Inaugural Yaktunga Indigenous Film Festival to Showcase First Nations Talent on Peramangk Country

Inaugural Yaktunga Indigenous Film Festival to Showcase First Nations Talent on Peramangk Country

Dark Before Dawn Productions is set to host the first-ever Yaktunga Indigenous Film Festival on Sunday, July 14, the concluding day of NAIDOC Week. This significant event will take place at Wallis Cinemas in Mt Barker, South Australia, on the historic land of the Peramangk people. Inaugural Yaktunga Indigenous Film Festival to Showcase First Nations Talent on Peramangk Country

Celebrating Indigenous Stories and Filmmakers

The festival is the brainchild of Travis Akbar, a Wongutha man who grew up on Wirangu Country. Akbar envisioned the festival as a platform to celebrate Indigenous stories and provide a space for the local mob on Peramangk Country.

“I wanted to make sure that I’m contributing to the community there and being a positive presence,” Akbar said. He hopes that the festival’s success will pave the way for a more extensive, week-long event in the future.

Community Support and Funding

The Yaktunga Indigenous Film Festival is made possible through the generous support of the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA), Dicentium Films, Mt Barker District Council, and Australian Regional Film Services.

Festival Program

The festival will kick off with an introduction by Akbar and a traditional Welcome to Country from Courtney Hunter-Hebberman.

Session One – Drama (M15+)

The first session will feature a selection of powerful short films, including ‘Aboriginal Warrior’ and ‘Tambo,’ culminating in the main feature, ‘Heart of the Man,’ directed by Meanjin filmmaker David Cook.

‘Heart of the Man’ tells the story of aspiring boxer Chris Wundurra (played by Parker Little), who struggles under the shadow of his father, former boxing champion Sammy Wundurra (played by David Cook). The film explores themes of identity, legacy, and the search for a path away from violence.

A Q&A session will follow the screenings, featuring writer/director David Cook, actor Brenton Watts, and producer Nara Wilson.

“Tambo is a film that I made on Peramangk Country, so I wanted to make sure that the Peramangk and Adelaide Hills mob had a chance to see the film I made on their country,” Akbar explained. “Aboriginal Warrior is about a boxer, but it’s more of a documentary about being strong in your identity.”

Session Two – Genre (Thriller/Horror, M15+)

After a one-hour intermission for attendees to enjoy food and conversation, the second session will delve into the thriller and horror genres. This session includes the Canadian First Nations short film ‘Don’t Hold Grudges’ and ‘The Getaway,’ which won Best First Nations Film at the 2024 SASA Awards. A feature film, yet to be announced, will conclude the session.

Akbar highlighted that these genre films, while not strictly aligned with the theme of identity, showcase the diversity and creativity of First Nations filmmakers globally.

Future Aspirations

Akbar is optimistic about the festival’s future and its potential to become an annual event. “Time will tell,” he said, hoping for a successful inaugural run and positive feedback from the community.

The Yaktunga Indigenous Film Festival promises to be a compelling celebration of Indigenous culture, creativity, and storytelling, offering a rich and immersive experience for all attendees.


  • David Doyle (Image: DestinationNSW)
  • Margaret Djarrbalabal Malibirr (Image: DestinationNSW)

Event Details:

  • Date: Sunday, July 14
  • Location: Wallis Cinemas, Mt Barker, South Australia, Peramangk Country
  • Opening Event: Thursday, June 27, at Artbank Sydney

The National Indigenous Cultural Centre (NICC) is an Indigenous home.
We provide Indigenous products, music, art and news.
If you want Indigenous gifts and merchandise, bush tucker food at your next event or Indigenous entertainment at your next party, expo or conference, feel free to contact us!

Visit our page:
Tony Clemenger.
Chief Executive Officer.
Tel: 0419431649.
Level 1 397 Chapel Street South Yarra 3141.


Write a comment