Fire Starter – The Story of Bangarra (Documentary) / 2020

Fire Starter is a documentary produced by Ivan O’Mahoney (InFilms) and directed by Wayne Blair, marking the 30th anniversary of Australia’s only Indigenous major performing arts company. It is the story of how three young Aboriginal brothers took a dance company in its infancy and turned it into a world-renowned powerhouse of Indigenous cultural preservation, The Bangarra Dance Company.

Fire Starter tells the story of Bangarra through the eyes of their long standing and charismatic artistic director, Stephen Page. A combination of intimate observational material shot during the anniversary year, combined with candid interviews and a treasure trove of personal and company archive, will reveal a story of triumph against all odds.

Fire Starter is a national interest story of pride, of heartbreak, overcoming adversity and empowerment, with dance as the potent cultural messenger. The film was expected to premiere at the 2020 Sydney Film Festival which was cancelled due to Covid19.  It premiered at the Byron Bay Film Festival instead receiving excellent reviews there, as well as at later showings interstate. The film will also be shown as a TV broadcast on ABC Television.

The Girgensohn Foundation is one of the philanthropic supporters of the film production.