Founded by Wurundjeri (Woiwurrung) / Yorta Yorta screen creative and actor Tony Briggs, and producer Damienne Pradier, Typecast is a collaborative film, television and events production house. They create, advocate and originate, connecting audiences with diverse stories.
One of their projects is BIRRARANGGA Film Festival which celebrates Indigenous films from across the globe. First Nations relationships to the image as a form of expression, particularly in Australia, is connected to thousands of years of cultural practices. This festival honours that history and acknowledges the contemporary currency of the moving image, of film, as an expression of the human experience in relation to our natural surroundings.
The program from 2023 runs from 23—28th March and will present over 90 beautiful, raw, inspiring and heartbreaking feature length and short films from across the world.
How did Typecast begin?
It began through frustration, and off the back of a discussion about the need to be more ‘hands on’ in the telling of stories that come from the Aboriginal communities. There was, and still is a strong desire for Indigenous creatives to have more agency over their cultural knowledge when it comes to the stage and screen. And we thought we’d try to be part of the solution in our own small way.
BIRRARANGGA is the Woiwurrung word for ‘River location’ which Wurundjeri/Yorta Yorta Elder, Aunty Zeta Thomson has given her blessing to use as a name for the Festival. Can you tell us more about what this means as a vision for the Festival?
We are all connected by the water in one way or another, all over the world, and we thought that considering the location of where our films have been screening since the beginning, it was the perfect word to use.
What excites you about this year’s program?
It has fresh energy; a large part comes from the filmmakers and what they have to say to the world. Every festival, the message is something that always resonates with First Peoples culture from this country, and that is always exciting is the knowing that the same fight that has been constantly fought on these lands, is the same one being fought thousands of miles from these shores, but with precisely the same intensity and message, that is, our culture is our spirit, and our spirit won’t be broken. It’s exhilarating to see this reflected on the big screen every year, no matter what genre. It fills you with pride, and that feeling is exciting.
Kyindoo Wilam (Learning Place) is a selection of animations and short films for children, teenagers and adults. Can you tell us more about what to expect from this screening?
This screening is a beautiful shorts package where parents can bring their children to sit and learn about Indigenous cultures across the world. They are a mixture of animations and short docs that are kid friendly. We do the kids shorts packages every festival especially for younger audiences to engage with Indigenous made content.
What does a day at Collingwood Yards look like to you?
Sitting in front of our computers, meetings on the phone, occasional conversations with other tenants that inspire our creativity.
BIRRARANGGA Film Festival is on from 23—28 March across various locations in Naarm. Tickets on sale now.
BIRRARANGGA Film Festival is currently looking for volunteers. If you’re passionate about the moving image and First Peoples culture please get in contact here.