A Kimberley story that speaks to everyone
|Banjo Woorunmurra and Johnny Marr were two of the leaders amongst a group of senior Bunuba men and women who established Bunuba Productions Aboriginal Corporation (BPAC) in 1984. They were born barely a generation after Jandamarra's time. Banjo was acknowledged as a keeper of the story, and through his collaboration with historian Howard Pedersen on the book Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance, played a key role in bringing it to a wider, modern audience. The original aim of BPAC was to make a feature film that would tell the story to the world through Bunuba eyes.
In the mid 1990s, with many of the founding members of BPAC having passed on, the project was restructured. The old men kept a keen eye on proceedings, but passed the responsibility of driving the project to a younger generation. Bunuba Films is a Pty Ltd company that was created in the restructure.
In 2012, to reflect a new direction for the company we adopted the trading name Bunuba Cultural Enterprises (BCE).
Bunuba Cultural enterprises (formally known as Bunuba Films) acknowledges, and pays tribute to the elders, now passed away, who founded Bunuba Productions, and contributed so much to this project: Adam Andrews
The controlling interest in Bunuba Films Pty Ltd, protected by the company's constitution, is held by Bunuba Inc, the body that represents the various clans and communities, and is the ultimate holder of the community lands and pastoral leases, and stakeholder in a number of Fitzroy Crossing based enterprises. Company chairman Danny Marr and his fellow directors June Oscar, Selina Middleton and Dicky Bedford are all Bunuba people in their forties, who live in Fitzroy Crossing.
The company owns the copyright to the Jandamarra play and film scripts.
The company's main external shareholder is The Louis St.John Johnson Memorial Trust.
BCE's primary role and objective is to represent the Bunuba people in promoting the story of Jandamarra, and bringing this story to the world.
The Jandamarra story has long been in the public domain. Versions have been told by historians, novelists and children's authors. BCE's' duty is to deal with the story in a way that is true to the spirit of the man himself, and to the way it is told and remembered by his people, the Bunuba.
The original aim of Bunuba Productions was to make a feature film that would tell the story through Bunuba eyes. The film project has been through many phases, and a number of times has come close to success.
In 2005 we took a detour, entering into a partnership with Western Australia's flagship theatre company Black Swan to create a stage play that premiered at the Perth International Arts Festival in February 2008.
After three years of development work, planning, and fundraising, in 2011 we were able to mount a new production, and take the play to the Kimberley, as described in other sections of this site. On the basis of this hugely successful tour, we will explore opportunities to tour the production to other parts of Australia, and even internationally.
The Kimberley tour has also thrown up some new ideas for projects and activities that would utilise our intellectual property, and employ the skills of some of the amazing actors and artists who took part in the tour.
The most exciting of these is a partnership with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Gondwana Choirs that will see a new cantata Jandamarra: Sing for the Country performed at the Sydney Opera House in July 2014. (See News & Updates)
We will also continue to pursue opportunities to develop and ultimately produce the feature film.
For Bunuba Films, the process is just as important as the product. We always seek to: