Screen Australia and NITV announce six shorts funded via No Ordinary Black initiative

'Finding Jedda'.

Screen Australia and NITV have unveiled the six projects that will share in more than $600,000 of production funding under the No Ordinary Black short film initiative.

Aimed at bringing First Nations stories to the screen, No Ordinary Black is run in partnership Screen NSW, Screen Territory, Screen Queensland and Screenwest.

The program brought together eight teams for a virtual development workshop in July last year, from which six successful projects were selected to go into production for NITV.

Screen Australia’s CEO Graeme Mason said the agency was proud to support the creators in taking the next step in their careers.

“Each of the six teams has created the kind of bold and ambitious stories that are exactly what we are looking for, with captivating scripts that explore a range of themes, including family, identity, childhood, belonging, and adventure,” he said.

NITV head of commissioning and programming Kyas Hepworth said they had been “blown away” by the submissions.

“NITV are focused on bringing entertaining First Nation stories that resonate to our broad audiences,” she said

“These exciting six new short films reflect our diverse creatives’ experiences and distinct voices.

“It’s exciting to be a part of the future careers of these talented filmmakers, and we can’t wait to see these films come to fruition.”

The short films that will air on NITV in 2022 are:

  • 6LACK1DZ: A coming-of-age story from writer/director Meyne Wyatt and producers Taryne Laffar and Jodie Bell. Shot in Wyatt’s hometown of Kalgoorlie, the film centres on a man who returns to his hometown to see his dying mother, and recounts a boyhood memory of his first day at school in this rough and tough town. This project is also supported by Screenwest. 
  • Blackfellas Who Can’t Dance: A comedy-drama from writer/director Enoch Mailangi and producer Majhid Heath. This story follows Nathan, who falls in love at a gym but soon finds his love interest is fundamentally different, and the two dance around their desires. This project is also supported by Screen NSW.
  • Finding Jedda: The story follows two girls who go head-to-head for the role of a lifetime, in a reimagining of the 1954 auditions for the iconic Australian film Jedda. Writer/director Tanith Glynn-Maloney teams up with executive producers Dan Lake and Meg O’Connell. This project is also supported by Screen Territory.
  • Mudskipper: Martha, a Torres Strait Islander woman works tirelessly in a laundromat loading machines and folding washing, ready for the collection of her boss. When a mysterious visitor arrives, Martha is reminded of the life she has left behind. The creative team features writer/director John Harvey, writer Walter Waia and producer Gillian Moody. This project is also supported by Screen Queensland.
  • Shiny One: A comedy from writer/director Viviana Petyarre, producer Tanith Glynn-Maloney and executive producers Dan Lake and Meg O’Connell. The film centres on a youngfella named Wenye, who leaves his remote community to pursue a dream vision calling him to the big smoke to find his pot of gold. This project is also supported by Screen Territory.
  • The Lost Crystal of Jessica’s Room: Two children who play a game where they use a treasure map to find a crystal in their backyard, but the crystal is not what is seems. Writer/director Gary Hamaguchi teams up with producer Jodie Bell, with whom he previously collaborated on Saving Seagrass. This project is also supported by Screenwest.