Spark Film Initiative 20/21

For the 4th consecutive year, DIFF and Screen Territory proudly present the Spark Film Initiative showcase, a collection of commissioned short films by local emerging talent. This year, the theme proposed to the teams is Intergenerational relationships.
For the first time, Spark is joined by broadcast partner ABC, so the films can be enjoyed nation-wide.
Congratulations to the filmmakers and everyone involved!

World Premiere: Saturday 8 May 2021
Deckchair Cinema - 7pm (Gates open at 6 pm)


A Dancer for all Seasons

Dir. Penelope Paton | Prod. Phillip Tarl Denson

A stirring tribute to a choreographer, his relationship with his dancers and the rise of Aboriginal ballet.

A Dancer for all Seasons intimately documents choreographer Gary Lang, the highly respected director of the NT Dance Company. Set to the Darwin Symphony Orchestra’s rendition of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons recomposed by Max Richter, the film explores the seasons of a dancer, intergenerational relationships and movement as medicine through Gary’s longstanding relationship with his lead dancer Cathy Young, and up-and-coming dancer, Millie Hunt.
A Dancer for all Seasons is a moving and insightful documentary about culture, craft and the healing quality of dance.

Uncle Vic

Dir. Emma Masters | Prod. Weave Films

Nothing gets between Vic Ludwig and his love of football - especially his age. The 92-year old Northern Territory legend’s dedication to the game and his beloved St Mary’s Football Club has earned him the title of the longest-ever serving club president in the history of the Australian Football League.

The man known as the “godfather of the green and gold” has long retired, but he still spends much of his time with the club - cheering teams on, watching for talent and volunteering at events.
He says the club motto From Little Saints Big Saints Grow is the secret to its success - and the under-18 girls winning streak shows how nurturing young players pays dividends.

Desert Metal Dreaming

Dir. Nicholas (Pirate) Rossiter, Mara Jean Quinn | Prod. Pirate, Chili Films

Chris Wallace is the softly spoken frontman of the loudest band in the desert.
Aunty Kathleen Wallace is an accomplished artist, author and storyteller. She raised Chris on Dreamtime stories.
From humble beginnings to sold out shows around the country, Southeast Desert Metal are bringing Arrernte culture to the world.


Dir. Naina Sen | Prod. Naina Sen

What if every time you looked in the mirror, you didn’t know where the colour of your skin came from? What if for most of your life, you didn’t know half of your history?

Poleng tells the deeply intimate and incredibly resilient story of Jocelyn Tribe. Told through contemporary movement, Balinese dance and the living memory of archival photographs, Poleng explores the simultaneous presence and absence of intergenerational relationships as Jocelyn navigates the many layers and complexities of her biracial identity as an adult.
Through non-linear reflection and at times excruciating honesty, Poleng uses movement and dance as a metaphor for all the absences in Jocelyn’s life but also the possibilities of what’s to come, as she continues to understand the pieces of herself and connect with a culture that’s in her blood.

Since 2017, the initiative has supported the production of 13 original short films which have premiered at DIFF, quickly becoming one of the festival’s most anticipated event.
The films produced this year will also receive national exposure thanks to ABC joining the initiative as broadcast partner.
In accordance with this year’s selection criteria, each team has attached a local musician to produce the soundtrack, and the stories will link to the theme ”Intergenerational relationships”.
SPARK is a joint initiative between DIFF and Screen Territory.