“We have seen a strengthening of stories from around the world playing into genres like horror and really powerful documentaries that hold no punches.”

Winda, dedicated to showcasing Indigenous cinema and stories from across the world and now in it’s fourth year, have dropped the 2019 program; curated by Winda Artistic Director Pauline Clague. Canada bears the strongest presence this year with three features and one documentary selected including drama ‘Red Snow’ about a Gwich’in Soldier from the Canadian Arctic who, caught in an ambush in Kandahar, is forced to run for his life alongside a local Pashtun family.

In addition to VR and animated shorts programs, New Zealand and Pacific cinema, both staples of Winda, will feature in this year’s line-up with the Producers of ‘Vai,’ shot over seven countries with seven Indigenous actresses playing the titular character over a single day, visiting Sydney to deliver a filmmaking masterclass.

“Of course ‘Vai,’ like ‘Waru’ a couple of years ago, is made across the Pacific,” said Clague. “It is a feature film that brings voices to some of the islands we don’t hear from often as their resources to make films are limited.” 

Indigenous cinema from a series of nations including Russia, Chile, Columbia, Ireland and Australia will feature prominently in Winda 2019. 

This year we have three new countries represented in our program,” said Clague. “In documentaries there’s ‘The Camino Voyage,’ our first feature documentary in Gaelic, ‘Ushui, La Luna y El Trueno’ (‘The Moon and the Thunder’) from a collective of filmmakers in Colombia and ‘Eating up Easter’ from a Rapanui filmmaker.”

Having a film like ‘The Camino Voyage’ in the mix allows us to strip our perceptions of what Indigenous means. The Celtic traditions and their connection to country and land is known in that part of the world and the fact they are also trying to hold onto their cultural knowledge and languages is an important story for us to tell. We have always known and connected on the international stage with our Indigenous filmmaking fraternity who have had the same issues of colonisation and are now revitalising their language and cultural practices.”

The Winda Film Festival 2019 screens in Sydney from November 21-24

on FalkenScreen