Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra snapped up in pre-sale deal

Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra snapped up in pre-sale deal


ABC Commercial has announced a pre-sale of the highly acclaimed feature length documentary Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra (HD1 x 90’ & HD1 x 60’) to Sweden’s public broadcaster for their SVT2 and SVT Play platforms.

Already winning several awards in its home country, Firestarter marks Bangarra Dance Theatre’s 30th anniversary. Taking us through the company’s birth and spectacular growth, the film recognises Bangarra’s founders and also tells the story of how three young Aboriginal brothers — Stephen, David and Russell Page — turned the newly born dance group into a First Nations cultural powerhouse.

But as the story reveals, the company’s international success came at a huge personal cost. Through the eyes of the brothers and company alumni, Firestarter explores the loss and reclaiming of culture, the burden of intergenerational trauma, and – crucially – the power of art as a messenger for social change and healing.

This captivating film features a combination of intimate observational material, combined with candid interviews and a treasure trove of archival footage – revealing the indigenous dance company’s incredible rise and triumph against the odds.

ABC Commercial’s Head of Content Sales & Distribution, Jessica Ellis said “We are incredibly proud to be partnering with SVT on this exceptional documentary. The interest surrounding the program prior to its distribution launch at Avant Première has been phenomenal. Audiences from film festival screenings have embraced and celebrated this stunning addition to ABC Commercial’s Arts slate”.

In Films’ Managing Director and Executive Producer, Ivan O’Mahoney said: “Bangarra Dance Theatre is one of Australia’s best loved performing arts companies, with a huge following overseas, especially in North America and Europe. Bangarra tell vital stories – both ancient and modern – of Indigenous Australia in an accessible, beautiful, way. It has been a privilege to make the film.”

Produced by In Films and directed by Wayne Blair (The Sapphires) and Nel Minchin (Matilda & Me, Making Muriel), Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra won Best Documentary at the 2020 AACTA Awards and both Best Documentary and the inaugural Change Award at the 2020 Adelaide Film Festival.

Set to perform strongly on the global festival circuit, Firestarter will have its international theatrical premiere on 28 Feb 2021 at The Pan African Film + Arts Festival in Los Angeles. It will premiere on SVT2 in mid-2021.