'OzDocs' Come to Asia Society

Drover's Boy doc still

A still image from the film 'The Drover's Boy.'  (Australian Film Today)

This Friday, Asia Society celebrates female storytelling by screening a collection of eight short films from Australia. Highlighting real stories and voices from women down under, the films tackle topics like love, sacrifice, and self-discovery.

Among the films is The Drover’s Boy, directed by Margaret McHugh, which blends documentary, musical, and dramatic cinematic styles to tell the true story of a forbidden biracial relationship between a white Australian man and an Aboriginal woman. The story is also the subject of a popular Australian folk song, written by Ted Egan, that has been reinterpreted and covered by many artists. After being moved by a rendition in 2014, McHugh knew she wanted to see the story come to life on screen.

“Like most kids in Australia, I had grown up listening to this ballad but it wasn't until I went to an Amanda Palmer concert in 2014 and she performed a rendition of the song that I really understood the lyrics. I was so moved and shocked by the story, I decided to find out more and to see if I could make a short film about it,” she said in an interview with Chris Beale of Australian Short Film Today.

By chance, McHugh met someone who knew Egan personally, and she was able to directly contact him and ask for rights to the song. “After I babbled on for a minute or two, he said, ‘You know what honey, I don’t own history ...  go for it.’”

Watch the short trailer for the film below:

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Another film, Deighties, directed by Mason Fleming, explores how an 86-year old widower approaches online dating. Watch the trailer below:

Click here for the full list of films being screened and to buy tickets.