Logline: An aboriginal boy who dreams of becoming Australia's first indigenous prime minister struggles with societal pressures after a chance encounter with a girl leads to a connection neither can deny.
Length: 34 minutes
Director: Genna Chanelle Hayes
Producer: Genna Chanelle Hayes
About the director and producer: Genna Chanelle Hayes is an Australian actress who has recently stepped into filmmaking territory as a writer, director and producer at her production company One Love Films, Bondi. Possessing a journalism degree and a passion for human rights, Hayes tells fictional stories dealing with real and very current international human rights issues.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Producers for her upcoming feature film and television series. Buyers and Distributors for projects at One Love Films, Bondi. Anyone and everyone interested in joining her on this storyteller journey.
Funders: KARI Aboriginal Resources Inc. Roger Savage, Soundfirm, John McGrath Real Estate.
Release date: TBC
Congratulations! Why did you make a film called Wurinyan?
I wanted to tell a story that brought all Australians together through love. I also wanted to create a film that was worthy of the time people spent watching it, and therefore I wanted to shed light on current human rights issues existing in Australia including alarming rates of indigenous suicide, death in custody and continued inequality existing across our country.
Not only that, but I also wanted the story to be inspirational to our younger generations. I wanted to create a film that inspired Australia’s children and youth to dream big and realize their dreams through sheer will and determination- no matter their background or current circumstances. We can all achieve success, however that may be defined by the individual.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
This is an opportunity to be inspired by the journey two young people take, and the challenges that they overcome in order to follow their dreams. I also believe watching this film is a chance for you to learn about Australian culture, both past and present. Possessing one of the oldest indigenous cultures in the world, the more we humans are enlightened and educated on such sacred things, the more we can band together and work to protect and preserve.
Watching this film is also an opportunity to garner an understanding of the pressures our younger generations are dealing with when it comes to the continued racism. Finally, this is your chance to get lost in love for 34 minutes.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
As a creator, everything is personal. And as a human, everything is universal. The issues our indigenous populations are facing in Australia are the same issues that indigenous populations are facing globally. The issues and pressures our younger generations are facing in Australia, are the same issues and pressures youth are suffering around the world.
How has your work as an actor influenced your role as director?
I am a storyteller. Whether it is through words, performance or pictures, I create stories. As a director, understanding the role of a performer in a personal way means I can connect with the actor of a deeper level. I know the space, so I can navigate that space, and I love the sensitivity that comes with that.
How has the script and film evolved over the course of its development and production?
The script remains very similar to the first draft I wrote. I tend to add a few scenes here and there while on set, so there are always some extra surprises - even for me. The initial edit ran at 50 minutes, so there was some work done in that regard.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Fortunately, it has been really wonderful and positive.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I guess you always learn from another’s perspective, and it’s always great to be able to step outside your own head and into someone else’s – for a moment (laughs) .
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I would just like to have this film reach as many ears and eyes as possible. That’s why we make films, right? To share our story. As an activist, the more people we reach, the more potential there is for positive change around the world.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I am looking for anyone and everyone to come on board and assist in sharing this film globally. I am also looking for a strong team to come on board our upcoming project, a television series shooting in Melbourne inspired by the success of WURINYAN.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
The best possible. I’d love for people to be moved by the story, to take the story away with them and to want to share it with their people.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
In a multicultural world, how can we all learn to love each other and embrace our differences?
How can indigenous populations around the world reach living standards equal to their counterparts?
How do we combat human rights issues like indigenous suicide, death in custody and continued inequality around the world?
Would you like to add anything else?
I really hope you love this film. Some incredibly special humans came together to create this film, and I believe their passion has led to a most beautiful creation.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
GENNA CHANELLE HAYES just shot a starring role in Venezuelan thriller THREE, and has just directed two Australian films, TALKERS and DISPLACED.
“Talkers deals with the growing issue of mental health and depression in our younger generations, and Displaced is a film that not only addresses our current refuge crises, but goes beyond that into the issues driving it.”
She is seeking financing for her upcoming WURINYAN-inspired television series, Barriers, as well as her upcoming feature film, Three.
MARK COLES SMITH is starring in American television series Hunters and Hard Rock Medical. He can also be seen in Australian features Pawno and Last Cab To Darwin.