Hundreds of years before colonies were established on the Australian continent, people from across Indonesia had deep ties with First Nations people. Wangany Mala follows the journey of young Muslim woman Nirmala as she works on the construction of a traditional pinisi boat and learns to sail, all while navigating her faith and family expectations. Filmed over five years in collaboration with communities across Arnhem Land and Groote Eylandt, this documentary amplifies proud stories of connection between people, land and sea. Set to a multilayered soundtrack by experimental Melbourne composer Fia Fiell, the film features rarely seen photographs, artwork, and footage from the National Film and Sound Archive.
Will McCallum is a writer and director who has produced documentary films across Australia, China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. He produced a six-part short documentary series for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that won the 2018 Asia Public Affairs award for Diplomatic Engagement. Will holds a Master of Journalism degree from the University of Hong Kong and is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Creative Arts and Communication at Deakin University, Melbourne.