Australian Workers Film Guide


In a practice known as ‘blackbirding’, up to 60,000 Pacific islanders were either kidnapped or forced into indentured servitude to work on Queensland sugar cane plantations between 1863 and 1904. Treated as slaves under appalling conditions, this short narrative film depicts the plight of a brother and sister kidnapped from the Solomon Islands and forced to work on a Queensland plantation under a brutal Australian overseer. They would never see their families or homeland again. Blackbird was made by a descendant of the Pacific Islander-Australian community.

Special Notes/Achievements

  • St Kilda Film Festival, Melbourne, Australia, 2017.
  • 14th FIFO International Oceanian Documentary Film Festival, Tahiti, 2017
  • New Zealand International Film Festival, Auckland, New Zealand, 2016
  • Sydney Indie Film Festival, 2017. Winner: Best Drama Film, Winner: Best Female Lead.
  • Best of the Fest Award, Pasifika Film Festival, Sydney 2016.
  • People’s Choice Award, Best Short Film, Maoriland Film Festival, New Zealand.  [1]

[1] Ronin Films (n.d.), Blackbird [website], viewed Jan 20, 2023  <>

Author: J Bird, 2023

Duration: 13 mins 20 secs

Film Release Year:

Film Shooting Format:

Film Aspect Ratio:

Film Distribution Format:

Film Colour:

Film Director:

Film Producer: John Harvey, Lia Pa’apa’a,

Film Writer:

Film Key Cast: Jeremy Bobby – Kiko, Regina Lepping - Rosa, Putu Winchester – The Overseer,

Film Executive Producer: Sandra Sciberras, Gus Howard, Hugh Burton,

Film Cinematographer:

Film Editor:

Film Sound Recordist:

Film Composer:

Film Production Company: