Trailer of the Day: The Song Keepers

CinefestOZ Film Festival will host the West Australian debut of The Song Keepers.

This Central Australian film will be screening on Aug 25 and 27 at Orana Cinemas Busselton, followed by an exclusive Q&A with director, producer and writer Naina Sen.

In the obscure churches of remote Central Australia, a 140-year musical legacy of ancient Aboriginal languages, German sacred poetry and baroque music is being preserved by four generations of song women. The Song Keepers tells the unknown story of the choral heritage of remote Aboriginal communities. The film follows the 32-strong, Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir as they embark on a joyous three week historical tour of Germany.

Born in New Delhi, India, Naina Sen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, creative producer and video projection artist specialising in cross-cultural storytelling. Most of her work in the past 10 years has been in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and more recently Indonesia, East Timor and India.

From 2008 to 2011, Naina created and operated visual stage projections for renowned Indigenous musician Gurrumul and directed 2010’s Stories Through Song, a 30 minute documentary for PBS featuring Gurrumul. Naina also co-wrote and edited Bulunu Milkarri, for the Songlines to Screen initiative in 2015, which premiered at the Sydney International Film Festival and won Best Language Production at the ImagiNative Film Festival, Toronto.

The Song Keepers is Naina’s debut feature documentary.

The multi-generational Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir contains 32 core members, including two men. The members come from six remote communities throughout central Australia: Hermannsburg, Areyonga, Titjikala, Mutitjulu, Docker River, and Alice Springs. The choir was formed as an amalgamation of various individual community choirs, including the renowned choirs from Ntaria (Hermannsburg), Areyonga and Ernabella.

Their performances include German baroque and Early Romantic hymns, now sung in traditional Aboriginal languages from the Central Desert.

Tickets to The Song Keepers are now on sale and can be purchased from CinefestOZ.com, the CinefestOZ smartphone app and local visitor centres.

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