Tyrone gets loudest round of applause

“THAT'S me!” was Tyrone Sheather's surprised thought when he heard his name being announced as the winner of the Best Short Film at Friday night's Bellingen High School Clapper Awards.

And then it got better.

Tyrone's film, 'Wiijigaygi' also took out the People's Choice Award.

“I'm feeling pretty happy,” Tyrone said.

“I am amazed there is so much interest in something like this. It's so good to see interest in local (indigenous) culture growing.”

Tyrone's film, which is based on a Gumbaynggirr story, 'Cannibal Woman', uses an all-Aboriginal cast and is spoken entirely in the local language.

“I chose this story because it has a suspenseful edge. I took hours to rewrite it into a film script.”

He then took it to Muurrbay Language Centre in Bellwood for help with the translations, only to discover that the voice on the old tape found of the story belonged to his great grand father, Harry Buchanan.

“I never met him but when it turned out he was my great grand dad I thought, 'wow!' I just have to use this!”

For Tyrone one of the main reasons for making the film was to generate interest in his culture.

“I wanted to try and make people my age interested in culture and go to regain it - I think stuff like this helps keep the interest.”

The other reason was as a thank-you to his two mentors, Jenny Farrands and Shane Nelson, for all their help and support.

Filming took two intense days down at Urunga and then came the question of subtitles.

“We pretty quickly decided the film was clear enough on its own.”

Tyrone said although the film includes some killings, he curbed his passion for horror, filming the scenes “so everyone could watch it”.

He also acknowledges the influence Rolf de Heer's 2006 highly-acclaimed film, Ten Canoes, had on his thinking.

On Monday, Tyrone applied for a grant together with Muurrbay to make five more short films of Gumbaynggirr stories.

“I'm hoping I can do more of this," he said.

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