Stephen Page | Australia | 2016 | 84 MIN | Feature
Thursday 20 October 2016 | 9:30 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3
In this breathtaking and visually mesmerizing film, first-time feature director and celebrated choreographer Stephen Page and his Sydney-based Bangarra Dance Theatre come together to tell the story of Djali, a young Indigenous man (a revelatory performance by rising star Hunter Page-Lochard) who sets off on a journey of initiation and understanding of what it means to balance ancient tradition with the modern, urban world. Seamlessly weaving dance and story – and a compelling soundscape by composer David Page – this cinematic journey begins with his birth and follows him as he enters the complicated and often painful world of a colonial Australia’s turbulent and violent past, which resulted in a desperate present day. In this richly layered film, we become witness to Djali’s struggle to find his place as he awakens the powerful spiritual guiding force within him. Spear is a rare work of art and one not to missed.
In 1991 Stephen Page was appointed artistic director of the Sydney-based, internationally acclaimed Bangarra Dance Theatre and has developed a signature body of works that have become milestones in Australian performing arts. He continues to reinvent Indigenous storytelling both within Bangarra and through collaborations with other performing arts companies, including directing the Indigenous sections for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
John Harvey is a rising producer in the Australian film scene. In addition to producing Spear, he has produced numerous short films in the past few years, including Blackbird, which is screening this year at imagineNATIVE.