Sydney Film Festival premiere for horror anthology from Indigenous filmmakers

08 May, 2019 by Don Groves

‘Dark Place.’

Five horror shorts by emerging Indigenous filmmakers commissioned by the ABC and Screen Australia will premiere as a 75-minute anthology at the Sydney Film Festival.

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Under the banner Dark Place, the 15-minute films address post-colonial Indigenous history through the lenses of horror and fantasy.

Female oppression and revenge take centre stage in Kodie Bedford’s Scout while Bjorn Stewart unleashes small pox-infected zombies in the splatter comedy Killer Native.

An insomniac questions her sanity in Liam Phillips’ Foe, supernatural forces infiltrate a housing commission estate in Rob Braslin’s gritty Vale Light and Gothic horror shrouds the woods in Perun Bonser’s The Shore.

The casts include Leonie Whyman, Tasia Zalar, Jolie Everett, Clarence Ryan, Charlie Garber, Lily Sullivan, Natasha Waganeen, Katie Beckett, Shakira Clanton, Tamala Shelton, Nelson Baker, Nicholas Hope, Hugh Sheridan, Luka May Glynn-Cole and Bernard Curry.

ABC head of Indigenous Kelrick Martin commissioned the anthology under the umbrella title Shock Treatment in a joint initiative with Screen Australia, with in-kind support from the Indigenous unit at the Australian Film Television and Radio School.

The aim was to find emerging Indigenous storytellers with a passion for the horror genre. Screen Australia head of Indigenous Penny Smallacombe said: “The ABC really wanted to push the envelope with this initiative and it’s fantastic to see five original short films led by emerging Indigenous creatives from around the country.”

Produced by Noble Savage Pictures’ Majhid Heath, the anthology will screen on the ABC later this year.

Foe
Writer-director Liam Phillips
DoP – Laszlo Baranyai, editor – Adrian Powers, composer – Jed Palmer, production designer – Otello Stolfo
Cast – Leonie Whyman, Josh Quong Tart

Strange occurrences cause a chronic insomniac to question whether sleep might actually be a portal to something terrifying deep inside her.

Vale Light
Writer-director Rob Braslin
DoP – Laszlo Baranyai, editor – Adrian Powers, composer – Jed Palmer, production designer – Otello Stolfo
Cast – Tasia Zalar, Sara Pensalfini, Jolie Everett

In the public housing commission estate of Pendle Vale, a single mum and her daughter do it tough, until one day a witch decides to change their fortune.

Killer Native
Writer-director Bjorn Stewart
DoP – Laszlo Baranyai, editor – Adrian Powers, composer – Jed Palmer, production designer – Otello Stolfo
Cast – Clarence Ryan, Charlie Garber, Lily Sullivan, Natasha Waganeen

A bitingly wicked take on first contact between British settlers and Aboriginal people – and small pox infected zombies.

Scout
Writer-director Kodie Bedford
DoP – Laszlo Baranyai, editor – Adrian Powers, composer – Jed Palmer, production designer – Scott Bird
Cast- Katie Beckett, Shakira Clanton, Tamala Shelton, Nelson Baker, Nicholas Hope, Hugh Sheridan

Kidnapped and subjected to degrading abuse, Scout has finally had enough. Scout wants out.

The Shore
Writer-director Perun Bonser
DoP – Laszlo Baranyai, editor – Lawrie Silvestrin, composer – Jed Palmer, production designer – Pele Hehea
Cast – Luka May Glynn-Cole, Bernard Curry

A young girl living an isolated life in the woods with her father, discovers that growing up alone isn’t just for her protection – it’s for ours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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