Penelope McDonald’s documentary Audrey Napanangka centres on the titular Warlpiri woman and her Sicilian partner Santo as they navigate through colonial systems to keep the children they care for together.
Having been born at a time when settler colonisation was permeating the Central Australian Desert, the subsequent changes and fusion of two worlds shifted Napanangka’s life forever. Today, she raises young people to walk in many worlds, by centering culture, language, and law in their lives alongside mainstream education.
McDonald wrote, directed, and produced the film, with her son, Dylan River as co-writer. Co-producers also include Trisha Morton-Thomas of Brindle Films and Rachel Clements.
McDonald and River shared cinematography duties with Justine Kerrigan, Shane Mulcahy, Anna Cadden, Bonny Scott, and Miriam Williams.
James Bradley, Jane St Vincent Welch, and Karryn de Cinque were brought in as editors, with composer David Bridie and sound designer Liam Egan rounding out the creative team.
The Chili Films/Brindle Films production received principal production funding from Screen Australia, in association with NITV, and financial support from Screen Territory.
It will be released in select Australian cinemas from May 23 via Demand Film.