ARDS wins big at national media awards
ARDS has won a major prize at the inaugural First Nations Media Awards held in Sydney recently.
The ARDS produced and directed Ŋambi won best short documentary, beating entries from much larger media organisations like the ABC.
Ŋambi (“flint” in the Wagilak language of southern Arnhem Land) is a valuable item in the Yolŋu economy for its use in spear making. It is part of the sacred law for Wagilak people, found in their home country Ŋilipitji, and the story is central to the lives of dozens of clans and communities across Arnhem Land and beyond.
The film follows Roy Wuyngumbi Ashley, the custodian of the Songline for Ŋambi and Ŋilipitji, as he shares an all-encompassing story of Wagilak identity, culture and law.
Ŋambi’s director Mark Watjana Ashley has achieved what many famous directors have not, by winning a major award for his directorial debut. Mark said that he decided to make Ŋambi because it was vital to share this story with Yolŋu and Balanda.
“Our old people have passed and I was worried this knowledge was going to be lost,” Mark said.
“I was lucky to have the custodian tell us these stories so we can pass it onto future generations.”
ARDS was also nominated in the Best Language/Culture Production section for Wata Brumalala (Cyclone Culture), showing the great talent of Yolŋu film makers.
Run by First Nations Media Australia, the peak body for First Nations not-for-profit broadcasting, media and communications, the awards celebrate the creativity, talent and professionalism of Australia’s First Nations Media workers and organisations.