ablaze tells the compelling story – part detective story, part contemporary opera – of how Bill and a handful of supporters brilliantly orchestrated their campaign for equality through performance, entertainment and sheer audacity to outmanoeuvre their opponents and eventually win social justice. Ablaze is an inspiring tale of cultural resilience and passionate resistance that will resonate across generations. An enlightening film for today’s turbulent times.
Firestarter - The Story of Bangarra
Arts, History, Human Rights, Indigenous, Social Justice
In 2019, Australia’s most iconic dance company celebrates its 30th anniversary. Tracking this pivotal year, Fire Starter tells the story of Bangarra Dance Theatre through the eyes of their long standing and charismatic artistic director, Stephen Page. A combination of intimate observational material shot during the anniversary year, candid interviews and a treasure trove of personal and company archive will reveal a story of triumph against all the odds. A stunning hybrid of factual and dramatic storytelling, the film will convey key moments in the Bangarra story in evocative dance sequences, exclusively choreographed and shot for the purpose of our narrative. In the early 1990s, 26-year-old Stephen Page and his two brothers take on the company in its infancy. Amidst a heady political era in Australia - the landmark Mabo decision, the Stolen Generation revelations and the lead up to the Sydney Olympics - David, Russell and Stephen work tirelessly to build the company from a little known Indigenous dance group to one the nation’s most powerful cultural institutions. As the millennium takes hold the company gains international appeal, and is fast becoming a national treasure. But for Stephen huge professional success comes with great personal loss. Today, David and Russell are no longer with us and Stephen must lead the company through its 30th anniversary on his own. A new generation of dancers emerges, a sister company is formed overseas and Bangarra has a bigger platform than ever. Will Stephen stay on? And if so, where to from here? Fire Starter interweaves Stephen’s tumultuous personal biography with the modern Indigenous history of Australia, all through a prism of a present day dance company in full flight. Through Stephen and his dancers we explore the complexities of celebrating and keeping alive an ancient culture in a modern world obsessed with material values and provide a rare personal insight into Bangarra’s artistic activism. Fire Starter is a national interest story of pride, of heartbreak, overcoming adversity and empowerment, with dance as the potent cultural messenger.
The Aboriginal Child Artists of Carrolup
Arts, Education, Health & Wellbeing, History, Human Rights, Indigenous, Social Justice, Youth
Our multi-faceted project includes the production of a feature-length documentary focused on the Story of a group of Aboriginal children in the 1940s who were inspired by their white school teacher to create beautiful landscape drawings which gained international acclaim, challenged a government’s racist policies and influenced four generations of Noongar artists. We have developed this project to facilitate the healing of intergenerational trauma amongst Aboriginal peoples by: (1) creating cultural pride, which enables connection to culture, a key factor for healing; (2) enhancing public awareness of the resilience and achievements of Aboriginal people in the face of great adversity, which helps reduce the racism and prejudice that are barriers to healing, and 3) showing people the nature of trauma and how healing can be achieved.When teacher Noel White arrived at Carrolup Native Settlement in Western Australia in 1946, he was unable to communicate with the traumatised Aboriginal children as they were so fearful. The children had been removed from their families as part of government policy and lived in squalid conditions. Mr White connected with the children and inspired them to create beautiful artworks that gained public acclaim. They also displayed outstanding educational, musical and sporting achievements.Seventy-one-year old Englishwoman Mrs Florence Rutter was so captivated by the children and their art after visiting Carrolup, she asked the government if she could promote the art. They agreed. In 1950, whilst Mrs Rutter was exhibiting the artworks to much public acclaim in Europe, Mr White faced intensified jealousies and conflicts with other white staff at Carrolup. The government closed the school at the end of the year.The children’s dreams of a better future were shattered by this closure, and by the adversities they faced in a white-dominated society that considered them 'inferior'. The dreams of one artist, Revel Cooper, became a nightmare when he faced a charge of wilful murder in the state’s Supreme Court.The film will be based on the book 'Aboriginal Child Artists of Carrolup' written by David Clark, an Emeritus Professor of Psychology, and John Stanton, former Director of the Berndt Museum of Anthropology who has been involved with the story of Carrolup for 40 years, to be published in June 2019. The Story will be told through the words, deeds and lives of the people who experienced these events, using our large collection of ‘assets’ (photos, copies of artworks, documents, letters, etc). The feature film will be supported by a series of short films focused on the impact of the children’s lives and their art on people today, which will be available on our supporting Storytelling, Education and Healing resource (www.carrolup.info). The Carrolup Story is one of the most important post-colonisation stories of the Noongar people of South West Australia.