Presented by BIRRARANGGA Film Festival

The Making of The White Girl: In conversation with Tony Birch, Tracey Rigney and Tony Briggs

Unclassified (15+)

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15–28 Mar 2021

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Tony Birch, Tracey Rigney and Tony Briggs discuss the upcoming film adaptation of Birch's 2019 novel The White Girl.

The White Girl is a black and white story about Australian colonialism's malevolent legacies and the courage, strength and dignity of Indigenous resistance. It's a story about strong women, with whom Birch's life has been blessed.

About the guests

Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of three novels: the bestselling The White Girl, winner of the 2020 NSW Premier's Award for Indigenous Writing, and shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Prize; Ghost River, winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Indigenous Writing; and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2012. In 2017 he was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award. Tony Birch is also an activist, historian and essayist.

Tracey Rigney

Tracey Rigney is a Wotjobaluk and Ngarrindjeri woman from Victoria. Her first film was Endangered, a half-hour documentary that screened on SBS in 2006. It has appeared in the Melbourne International Film Festival 2005 (highly commended emerging filmmaker honorable mention), and other film festivals nationally and internationally. Her directing credits include A Chance Affair (web series, 2018), Man Real (short film, 2015), Abalone (short film, 2012), Imaginative (Best Short Drama, 2013), The Sapphires (Director’s Attachment, 2012). Her writing credits include Elders (2019), The Warriors (2017), Man Real (2015), Abalone (2012) and Endangered (2005). Tracey is part of the ‘Attagirl’ Initiative with The White Girl co-writing with Tony Briggs, and this will be her feature film directorial debut.

Tony Briggs

Tony Briggs is a Yorta Yorta/Wurundjeri Stage and Screen Creative – Actor, Writer, Director and Producer – based in Melbourne, Victoria. He is the Artistic Director of Birrarangga Film Festival and the creator of Blak Masterclasses and Labs for emerging Indigenous screen practitioners. As the creator and writer of the hit feature film The Sapphires, premiering at the Cannes Film Festival 2012, Tony received two AWGIE awards whilst the film won 11 of 12 categories at AACTA 2013. Tony also wrote The Sapphires Stage Play, having sell-out seasons at the MTC and Belvoir, winning two Helpmann Awards. Tony is co-originator, executive producer and writer of the eight-part TV series The Warriors (2016). As an actor of over 20 years, he holds many credits to his name including feature roles in The Slap (2010), Broken Shore (2013), Cleverman (2015), Seven Types of Ambiguity (2017) and Rake (2018). He is currently co-writing the feature film, The White Girl, an adaptation of award-winning novel by Tony Birch, while also developing his high-end TV series Eden and several other projects. He directed the short film, Elders premiering at Berlinale, imagineNATIVE, Sydney Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, and many Festivals around the world.

Event duration

90 mins


Unclassified (15+)

Restricted to persons 15 and over unless accompanied by an adult

BIRRARANGGA Film Festival 2021 program

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