Skip navigation

Warwick Thornton on contributing to a living culture

By Sista Girl Productions, 2009 2:55 minutes

Get Adobe Flash player

Warwick Thornton considers that Australian filmmakers have gained a better understanding of Indigenous identity as a result of the evolving Indigenous screen practice. Thornton’s work is driven by ideas: he must have a reason for making a film before he can begin working on a script. He comes from a cinematography background and prefers to keep the visual details of a film in his head rather than writing them into the script. Stressing the importance of Indigenous filmmakers being open to change and willing to experiment with new ways of doing things, Thornton emphasises the connection between a strong Indigenous creative community and a dynamic Indigenous culture.

Collection Blak Wave

Discussion Points

It took Warwick Thornton two years of thinking and planning before he began to write the script for his short film Nana.

What are the advantages of tossing around an idea for a long time before making it into a film?
Because Nana was such a short film, the length of time Thornton spent planning it may seem disproportionate, but if you only have five minutes to tell a story it needs to be planned with the utmost precision. Nana was also a way for Thornton to work through ideas and strategies for his 2009 feature film, Samson and Delilah.

Warwick Thornton is passionate about the developing strength and future of Indigenous screen culture.

What does he think about the relationship between Indigenous filmmakers and the wider Australian film industry?
In Thornton’s opinion, what responsibilities come with being an Indigenous filmmaker?