Audrey Napanangka
Audrey Napanangka
Audrey Napanangka

Penelope McDonald’s Unmissable Documentary Audrey Napanangka to Screen on NITV This November


National Indigenous Television (NITV) is proud to announce the premiere of feature-length, intimate and expansive documentary Audrey Napanangka on Sunday 12 November at 8.30pm.   

Filmed over 10 years, the program tells the story of Warlpiri matriarch, artist and actor Audrey and her Sicilian partner Santo as they navigate through colonial systems to keep the children they care for together in the Central Australian Desert.   

Audrey was born at a time when the world was changing for people in Central Australia. Colonisation fused two worlds together, modifying Audrey’s life forever. Today, as a grandmother and great grandmother, Audrey raises young people with her partner Santo, to walk in many worlds, by centering culture, language, and Law in their lives alongside mainstream education.  

The intimate documentary showcases a heartwarming story about the power of kinship and family and is made on the lands of the Arrernte people of Mparntwe, the Warlpiri people of Mount Theo and Yuendumu, and the lands of the Anmatyerr people.  

Documentary subject and collaborator Audrey Napanangka, said: “I am happy to share my story so that people can learn about my life. For me family is everything.” 

NITV Head of Commissions, Marissa McDowell, said: “We are thrilled to share this powerful documentary with audiences, delving into Audrey’s philosophy that family and love are everything. We learn about Audrey’s cultural obligations and see that life is not always easy for Audrey and those around her, but family and love prevail.” 

Audrey Napanangka is produced by Penelope McDonald (Robbie Hood), Trisha Morton-Thomas (History Bites BackOccupation: Native) and Rachel Clements (History Bites BackOccupation: Native, Finke: There and Back).  

Screen Australia Head of Documentary, Alex West, said: “Ten years of dedication and heart have brought us the incredible journey of Audrey Napanangka. This remarkable documentary showcases the enduring power of kinship and family in the face of adversity. Audrey’s story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of embracing culture, language, and love.” 

Director and co-producer, Penelope McDonald of Chili Films, said: “It has been a great privilege to have walked beside Audrey over many years as we created this documentary. This is a story of love, courage, and resilience, of an extraordinary family, recorded over a decade, across generations. I thank Audrey and her family immensely for opening their home and sharing their lives. This story from the centre, the beating heart of Australia, is more important and relevant to us now than ever.” 

Screen Territory Director Jennie Hughes, said: “We are proud supporters of Indigenous storytelling. It is vital that we continue to support our Territorian filmmakers and the development of documentaries such as Audrey Napanangka, bringing powerful and diverse Territory stories to Australian audiences .”    

Audrey Napanangka is a Chili Films/Brindle Films production for NITV. Principal production funding from Screen Australia in association with Screen Territory.  

Watch Audrey Napanangka on NITV on Sunday 12 November at 8.30pm. The documentary will be available to stream for free on SBS On Demand with captions in English and subtitles in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese and Korean. It will also be available with audio description for blind and low vision audiences.  

Press Release

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