Press release from FTI

Dean Daley-Jones, star of award winning feature film Mad Bastards, will make his directorial debut as part of the sixth season of Deadly Yarns.

Deadly Yarns 6 provides talented, first time Indigenous Western Australian filmmakers with the opportunity to write and direct a short contemporary documentary to be broadcast nationally as part of the ABC TV’s Message Stick program.

Dean’s short documentary Walk Tall, Stand Strong explores the importance of Indigenous tradition through sharing the thoughts, regrets and dreams of Aboriginal men who have been confined to prison.

The film completes a remarkable transition for Dean. Dean was working in the building industry in Broome when he approached Mad Bastards director, Brendan Fletcher, in the hope of being hired as a grip and was soon cast in the lead role. Since Mad Bastards, he has secured an agent, performed in two more feature films and has now written and directed Walk Tall, Stand Strong.

As in his Mad Bastards role, Dean has said he drew heavily on his own experiences to provide an honest and accurate depiction of Indigenous men, who have struggled to deal with cultural ostracism.

“I wanted to make this film because our Nyoongar ways are being lost,” he said. “Our young fellas don’t get traditional initiation and I know from my personal hurdles and challenges that that’s all we want – to become a man through our tradition…to become a warrior who’s proud to Walk Tall, Stand Strong.”

Other first time writer/directors making their debut as part of the series are Janine Kelly with Bunny, James T Webb with Wadumbah and producer Irma Woods with her film, If I Drown I Can Swim.

Each of the short documentaries shares fascinating and often deeply personal tales.

In Bunny, Janine Kelly reopens the investigation of her grandfather, Richard Morris, who was convicted of murdering a police officer in the small country town of Northampton.

Wadumbah is a labour of love for James T Webb which follows the day-to-day lives of a professional Aboriginal dance troupe.

If I Drown, I Can Swim explores the life of Aboriginal writer and physical theatre performer, Maitland Schnaars, who attempts to reconcile the responsibility of being a father against the demands of international performance.

The Deadly Yarns series is a joint initiative between ScreenWest, Film & Television Institute WA and ABC TV. Each of the films in the sixth series was produced through ABC TV Series Producer, Dena Curtis said she was proud to be involved in the sixth season which reinforces Western Australia’s reputation as fertile ground for documentary production.

“Deadly Yarns 6 focused the initiative on contemporary documentary storytelling through the creative craft of first time filmmakers. The four 7 minute
documentaries create a unique, insightful, energetic and compelling collection of stories from Western Australia.”

Deadly Yarns 6 will screen nationally ABC TV’s Message Stick program on ABC1 1:30pm, Sunday, 1 January, 2012.

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