The Australian classic Radiance (1998) will be screened as part of the inaugural Girls On Film Festival (GOFF) in Melbourne.
Radiance is a rarely screened and highly significant moment in Australian cinema, exploring the relationships of three very different Aboriginal women after the death of their mother in Queensland.
The film marks the debut of award-winning director Rachel Perkins, the first feature role of actor Deborah Mailman (who went on to win an AFI performance for her performance as Nona in the film) and an unforgettable performance by Rachael Maza as Cressy, the estranged sister who moved away to pursue a glittering international career in opera.
Rachael Maza said: “This film was such a joy to be a part of and I am extremely proud of it and believe it didn't quite get the accolades it deserved when first released. It'll be great to see it on the big screen again.
"Though written by a man, it was the contribution of all the strong women involved from the very inception (I was in the original stage play) that made it such a success: From Lydia Miller and Rhoda Roberts who first approached Louis to write the play, to Rosalba Clemente who first directed it, the cast Lydia, Rhoda and myself and then finally Rachel Perkins who directed the film and my fellow cast: Deb Mailman and Trish Moreton- Thomas. Every one of them gave generously and it shows.”
The screening of Radiance will be introduced by the celebrated young Indigenous playwright and actress Nakkiah Lui (soon to be seen in ABC’s Black Comedy) and will be followed by a conversation with Lui and Maza.
Nakkiah Lui explains: “"Radiance is not just a classic Aboriginal film, it is a seminal Australian classic, that celebrates the complexity and beauty of love between women. One could read it as one of the primary texts of intersectionality within the Australian cannon, but that would limit the effect and path that Radiance has paved through love; for women, the black screen and story. I'm always amazed that as an Aboriginal woman working in the arts, when I watch a work like Radiance and I see the legacy it has left behind, I realise I am riding on the backs of giants.."
Karen Pickering, Girls on Film Festival’s Director, is thrilled that the film could be secured for the festival and remarks: “The original play and story endures largely because of Perkins' stunning vision and direction of the film, and the powerhouse performances of the three main actors. Nearly 15 years before The Sapphires we had three Indigenous women lead an award-winning epic drama that's actually also really funny. We’re thrilled to be revisiting Radiance, and honoured to have Nakkiah Lui and Rachael Maza at GOFF to talk about a movie that I have always loved.”
The Girls On Film Festival is a live mixtape of film, feminism, parties and panels and runs from September 12- 14 at Northcote Town Hall.
Radiance screens at 4pm, Sunday September 14 and tickets are $18/15 at: www.girlsonfilmfestival.com/buy- tickets/