The 2015 APSA Academy Children’s Film Fund Recipient is Maggie Miles.
Stanley V’s The Hairyman is a holistic drama using the power of storytelling to highlight the importance of eco-ethics and the vital need to maintain Australian Indigenous cultures. The lead character, an Indigenous boy struggling to cope with the untimely death of his older brother, will be a likeable charismatic lead with whom all children can identify. Stanley acknowledges his mistakes and rectifies them, role-modeling transformation through maturation. This lifeaffirming tale does not shy away from the challenges faced by its twelve y.o. protagonist ensuring the audience feels Stanley’s immense pride and developing sense of personal responsibility in the absence of adult guidance.
The film is an adaptation of the award-winning children’s book My Girragundji by Meme McDonald and Boori Monty Prior. Boori was an inaugural Australian Children’s Literature Laureate in 2012 and runs Workshops for schoolchildren right throughout the year. Boori’s own story is a true inspiration to every kid, indigenous and non-indigenous, who has been through tough times.
The underlying philosophy of the work is in line with article 8J of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Convention on Biological Diversity: ‘There is need for a realization of the wholeness of nature, and of man as an integral part of it. In spite of ever advancing technologies we must recognize that there are valuable aspects of traditional cultures that provide an important message for today and the future.’ For many years Article 8J was managed by Henrietta Marrie Fourmile, Boori’s cousin, a Yidinji elder and advisor to this film.