ACMI in association with AIDC presents
Ablaze + Q&A
Featuring a live Q&A with filmmakers Tiriki Onus and Alec Morgan
Yorta Yorta/Wiradjuri opera singer Tiriki Onus uncovers the story behind a silent film made by his grandfather, civil rights activist Bill Onus, thought to be the first Aboriginal filmmaker.
Ablaze is one of the most essential documentaries about Australian culture in recent years. An absolute must see.
When filmmaker Alec Morgan came across a black-and-white silent film reel at Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive, he had reason to believe it was made by William ‘Bill’ Onus, the revered, trailblazing activist whose work changed the course of history in Australia. After getting in touch with Bill’s grandson, opera singer Tiriki Onus, the two embarked on a years-long journey to uncover the story behind the film reel.
From just ten minutes of silent film, Tiriki uncovers decades of history about his grandfather, and what life was like for Aboriginal people in the 1940s and throughout the 20th century.
Following a caravan fire in the 1960s, Bill Onus’ entire catalogue of films were thought forever lost. With Ablaze, Tiriki Onus presents a necessary reappraisal of Australia’s history, and cements his grandfather’s status as one of this country’s most important filmmakers.
An exhibit on Bill Onus’ influence on Australian cinema is on display in ACMI’s centrepiece exhibition, The Story of the Moving Image.
Join us at 2pm before the screening for an in-gallery talk on Bill Onus with ACMI First Nations Curator Louana Sainsbury.
Curated by ACMI Film Programs
Themes of racial discrimination
Bill Onus in The Story of The Moving Image
READ: Ablaze: Tiriki Onus resurfaces vital Indigenous history through a film about his grandfather
Paul Dalgarno, University of Melbourne Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, Aug 2021
READ: Q&A with Alec Morgan and Tiriki Onus
MIFF Premiere Fund, Aug 2021
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