Film honouring Quandamooka wins seven awards

REFRACTION:Joshua Walker and the Yulu Burri Ba Dancers filming for award winning film ReFraction Photo: Hing Ang
REFRACTION:Joshua Walker and the Yulu Burri Ba Dancers filming for award winning film ReFraction Photo: Hing Ang

ReFraction, a film on Australian social justice and which pays homage to aboriginal culture via the Quandamooka people has won seven international awards.

The film involves various ethnic communities, including an Italian gypsy, a first-generation Indian-Australian, a Cambodian refugee and the Quandamooka community on North Stradbroke Island. 

“When these communities come together to tell a human story regarding where we have all come from and our journey forwards in search of peace, you know you are in for something special,”  Producer Kaushik Das said.

“The participation of these different ethnic communities made this project one of the most diverse collaborations to have ever been assembled, materialising in the gripping bilingual (English/Bengali) short film, ReFraction.”

Das is joined by Mirko Grillini in creating the film, which was dedicated to  Kaushik’s dying mother.

 Grillini, who is better known for his work in front of the camera (Wanted, Underbelly, Home and Away, Neighbours) developed the story as written by Das into a compelling screenplay and directed this very sentimental piece.

The film is a modern day Australian story that follows an Indigenous Australian man who finds himself embroiled in a life-threatening situation with a stranded asylum seeker from Bangladesh.

 An Emmy Award winning jury panel handed out four awards to the film  at the world’s leading online film festival Top Shorts.  The awards were given for best actor Kaushik Das, best supporting actor Heath Bergersen, best narrative Mirko Grillini  and an honorable mention for director Mirko Grillini.

The film also won three Awards of Excellence at the IndieFEST Awards in the United States.

 In winning an IndieFEST Film Award, ReFraction joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this internationally respected award including Liam Neeson as the narrator of Love Thy Nature and A Path Appears documentary featuring George Clooney and Blake Lively.

One of the awards won by ReFraction was in the social justice and liberation film category for the film’s sensitive treatment of human rights issues affecting the world today.  The film looks at the displacement of indigenous populations and many other populations around the world as the refugee crisis broadens.

The strong indigenous content of the film lead to the creative duo formingits association with one of the most ancient tribes in Australia, the Quandamooka people, who are the traditional owners of North Stradbroke Island.   

“ReFraction is about the spiritual connectivity between life and death and the unshakeable bond to Mother Nature held by the people who lived the earth thousands of years before us.  It’s a story of courage, determination and compassion, where differences are not the enemy and the discovery of each other hearts, leads to the realisation that we are all one.    I’m so pleased to see that ReFraction has received recognition overseas and that through this film, we could showcase internationally one of the most ancient populations of this beautiful country, The Quandamooka People.” Mirko Grillini said.

The creators of this project received a Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grant and were also supported by the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC), Arts Queensland, Redland City Council and the Queensland Government.