Audrey Napanangka is the story of a modern blended family – First Nations woman Audrey and her Sicilian partner Santo – negotiating across cultures as they try to keep their family together. 

Audrey was born at a time when the world was changing for people in the Central Australian Desert. Settler colonialism began permeating the desert and forced changes and the fusion of two worlds shifted Audrey’s life forever.

Today, Audrey, with her Sicilian husband Santo, raises young people to walk in many worlds, by centering culture, language and Law in their lives alongside mainstream education.

The Making

The director, Penelope McDonald, has been friends with Audrey and her family for forty years, and has produced other films in which Audrey has acted, as well as having made several other documentaries with people of the Warlpiri Nation. The concept for this documentary arose organically from their friendship. This film could have only been made because of the deep trust and friendship that they have, and the film team acknowledge that. The intimacy of the film is only possible because of that. The approach to making this film has been an extension of family friendships supported by a team of Warlpiri advisors and translators in ongoing collaboration, and with the material of the documentary as it evolved.

The Filmmaking team

Penelope wrote, directed and produced the film with her son, Dylan River, as co-writer. Co-producers also include Trisha Morton-Thomas and Rachel Clements of Brindle Films.

Penelope and Dylan shared cinematography with Justine Kerrigan, Shane Mulcahy, Anna Cadden, Bonny Scott and Miriam Williams.

James Bradley, Jane St Vincent Welch and Karryn de Cinque edited, with composer David Bridie and sound designer Liam Egan rounding out the creative team.