The inaugural DAAFF Indigenous Film Festival was showcased at the iconic Darwin Deckchair Cinema from the 10-12th August 2016.  Three feature films were screened very three balmy nights including:  Ten Canoes, Putuparri and the Rain Makers and Bran Nue Dae.

Each night DAAFF raffled the generous donations of stunning art works from participating Art Centres.  The screening of Putuparri and the Rain Makers was aptly chosen as DAAFF’s fundraising evening, whereby a light meal was available for purchase, part of the proceeds from the ticket sales were donated to DAAFF.

daaf_film_fest_2016_deckchair_cinema_darwinAt the very time that Putuparri and the Rainmakers was being screened, the decade long land rights dispute for which the film about, was being resolved. Spider Snell, Tommy May and the senior members of the Ngurra Kayanta claim were in the Great Sandy Desert with judges and representatives of government on the 10th August 2016, and received the official hand back of their native title.  The major site of Kurtal along with many other important sites, was officially acknowledged as occupied land and given back to Traditional Owners. Whilst there are still some areas with petroleum licenses within the claim area, government has advised that they will supports future claims. This is a great relief for all to know that complete hand back of their Country is coming.

The feature films were preceded by incredible short films from participating Art Centres.  The great breadth and depth of talent tucked away in our Art Centres is phenomenal, and DAAFF was proud to promote their film media talents and the stories they have to share. The short films included:  Winner of the Golden Galah for best documentary at the Fist Full of Films Festival Kuruyultu” from Tjarlirli Art,  three new animations from Mangkaja Arts that give insight into traditional storytelling combined with historical and contemporary events, and Yarrenyty Arltere Artists Larapinta Valley Town Camp Videos.


Over 300 cinema buffs attended the film festival, comprising of dedicated local Darwin supporters, smattered with a strong presence of national and international visitors to Darwin.  Intense discourses followed the screening of the films and much admiration of the Art Centre’s short films followed.  Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the 2017 DAAFF Film Festival!

DAAFF would like to warmly thank the dedicated staff at Darwin’s Deckchair Cinema and the Darwin Film Society for their generous support and the use of their iconic cinema!