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Larissa Behrendt’s ‘Maralinga Tjarutja’ is the 2020 recipient of the annual SDIN Award

‘Karen Ingomar, ‘They take us away them white fellas’, Yulala Arts Centre

Larissa Behrendt’s (Graduate Diploma in Documentary, 2013; Graduate Diploma in Screenwriting, 2012) AACTA Award-winning feature documentary, Maralinga Tjarutja has been announced as this year’s recipient of the annual SDIN Award. The announcement was made by Benjamin Law on the Everyone Included panel as part of the SCREEN FOREVER conference on Wednesday 17th February.

Maralinga Tjarutja was selected by an external panel from a shortlist which included Julie Kalceff’s (Master of Arts (Film and Television) Scriptwriting, 2002), First Day and Thalu, which was co-directed by Dena Curtis (Graduate Diploma (Film & Television) Television Editing, 2002) and Hunter-Page Lochard (Graduate Certificate in Story Development and Screenwriting Fundamentals, 2012), and co-written by Beck Cole (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Documentary, 2001).

The Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network award recognises an Australian based project, producer and/or production company and/or screen organisation that has made a significant contribution through excellence or impact to diversity and inclusion either on or offscreen within the Australian screen industry.

Written and directed by Behrendt, Maralinga Tjarutja is a production of alumni-run company Blackfella Films and premiered on ABC TV and iview in May 2020. Maralinga Tjarutja has since earned Behrendt the 2020 AACTA Award for Best Direction in Nonfiction Television and composer Antony Partos (Bachelor of Arts (Film and Television) Sound, 1990) a nomination for Best Music for Documentary at the Australian Guild of Screen Composers’ 2020 Screen Music Awards.

The documentary shines a spotlight on the 60,000 year connection to country of the Maralinga Tjarutja people who survived dispossession to enable atomic testing between 1953 and 1963. Maralinga Tjarutja gives voice to the Maralinga people to tell their own story of cultural strength in the face of aggressive colonisation.

The panel agreed the project displayed a genuine, ethical and tender engagement with its subject matter and an importantly inclusive and collaborative approach.

SDIN members include all Australian broadcasters, state and national screen agencies, guilds and business associations as well as MediaRING, FreeTV and AFTRS. SDIN members commit to supporting greater inclusiveness around workforce, talent development, training and partnerships. The SDIN Charter and a full list of members is available here.

Find out more about Maralinga Tjarutja here.

Learn more about the 2020 SDIN award here.

Maralinga Tjarutja
Writer/director: Larissa Behrendt (Graduate Diploma in Documentary, 2013; Graduate Diploma in Screenwriting, 2012)
Executive producer: Kelrick Martin (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Documentary, 2002)
Line producer: Fotini Manikakis (Specialist Extension Course Certificate Producing, 1995)
Composer: Antony Partos (Bachelor of Arts (Film & Television) Sound, 1990)
Business affairs: Blackfella Films (Bachelor of Arts (Film & Television) Producing, 1995)
Dialogue editor/re-recording mixer: Diego Ruiz (Graduate Diploma in Sound, 2011)