Film Fellowship Champions Indigenous Stories
The 2017 fellowship was awarded to filmmaker Amie Batalibasi (Australian Solomon Islander, Feralimae/Kosi), whose award-winning 2016 short film Blackbird shined a light on the little-known history of Australia’s practice of “blackbirding.” She told the story of tens of thousands of Pacific Islanders who were coerced into becoming “sugar slaves” on the country’s sugarcane and cotton farms in the late 1800s. With the fellowship, the Melbourne writer/director received support to adapt that short into a feature-length film and further explore this forgotten history.
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