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City to host online Indigenous Film Festival to celebrate National Reconciliation Week

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The City of Greater Bendigo in partnership with the Bendigo & District Aboriginal Co-operative, Goldfields Libraries, La Trobe University and other local agencies will celebrate National Reconciliation Week 2020 with an online Indigenous Film Festival featuring 16 online films, videos, activities and discussions from May 27 to June 3.

Now in its fourth year, the Central Victorian Indigenous Film Festival is showcasing an exciting range of indigenous films, documentaries and videos, starring and telling stories about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people from Central Victoria and across Australia.

The festival will kick off at 4pm on Wednesday May 27, with a Welcome to Country prior to the screening of The Australian Dream – the remarkable story of AFL legend Adam Goodes.  Through the backdrop of Goodes’ journey, this feature documentary explores race, identity and belonging in Australia today.  The screening will be followed by a panel of local speakers.

Other feature screenings include Spear (a contemporary Aboriginal story told through movement and dance featuring the acclaimed Bangarra Dance Theatre), Black Divaz (a documentary that follows Indigenous drag queens on a quest to be crowned the inaugural Miss First Nations Drag Queen), Little J and Big Cuz (an award winning animated series featuring Miranda Tapsell and Deborah Mailman), Niminjarra (a story owned by the Warnman people of the Great Sandy Desert but shared with other language groups to the East), Tjawa Tjawa (a Ngarti traditional story about a group of women who travelled to the Great Sandy Desert in search of husbands) and more.

Local offerings include Uncle Rick Nelson’s COVID rap for the mob, the North Central Catchment Management Authority’s River Tour 2019, Connecting with Culture on Dja Dja Wurrung Country, the 2018 Reconciliation Week speech by Tashara Roberts, and the Men’s Shed and Healthy Spirits films from the Bendigo & District Aboriginal Co-operative.

The Festival is a mix of free and low-cost films and activities. A full program with all details is available online at  https://www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/cviff

City of Greater Bendigo Director Health and Wellbeing Vicky Mason said over the last 20 years National Reconciliation Week has helped shape Australia’s journey towards a more just, equitable and reconciled nation.

“The City is committed to reconciliation and this year we have had to think outside the box to stage the annual Indigenous Film Festival so that everyone can join in and come together to celebrate,” Ms Mason said.

“National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

“The films, documentaries, videos and activities featured in this year’s festival are accessible via a range of methods and this is detailed in the program.

“The theme for #NRW2020 – In this together – is now resonating in ways that we could not have imagined when it was announced last year, but it reminds us whether in a crisis or in reconciliation we really are all in this together.

“We hope everyone enjoys this year’s special online version of the Central Victorian Indigenous Film Festival.”

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