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Black Nite Cinema

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Milk Bar recently caught up with actor Aaron Pedersen to discuss the upcoming Black Nite Cinema, a festival dedicated to showcasing Indigenous Australian talent in film, the visual arts, music, dance and theatre.

Having appeared in a number of high profile television shows such as City Homicide and The Circuit, Pedersen is one of the most recognisable Indigenous actors working in Australia today. He has held also held the position of festival ambassador for the past few years.

Speaking with regards to Black Nite Cinema, Pedersen explained that the festival is an important addition to the Melbourne cultural calendar, since it enables Indigenous artists to present their work to a diverse audience. “It’s an opportunity to give people more information through, film, storytelling, and even conversations”, he explains.

Pedersen pointed out that the festival had much to offer to both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians, whether it was the opportunity to see films long out of distribution or to experience Indigenous culture in this form for the first time. He describes Black Nite Cinema as a gathering place for everyone.

In addition to acting as festival ambassador, Pedersen will also be hosting a discussion with influential musician Bart Willoughby on opening night, the subject of the documentary No Fixed Address. Pedersen believes these conversations with artists, a number of which will be held throughout the festival, were a crucial part of Black Nite Cinema.

“You’re not just seeing a film, you’re also spending time with the artist. I often feel that’s not done enough in this country, especially with Indigenous artists,” he explained.

Given the critical and commercial success experienced in recent years by filmmakers such as Warwick Thornton and Wayne Blair, the festival also serves as an occasion to celebrate and reflect on the continued vibrancy of contemporary Indigenous culture.

Pedersen is hopeful the festival will continue to receive support to operate well into the future. “We got it up and going, and it has a great spirit about it. This is something that should happen every year.”

Black Nite Cinema takes place at ACMI  from Feb 8 – 10.
All sessions are free, with tickets available on the day from the ACMI.
For more info visit acmi.net.au


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