SA produced Indigenous film Marungka Tjalatjunu (“Dipped in Black”) makes movie history at Berlin International Film Festival

South Australian produced film Marungka tjalatjunu (“Dipped in Black”) makes history winning international film awards at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Image credit: Switch productions

After winning a Teddy award for best queer short film last Friday, South Australian produced film Marungka Tjalatjunu (“Dipped in Black”) has also received a Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film) at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival.

Making history, it’s the first ever short film to win both awards.

This year’s Berlin jury was headed by Twilight actor Kristen Stewart and the selections reflected her famously good taste in movies.

“We feel like we’re not walking on the ground, we’re that elated. To win both awards like this is out of control, most short films only get 3-4 screenings during the Berlin Film Festival and so far we’ve had 10,” co-producer Patrick Graham says.

The film is made by writers and directors Derik Lynch and Matthew Thorne, and producer Patrick Graham from Switch Productions.

The storyline of the film follows the journey of Adelaide-based Yankunytjatjara man and co-director Derik Lynch’s journey from the oppression of white city life in Adelaide, back home to his remote Anangu Community.

It’s the first time an initiated Anangu man has danced in Drag on sacred Inma ground in the 60,000+ years of culture.

“Derik’s family were incredible, they were open to us as filmmakers and put a lot of trust in us for such a personal story,” Graham says.

Marungka Tjalatjunu came about from a chance meeting between Matthew and Derik at the Adelaide Festival in 2018. They then carried out the project alongside the others in the industry between 2019-2022.

“I don’t know if we were originally ready to make the film, we were all still getting to know each other and create ourselves as a family. But with all the push back of timelines due to COVID and natural disasters, we deepened our relationships and Derik became more comfortable telling his story,” Graham says.

The award-winning film was supported by the South Australian Film Corporation, the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund and Panavision.

The major award winners for the Berlin International Film Festival included Nicolas Philibert’s “On the Adamant” winning the Golden Bear for Best Film and Christian Petzold’s “Afire” scoring the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize.

For a full list of the 2023 Berlin Film Festival winners, click here.

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