Yudum Movie Premiere


Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart) (16:46): I rise today to tell the house about a movie premiere I attended last night at Tandanya. It was the Adelaide premiere of Yudum. The world premiere was held in Oodnadatta just recently, but the Adelaide premiere was last night, and it was a pleasure to see the member for Mawson there as well. This movie was produced by Aaron Stuart—a constituent of mine from Port Augusta—and also by Terry Cleary, and it was directed and edited by Nicholas Cleary. The two lead actors in the movie were Jermain Hampton, who played Yudum, and Gemma Theatre-Riley, who played Mary; both did an excellent job. Most of the other actors came primarily from the Oodnadatta area.

It is important to point out that, with regard to payment, this was essentially an amateur production; however, with regard to its quality, it was an excellent production. Some of the other Oodnadatta actors included Ronnie Finn, Anna Lennon, Desmond Dodd, Ronald Lennon, and Audrey Hull. I would also like to point out that Renée Ellis—another well-known person from Port Augusta—played a small part as well. Sound design was by Josh williams, and the soundtrack was composed by Seth Dodd. This really was a tremendous event, but it would not have been possible without the support of Centacare, a very generous contribution from the Cleary family and also, I understand, the federal government, so I thank all those organisations.

I was told by Dr Peter Munn of Centacare last night that the movie was made for approximately $20,000 in cash. There were lots and lots of other in-kind donations and in-kind contributions, but it was an absolutely remarkable movie for that sort of money. It explored issues of relationships, family pressures, personal responsibility, trust, drugs, violence, suicide, family strength, and community values. The story was told through the two leads, the two Aboriginal actors, sharing very much an Aboriginal story of their lives—coming together, getting married, having a family, splitting up and coming back together.

While it was a story of Aboriginal people in an Aboriginal setting in outback South Australia, I think it is also important to point out that the issues that were explored, and the challenges that were dealt with, could equally apply to many non-Aboriginal families and communities as well. It is worth pointing out that some of the real positives that gave strength to the central character, Yudum, came from some very positive Aboriginal cultural themes. Certainly non-Aboriginal people could learn a lot from some of those themes as well.

While it explored some very difficult topics, I have to say it was a pleasure to watch. It was not easy and comfortable to watch all the way through, but it was not gruesome, it was not violent per se. It was actually quite uplifting and it really did have the attention of the Tandanya theatre, which was packed. The sound was beautiful, the soundtrack work that was put to the story was tremendous. The colour and the lighting, as all people who have visited outback South Australia would know, was really stunning, and I think the fact that non-professional actors, in fact people who had not even participated before in any way in drama or on the stage, did such a marvellous job is a tribute to them.

The whole movie was set around the stories of Aaron Stuart, a proud Aboriginal man from Port Augusta. It does him enormous credit, and I would like to sincerely congratulate and compliment everybody who had anything to do with this movie with regard to financial support all the way through to an Oodnadatta person who may have had a very small role in the movie. They all did an absolutely wonderful job and I encourage all members of parliament to look at this movie when they have the opportunity.


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