Told through the eyes of eight protagonists, We Are Still Here traverses 1000 years from past, present, and future to explore stories of kinship, loss, grief, and resilience.
From the beginning of time, in a Utopian world, a traditional fisherwoman and her daughter are fishing when they pull up an ominous ship, foreshadowing stormy seas and tragedy to follow.
Forward to 1862, a British Settler threatens an Aboriginal man to lead him to safety, whilst in New Zealand, tribes cocooned deep in the forest are preparing for a terrifying future. In 1915, men from the Pacific were sent to support the British Colony in World War One fighting for a land that isn’t theirs, with the uncertainty of ever seeing home again. Flashing forward into a dystopian future, a young child must navigate her way through a dangerous underground marketplace to save her grandfather and survive.
Four writer/director teams were chosen from both Australia and New Zealand to helm the project. From the former, there was Beck Cole and Samuel Nuggin-Paynter; Danielle MacLean; Tracey Rigney and Dena Curtis, while from New Zealand, there was Tim Worrall and Richard Curtis; Renae Maihi; Miki Magasiva and Mario Gaoa; and Tiraroa Reweti and Chantelle Burgoyne.
Cole served as supervising director on the Australia/New Zealand co-production, working closely with editor Roland Gallois to weave the stories together. Mitchell Stanley and Toni Stowers produced for No Coincidence Media, alongside Mia Henry-Tierney for Mārama Productions.
Production investment and development support was provided by Screen Australia’s Indigenous department and New Zealand Film Commission, in association with Screen Queensland, Film Victoria, Screen Territory, and Te Māngai Pāho.
We Are Still Here will be released in cinemas across Australia on February 16 via Dark Matter.