David-Gulpilil and Cameron Wallaby in Satellite Boy (20121) eOne
Satellite Boy (2012) eOne

ACMI presents

Satellite Boy

Catriona McKenzie | Australia | | PG

Catriona McKenzie's directorial feature debut is a heartfelt and uplifting story of a young boy's journey to save his home – and reclaim his spirit.

A beautiful and uplifting adventure. An inspiring, spirited portrait of cross-generational bonding and the intersection of ancient and modern Aboriginal culture.

Toronto International Film Festival

Home for Pete – a 12-year-old Aboriginal boy who lives with his grandfather, Old Jagamarra (David Gulpilil) – is an abandoned drive-in in the outback West Australian town of Wyndham. When it is threatened with demolition, Pete decides to travel to the city to take on the would-be developers. Joined by his friend Kalmain, the boys journey through ancient Kimberley country. When they lose their bearings, Pete must draw on the traditional skills his Jubbi sought to teach him. Curator's Note

Curator's note

The first feature film granted permission by traditional owners to shoot ‘on the ground’ in the World Heritage-listed region of the Bungle Bungles in Purnululu National Park, in the Kimberley, Catriona McKenzie’s affecting rites-of-passage work sets its simple, uncluttered narrative against an epic though unforgiving landscape that the film’s young protagonist must learn to reconnect with in order to survive. A reluctant student of the bush skills his grandfather has tried to pass on to him, Pete’s derailed journey to the city becomes a catalyst; a quest in which he must draw on traditional lore to prevail but also to reconnect to spirit and culture. McKenzie has described aspects of the film’s location shoot as “boot-camp filmmaking” but the spare, allegorical story her film transmits – lensed by acclaimed cinematographer Geoffrey Simpson – movingly affirms the importance of familial bonds, friendship and cultural identity.

– Roberta Ciabarra; Curator, Film

Format: DCP
Language: English
Source: eOne
Courtesy: eOne
Duration: 90 min


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90 mins



Mild themes and coarse language


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