Sapphire stars shine at Parliament House
Monday 27 August 2012
It was a night of celebration and announcements at Parliament House theatre last week. Stars of the blockbuster Australian film The Sapphires Jessica Mauboy and Deborah Mailman joined Arts Minister Simon Crean and Indigenous Economic Development Minister Julie Collins to launch Screen Australia's work and training program for Indigenous Australians in the media industry.
Media RING Indigenous Employment Strategy is a $1.1 million work and training program that will create 40 new jobs for Indigenous Australians in the sector including newspapers, new media, film and television.
Mr Crean congratulated the filmmakers and cast for their box office success in Australia and said The Sapphires was a great example of Australia’s Indigenous screen talent. He said the new employment program will help train and guide a new generation of Indigenous media professionals who can continue on this path of success.
The Sapphiresis inspired by the true story of an all-girl Aboriginal group sent to Vietnam in the heady days of 1968 to entertain the troops. The feel-good musical drama movie dazzled at the Cannes International Film Festival and hit Australian cinema screens in early August taking $2.3 million at the box office on the first weekend, more than any other Australian movie this year.
It will soon premiere in North America at the Toronto International Film Festival and opens in the UK on 2 November. The movie soundtrack, currently number one on the ARIA charts, celebrates the glory days of the Motown soul era.
The Australian Government provided $2.5 million in production support.