Sydney Film Festival Features DEGANZ Members’ Mahi

Sydney Film Festival (SFF) is on now, with features and shorts from DEGANZ members.

This year marks the 71st iteration of the festival with over 200 films from 69 countries in the programme. From 5-16 June, there will be screenings, film talks, red carpets, and parties across the city to celebrate the cinema and creatives selected.

SFF is launching the First Nations Award this year, establishing the world’s largest cash prize in global Indigenous filmmaking. 10 films have been selected including The Convert, Ka Whawhai Tonu, First Horse, The Mountain, and Lea Tupu’anga/Mother Tongue from Aotearoa with DEGANZ members involved.

Check out all films from DEGANZ members below!

The Convert

Programme Strands: Special Presentations, First Nations Award

Munro, a soldier turned lay preacher, comes to New Zealand to minister to the first British colonists, but he is converted by the powerful chief Maianui to serve a different purpose.

Editor: Luke Haigh

First Horse

Programme Strands: First Nations Award, Shorts Before Features

It’s 1826, and Aotearoa is on the cusp of colonisation. A young Māori girl’s encounter with a dying man and his horse exposes her to the best and worst of her rapidly changing world.

Editor: Cushla Dillon

Ka Whawhai Tonu

Programme Strand: First Nations Award

Set in Aotearoa New Zealand in 1864, Ka Whawhai Tonu tells the story of a pivotal battle in the first New Zealand land wars in the Waikato region. A battle fought with impossible odds between Māori and the Colonial forces. This heroic conflict is told through the eyes of two young teenagers forced to take control of their own destiny amidst the chaos of the battle and their escape.

Editors: Te Rurehe Paki and Martin Brinkler, ACE

Lea Tupu’anga/Mother Tongue

Programme Strands: First Nations Award, Shorts Before Features

A young speech therapist disconnected from her Tongan heritage lies about her Tongan language skills to get a job. Out of her depth, she must find a way to communicate or else she risks her patient’s life. Sundance 2024.

Director: Vea Mafile’o

The Mountain

Programme Strand: First Nations Award

Rachel House makes her directorial debut with this riotous and colourful drama about three children discovering friendship’s healing power through the spirit of adventure.

Co-Editor: Cushla Dillon

The Moon is Upside Down

Programme Strand: Features

A mail-order bride from Siberia, the lonely wife of a wealthy property investor, and an anaesthetist looking for frisky fun, are the engaging central characters in this sharply observed slice-of-life set around Wellington.

Director: Loren Taylor

Last updated on 6 June 2024