School of Arts and Sciences sponsors important Indigenous Film Screening

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 9-9-2009

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Sydney Campus

Publication Place



The School of Arts & Sciences at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney Campus recently sponsored an Indigenous Film screening and panel for the Possible Worlds: Canadian Film Festival, held in Sydney.

The festival has become an important addition to the cycle of major film events in Sydney and was this year held at the Dendy Opera Quays and other selected venues.

The Executive Dean of Arts & Sciences, Professor Gerry Turcotte, hosted a Q&A following the screening of the film, The Necessities of Life, at the Australian Museum. The movie dramatises the impact of the Canadian Government's practice of relocating Inuit people, diagnosed with tuberculosis, from their Arctic homeland to sanatoriums in Eastern Canada. It has been shortlisted for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2009 Academy Awards.

The film's star, Natar Ungalaaq, joined Gerry Turcotte for a discussion following the screening and spoke of the connections of this story to his own personal history - his grandfather was removed from his family never to return.

Professor Turcotte commented, "What was most exciting was that two of our UNDA classes were able to attend this sold-out screening and to participate in the Q&A with one of Canada's most renowned actors."

Earlier in the week, celebrated Canadian filmmaker Najeeb Mirza visited Notre Dame to address one of the Politics classes and discuss the Australian premiere of his film, The Sweetest Embrace: Return to Afghanistan.

Media contact:

Moira Saunders 02 8204 4407