Language lives at the heart of culture and serves as a vessel through which traditions, customs, histories, and knowledge travel through space and time. Language is the tool that teaches us to engage with the past, express in the present, and imagine the future. Language serves as a strong means of identification.
These principles inspired the 2021 Mother Tongue Film Festival’s animation playlist, which seeks to empower identification through language. Featuring short animations created by Indigenous filmmakers, or created in collaboration with members of Indigenous communities and arts organizations, this playlist provides a variety of engaging stories sure to inspire those of all ages.
As we experience an ever-increasing engagement with digital media while locked down, we are aware of the need to offer diverse and accurate renderings of the representations and knowledge that are etched into the creation of these media. Inaccurate representations of Indigenous Peoples in the media have riddled film and digital media since the beginning of the film industry. Indigenous communities from around the globe are fighting for their proper self-representation, and many are working to share their stories across generations through the power of film, with animation being a genre most associated with children.
Strengthening distinct Indigenous identity is the central theme of this playlist, directed toward a younger audience and expressed in a range of graphic styles. Through showcasing Indigenous animations, we aim to project Indigenous perspectives with an understanding that welcoming these voices into the home at an early age broadens perspectives, increases knowledge, and brings a greater connection to our surrounding communities.
Directed by Dave Jones | 2006
A young Dhuwa boy of Central Arnhem Land, Australia, is ashamed of his hunting skills and longs to impress his father. While he is full of pity, fairy-like spirits known as the Mimis welcome the boy to their joyful, yet tiresome, underground celebration. When the boy has grown tired and yearns for home, it is his father who finds him and brings him back by singing in the Dalabon language. The boy recognizes becoming a hunter is not the only way to receive his father’s love. This short was created for the ABC Dust Echoes project, which works in collaboration with Indigenous Australian communities from Central Arnhem Land to create beautifully animated Dream Time stories.