After the Berlinale, BLACKBIRD was invited to screen in Washington DC for the Smithsonian’s Mother Tongue Film Festival. This festival aims to “amplify the work of diverse practitioners who explore the power of language to connect the past, present, and future”.
Here’s a few lines from my introduction to the BLACKBIRD screening:
“For me, telling this story is a part of a process of de-colonising the screen. The voice of Pacific island nations has little been heard cinematically, through stories by filmmakers from the region. Historically our narratives have been caught up in colonialism, ‘otherness’ and a point of view that is not our own. BLACKBIRD is in a way, my own reclamation of a Pacific history that has largely been forgotten.
I believe that when Indigenous filmmakers tell their own stories through film, we are taking back the narrative, we are empowering ourselves and our communities. And I have seen and felt this with Blackbird.”
Never having been to Washington DC before, it was an immense pleasure to be there and represent our short film BLACKBIRD and my community. I had a wonderful time attending the festival, meeting other filmmakers and talking with audience members. Thanks to the Smithsonian and the amazing Mother Tongue Film Festival team for hosting me. And a huge tagio tumas to the Embassy of Australia in USA who supported my attendance at the festival.