Australian Filmmaker Steps Into The Fight For Banjo's War

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16th July 2010, 05:23pm - Views: 776

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July, 2010    

Filmmaker Lara Damiani returned recently from a filming trip in Alice Springs which she says has

made her more resolved than ever to continue her commitment to her new independent feature

documentary "Banjo's War".

"Banjo's War" will tell the story of the Alyawarr People of Central Australia and their walk-off protest

against the Government's Intervention as they carve a whole new community out of mulga scrub at

their freehold land at Honeymoon Bore, 350 km north east of Alice Springs.

"Listening to the stories of the Traditional Owners and other Indigenous people last week made me

really understand their struggle" said Damiani. "The story of Banjo and his community wanting self-

determination and creating their own self-sustainable community outside of the reach of the

Government is such a powerful one. It will send a message to not only the Government, but to

other indigenous communities as well as white Australia and I think this will be a really significant

turning point in history" she said.

A video clip summarising her trip to Alice Springs can be viewed

In 2008, Lara released her independent documentary on the Tibetan freedom struggle. She met

and interviewed the Dalai Lama, managed to get Australian actress Kerry Armstrong to donate her

time to narrate the documentary; got stopped and questioned by Chinese military while filming

inside Tibet and was followed closely by Chinese police cars while filming in Tiananmen Square.

She directed/produced and did the camerawork as well as distribution. "Tibet's Cry for Freedom"

has aired on two international television stations, screened at 14 international film festivals and is

being distributed by one of Australia and New Zealand's largest educational DVD distributors. It

was the first film she's made.  

Taking the message of non-mainstream causes to a mainstream audience is what drives Damiani.

Despite still being in debt from her Tibet documentary, Damiani is passionate about her new film

which is a story she says "needs to be told".

At 23, Damiani was the youngest female executive officer in the Australian fishing industry. She left

that career to live in France for a while to purse her dream of being a writer. That then lead to

finding a new medium for her passion for social justice issued - filmmaking. 

Lara is now looking to raise the next stage of her budget to cover the costs of a trip out to

Honeymoon Bore in September for a week with her team as well as post production and research.

Donations to Lara's documentary are tax deductible and Lara is keen to find supporters interested

in helping with the next stage of production.

For more information, including the two minute teaser trailer for "Banjo's War" feature

documentary, visit or call Lara on 0411 628 895 or email

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