‘First Horse’ Wins the First Ever First Nations Award at SFF

After screening at the Sydney Film Festival, First Horse directed by Awanui Simich-Pene and edited by DEGANZ member Cushla Dillon, won the inaugural First Nations Award. This accolade is the largest cash prize in Indigenous filmmaking, rewarding $35,000 to the winner.

The film, set in 1826 with Aotearoa on the cusp of colonisation, follows a young Māori girl who encounters a dying man and his horse, exposing her to the best and worst of her rapidly changing world.

The jury commented on the film saying,

In awarding the winning work, the jury recognises its originality, elegance, and cinematic achievement in story and form. In a few short minutes, the talented creative team has crafted a deeply impactful film with a resonant emotional punch.

If you are keen to see the award-winning film, it will also screen at NZIFF this year as part of the NZ’s Best programme.

Congratulations Awanui, Cushla, and the rest of the First Horse team on the win!

Last updated on 20 June 2024