Smart St. Films Announces National Cinema Release for Legendary Documentary Feature NINGLA-ANA


NINGLA-ANA Trailer from Smart Street Films on Vimeo.

Smart St. Films is pleased to announce the September 30th national cinema release of the fully restored  legendary documentary feature NINGLA-ANA.  

On January 25th 1972 Prime Minister William McMahon declared that under his government land rights would  never be granted to First Nations people. The following night, Michael Anderson, Billy Craigie, Bertie Williams  and Tony Coorey travelled from Redfern to Canberra and stuck a beach umbrella into the ground outside Old  Parliament House and sat under it. They called it the Aboriginal Embassy. They had been made strangers in  their own land, and the pointed irony of an embassy in Canberra was unmistakeable. 

NINGLA-ANA is the inside story of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, the most radical protest action by First Nations  people in their fight for justice. It’s the only film shot inside the Tent Embassy and up close with the people  who created i`t. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Embassy, the film has been remastered in beautiful high  definition. 

Restoration of the documentary has been supervised by filmmaker Haydn Keenan for distributor Smart St. Films. “NINGLA-ANA was on the point of collapse and being lost forever,” he said. “We decided to give crowd  funding a go. Within ten days we’d raised all the money needed, including a generous swag from one Russell  Crowe.” 

NINGLA-ANA was originally screened on tiny screens to audiences on bean bags. Now the film is going out  nationally through Dendy Cinemas, Wallis Cinemas and the Nova. It’s a sign of the changing times. 

Director Alessandro Cavadini was the only filmmaker able to get his camera inside the Embassy and in direct  contact with the people who would create the Aboriginal Medical Service, the Aboriginal Legal Service and the  National Black Theatre. 1972 was a momentous year for Black Australia, with a group of young radicals taking  control and demanding action. Featuring Gary Foley, Paul Coe, Roberta Sykes, Bob Maza, Fred Hollows and Shirley Smith, NINGLA-ANA records a unique period in the struggle for social justice. 

It’s 50 years since those four young men took a stand. What’s improved for First Nations people? Since its  release in 1972, NINGLA-ANA has become a legend itself – an iconic record of a revolutionary time, and a  contemporary reminder that the struggle goes on. 

Press Release

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