WINDA Film Festival announces its full program for 2019

From epic survival thrillers to inspiring true stories and innovative shorts, the WINDA Film Festival returns for its fourth year from 21-24 November 2019 to celebrate trailblazing Indigenous filmmakers and share the universal stories of Indigenous nations

The 2019 Festival will screen six brand new full length features, five thought-provoking documentaries, as well as a witty Australian TV series and a jam-packed line-up of stellar shorts from 16 countries across the globe.

The Festival kicks off with The Sun Above Me Never Sets, winner of the Audience Choice Award for Best Film at the 2019 Moscow Film Festival. Directed by Lyubov Borisova and crewed entirely by Indigenous Sakhi people of Russia, the film is a moving exploration of isolation and chronicles the unlikely friendship between a young man and his suicidal elderly neighbour on a desolate island.

Closing the Festival is 2019 Sydney Film Festival favourite Vai, an empowering portmanteau film connecting 8 seemingly disparate stories that thread together one woman’s cultural journey through time. Beautifully shot over 7 Pacific countries, and played by a different Indigenous actress in each location, Vai is a delicate exploration of the environment, culture, community and the meaning of home.

Additional program highlights include: Australian director Shirleen Campbell’s inspiring debut documentary Not Just Numbers, about a group of Indigenous women’s mission to stop family violence in their communities; and award-winning Russian producer Sardaana Savvina’s Kylyk Khomus: Cursed Harp, a surreal drama about a teacher whose world is turned upside down when her niece unexpectedly arrives on her doorstep after an accident.

The program also features a stellar selection of local and international shorts: from Australian director Michael Bonner’s What Do You See, the empowering story of a trans woman’s fight against constrictive stereotypes; to Ties That Bind (Sydney Film Festival: 2019), a powerful drama about a young Indigenous man’s experiences of police prejudice and turbulent family life; and Hinekura, a New Zealand coming of age story about a Maori girl’s transition from naïve child to protector of her people.

The Festival includes a series of scintillating special events: from a filmmaking masterclass with Vai producers Kerry Warkia and Kiel McNaughton, about the impact of producing Vai across the Pacific to several immersive VR experiences traversing themes of language, country and Indigenous futurism; and a series of animated shorts

WINDA Film Festival is Friday 22 November – Tuesday 26 November, 2019 at Event Cinemas George Street; VR: UTS Building 1, Foyer at Library Pod; Barangaroo Reserve, Towns Place, Barangaroo. More information at the WINDA FF website.

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