Arts / Short Film Festival announces Indigenous category

THE 2017 Canberra Short Film Festival has today (May 18) announced a new category dedicated to Indigenous films and filmmakers.

John Frohlich

Festival director, John Frohlich, told those present at the festival launch: “We are a festival committed to engaging with communities of film makers and in recent years there has been some fantastic work coming from indigenous filmmakers and TV producers.”

In the 2016 festival, which had attracted over 300 entries, he explained, the festival had made a point of screening work from both Indigenous Australian film makers and Inuit and Indigenous South American film makers, adding, “The Indigenous category is our next logical step”.

The criterion for entry will be that the filmmaker and their team are indigenous, whether it be Australian or from overseas.

Local indigenous filmmaker, Marissa McDowell, will be hosting workshops across Canberra for emerging local indigenous filmmakers.

“It is important to pass on my skills to students and inspire them to help preserve our culture and language for future generations who will see our faces and hear our voices on screen,” she says.

The announcement of the new category follows last year’s introduction of the animation and music video categories and these films will join the lineup of festival classics such as, national, international, Canberra local, schools and under 18s, documentary, and two minute films.

Canberra, it was noted all-round, has a burgeoning film industry and the Short Film Festival has helped launch international careers for local filmmakers such as Clare Young with “Bottom of the Lake” and Kristina Ceyton with “The Babadook”. Other local filmmakers who began their careers with short films in this Festival have gone on to produce feature films including Declan Shrubb, Christian Doran, Locks of Love and Simon Weaving.

The new category dedicated to Indigenous films and filmmakers is a collaboration between Tuggeranong Arts Centre and Belconnen Community Service.

“We are constantly trying to challenge the Canberra film landscape and inspire filmmakers to try something different,” Frohlich says.

The Canberra Short Film Festival will run at Dendy Cinemas, Belconnen Community Centre, Tuggeranong Arts Centre and  Smith’s Alternative from, September 13-17 , details at


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