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NAIDOC Week Spotlight: Shania Richards

08 July 2024

Every year the South Australian Film Corporation celebrates NAIDOC Week by highlighting the work of First Nations screen creatives living and working in South Australia.

This year we are showcasing seven First Nations South Australian creatives who are currently in the midst of writing original short film scripts as part of phase one of the SAFC’s First Nations Short Film Program.

The program is well underway, with the writers participating in an intensive weekend workshop last month with experienced First Nations filmmakers and mentors Pauline Clague, Dena Curtis and Aaron Fa’aoso, and experienced producer Paul Ryan of Adelaide Studios based 57 Films.

Once their polished scripts are completed each writer will be eligible to team up with a director and producer to apply for phase two of the program, and have the opportunity to take their short film into production.

Find out more about the First Nations Short Film Program here.

In this article we meet Wongutha, Mirning, Barngarla, Ndaju, Gubrun and Bulang creative Shania Richards.

How long have you been a writer and/or in the screen industry? How did you get started?

I’ve been secretly dabbling my whole life, but I didn’t think I could do it properly until the pandemic hit. That’s when I met some very lovely mentors who believed in me. I got an internship at ABC’s Behind the News and felt more encouraged to be a proper storyteller.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from the SAFC’s First Nations Short Film Program so far? 

The only limitations with your creations are what you put on yourself. So don’t be scared to experiment and play with your script writing as it grows and evolves! 

What can you tell us about the script you’re working on? What has inspired you?

My script showcases the need to honour cultural heritage and be respectful on country. It’s called Echoes of the Ancestors, based on a story I wrote called Goonoolyoo Moolga Widyooroo. I was inspired by my tribes and bloodline to create this.

What does NAIDOC Week mean to you?

For me personally it’s a time when I’m allowed to be my full, beautiful blak self with no apologies, honour my ancestor’s sacrifices, acknowledge the truth, and manifest hope, joy, and unconditional love for the future of our Mob and all our descendants. 

Read our other 2024 NAIDOC Week Spotlight article on emerging Ngarrindjeri creative Leesha Cole.

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