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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Birrarangga Film Festival 2021

The four-day festival will feature more than 70 shorts and features by First Nations filmmakers from around the world.
By Sarah Ward
February 16, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
February 16, 2021
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From Thursday, March 11–Sunday, March 14, Melbourne will once again host a huge celebration of Indigenous and First Nations filmmaking. First hitting the city back in 2019, the Birrarangga Film Festival is returning to the newly revamped ACMI for four days jam-packed with features and shorts, with more than 70 titles from Canada, New Zealand, the US, Chile, Greenland, Peru, Russia, Finland, Norway, the Solomon Islands and Australia on the lineup.

It all starts with exceptional documentary Firestarter — The Story of Bangarra, which steps through the dance theatre's history and impact, and gives the fest a very memorable opening night flick. From there, Melburnian cinephiles can check out everything from Canadian horror film Blood Quantum, which charts a zombie plague that affects everyone on the Mi'kmaq reserve of Red Crow except its Indigenous inhabitants, to Eating Up Easter, about the struggle to balance cultural tradition and modernity on Rapa Nui.

Fans of shorts can watch a number of different packages, including one dedicated to New Zealand shorts and a US-centric lineup curated by curated by Adam Piron, the associate director of the Sundance Institute's Indigenous Program.

Talks and panels are also on the bill, which is how you can hear Leah Purcell and Bain Stewart discuss their new feature The Drover's Wife — which isn't playing at the fest, but will hit Australian cinemas later in 2021.

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