Emu Runner will screen at the Toronto International Film Festival in the Discovery Program.
The feature debut from producer/writer/director Imogen Thomas, who wrote the film in consultation with Aboriginal Ngemba woman Frayne Barker (Thomas and Barker collaborated on the 2008 short film Mixed Bag), from Brewarrina NSW where the film is set and shot, Emu Runner is about a nine-year-old Indigenous girl, Gem (newcomer Rhae-Kye Waites), full of wonder, living in a remote Australian town and dealing with the unexpected death of her mother. When she befriends a wild emu, she becomes connected to her mother’s traditional totem animal, and the deep cultural roots of her Ngemba people and country.
Brewarrina is a small town in northwestern NSW, positioned near the banks of the Barwon River, and home to a large Indigenous community. It is the traditional land of the Ngemba, Murrawarri, Ualari, Weilwan and Baranbinja people.
The film’s impressive cast features Wayne Blair as Gem’s father, and Maurial Spearim (Wentworth), Georgia Blizzard (Home and Away), Rob Carlton and impressive newcomers Mary Waites, Letisha Boney, Lindsay Waites, Rodney McHughes and Stella Carter.
“Emu Runner is a film made with and for the Brewarrina community. Many hands and a lot of hard work have been involved in the creation of Emu Runner. The process of making the film has been equally important as the end result. That the film has captured the imagination of the TIFF programmers, is an achievement that everyone that has collaborated on the film can be very proud about. We are delighted to have this opportunity to share this story with the world,” said Imogen Thomas.
In Australia, Emu Runner will premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival on Sunday, October 14, 2018