Travelling Film Festival | Darwin | 11 February 2021 | BOOK NOW


  • Nel Minchin
  • Wayne Blair
  • Ivan O'Mahoney
  • Nel Minchin
Executive Producers
  • Ivan O'Mahoney
  • Nial Fulton

Firestarter – The Story of Bangarra is a historically important film that takes the viewer through Bangarra’s birth and spectacular growth to where we are today entering our 4th decade.  It recognises Bangarra’s early founders and tells the story of how three young Aboriginal brothers – Stephen, David and Russell Page – turned the newly born dance group into one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies. Through the eyes of the Page brothers and company alumni, Firestarter explores the loss and reclaiming of culture, the burden of intergenerational trauma and crucially, the extraordinary power of art as a messenger for social change and healing.

The documentary features remarkable archival footage and interviews with those integral to Bangarra’s establishment, including co-founders Carole Johnson, Cheryl Stone along with a number of former dancers and creatives.  

Firestarter had its world premiere at the Brisbane International Film Festival on 11 October 2020, followed by screenings at film festivals across Australia. A theatrical run is anticipated from 18 February 2021, as well as a broadcast during NAIDOC Week 2021 on the ABC.

More details announced soon.



  • Winner of Best Documentary Film at the Australia Academy Cinema Television Arts (AACTA) Awards
  • Winner of the Feature Documentary Award at Adelaide Film Festival
  • Winner of the Adelaide Film Festival Inaugural Change Award. The Change Award, which attracts a $5000 cash prize, acknowledges that the most important question of our time is how to change and recognises a  film each festival that celebrates social and environmental impact and expresses a desire to live in new ways.


“This is a vital, none-more-timely film that speaks to Australia’s complicated past and present yet remains hopeful for the future. A must watch.”