Bangarra’s Spear, from the stage to the screen

After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival and Adelaide Film Festival last year, and then the Sydney Festival in January, Stephen Page’s film, Spear, will begin screening in cinemas from 10 March until early next month.

Spear is the first time Page has directed a film although he has previously collaborated on films as a choreographer.

Page, the artistic director of Bangarra Dance Theatre, has cast the company’s dancers and former dancers in Spear, a film that evolved from his dance theatre work of the same name in 2000.

The 80-minute film, co-written by Page and Justin Monjo, follows a young Aboriginal man, Djali from the outback to the streets of Sydney on his quest to understand what it means to be a man with ancient traditions in a modern world.

The role of Djali is played by Page’s son, 22 year-old Hunter Page-Lochard.

A recent graduate of NIDA Hunter has appeared in the films, Bran Nue Dae, The Sapphires, and Around the Block and this year will play one of the main roles in the ABC-TV commissioned series, Cleverman, directed by Wayne Blair (director of The Sapphires) and Leah Purcell. Blair and Purcell also directed episodes of the TV series, Redfern Now.

Cleverman, an American-Australian-New Zealand, will be telecast on ABC-TV in Australia and SundanceTV in the United States.

The ABC’s brief synopsis for the show: “The six-episode series is set in the near future where a group of non-humans battle for survival in a world where humans feel increasingly inferior to them and want to silence, exploit and kill them. The central story revolves around two estranged indigenous brothers who are forced together to fight for their own survival”.

If the series is a success Hunter might have an international career ahead of him.

He is genetically blessed, (as you can see by the photo below left).

His mother is Cynthia Lochard, an American, who was a dancer with the New York City Ballet and then, in Australia, with the Sydney Dance Company and Bangarra Dance Theatre before she became a pioneer of Pilates in Australia.

The film will be screened at: Luna Outdoor Cinema, Leederville, WA, Cinema Nova, Carlton, Melbourne, Dendy Opera Quays Cinema, Sydney, Dendy Newtown Cinema, Newtown, Sydney, Sawtell Cinema, Sawtell, NSW, Nambour Art House Cinema, Nambour, Queensland, Arc Cinema, ACT, Gasworks Arts Park, Albert Park, Melbourne, Mercury Cinema, Adelaide, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, NT, and the Gold Coast Arts Centre, Gold Coast, Queensland.

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A scene from Spear, photo ©  Tiffany Parker

A scene from Spear, photo © Tiffany Parker

Yolande Brown as the Earth Spirit in Spear, filmed on location in Dhalinybuy, Northern Territory, photo © Jacob Nash

Yolande Brown as the Earth Spirit in Spear, filmed on location in Dhalinybuy, Northern Territory, photo © Jacob Nash

Hunter Page-Lochard, centre, the Harbour dance scene, photo © Edward Mulvihill

Hunter Page-Lochard, centre, the Harbour dance scene, photo © Edward Mulvihill

Hunter Page-Lochard as Koen in Cleverman, photo ABC-TV

Hunter Page-Lochard as Koen in Cleverman, photo ABC-TV