Audrey Napanangka doco coming to the Coffs Coast

Audrey Napanangka brings one of her paintings to the edit suite to sell.

DOCUMENTARY editor Jane St Vincent Welch, who lives in Bellingen, proudly worked on a film that is coming on tour to Sawtell and Coffs Harbour cinemas in mid-June.

The film is called Audrey Napanangka and will be accompanied by director Penny McDonald and Audrey, the star of the doco.

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Filmed over a ten-year period, the doco shows the inside life of Audrey and her husband Santo in the town of Alice Springs, where she brought up more than 35 kids.

“I really enjoyed editing Audrey Napanangka, because the purely observational material had been shot over ten years, so we had all this great footage of Audrey, her husband Santo and the kids she brought up in Alice Springs,” Jane told News Of The Area.

“We ended up focusing on four of the children.

“We also see all the challenges that Audrey has had to overcome to keep her house and life together, as well as keeping her painting career going.”

Audrey is also connected strongly to her Walpiri culture and speaks it fluently.

“Her Italian husband Santo was also an amazing character who had a VHS camera with which he had shot lots of family events including a trip with Audrey back to his home in Sicily to meet his mother and grandfather in the 1980s.


“So, there were a lot of themes and characters to wrangle into a cohesive story,” said Jane.

“It was one of the more complex films I have worked on.

“James Bradley, a fab editor, came in for a month at the end to finish a final cut as NITV had issues with some of the more controversial footage,” she said.

The main message of the film is to reveal the inside workings of an ordinary family in Alice Springs, that shows the struggles the family face to fit into the modern world and institutions whilst holding onto culture.

“People can watch this non-narrated film to see how disadvantaged first nations people cope with the challenges of life today with humour and integrity.

“It has some very funny moments.”

Jane hopes the documentary will answer some questions and “enlighten the audience about the complex causes of the unrest that has featured in the news about Alice Springs over the past few months”.

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The doco is showing at Majestic Cinemas Sawtell on Wednesday 14 June at 6:30pm and Event Cinemas Coffs Harbour on Friday 16 June at 6:30pm.


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