SOLID Awards : International Awards for Indigenous Women in Screen
SOLID SCREEN Awards honour those women who have long standing and also emerging careers in the screen arts - those who have cut a track here in Australia and overseas. This is an important way of acknowledging artists, curators and other arts leaders who have contributed substantially to their respective industries over the past 30 - 40 years, and also a very rare opportunity to celebrate the current outstanding practice offered by Indigenous Women Screen-makers.

see some winners below and stay tuned for more announcements


SOLID Contribution to Screen Culture - Mitch Torres
SOLID Contribution to Screen Culture - Lee-Ann Davern
SOLID Screen Storyteller - Angelina Hurley


SOLID Contribution to Screen Culture - Madeline Hodge
SOLID Contribution to Screen Culture - Michelle Blakeney
SOLID Youth Screen Culture - Nickeema Williams
SOLID Youth Screen Culture - Joy Beohm


SOLID Screen Storyteller - Lynn Chapman
SOLID Experimental Screen Award - P.D. Casely-Hayford


SOLID Screen Trailblazer - Kathryn Fisher (Aboriginal Australia)
SOLID Screen Producer - Semah Mokak-Wischki (Aboriginal Australia) 
SOLID Screen Leadership - Ella Henry (Maori New Zealand)
SOLID Screen Artist - Linda T (Samoan New Zealand)
SOLID Screen Trail Blazer - Jillette Leon-Guerrero (Guam)
SOLID Screen Storyteller - Leiana Naholowaʻa (Guam)
SOLID Screen Storyteller - Jules Koostachin (Cree Canada)
SOLID Screen Festival Director - Zoila Jiménez (Mayan Mexico)

presented in person in New Zealand and at the Gold Coast AustralAsiaPacific SOLID Screen Healing Retreat at Numinbah Valley on September 11th 2016

News Article!artssolid-sisters-documentary-and-makin/c118d

- SOLID Screen Trail Blazers
Kathryn Fisher worked with the Aboriginal and Islander Child Care Agency in Brisbane for six years before establishing an unofficial Link-Up Service. She left the indigenous child welfare field to pursue a career in the performing arts with Aboriginal theatre groups and Dancers. She worked with Tracey Moffatt on BeDevil, which was the first Feature film Directed by an Aboriginal Woman.
Kathryn Fisher at Numinbah Valley accepting her award at the Solid Screen Retreat

Jillette Leon-Guerrero was also awarded as a SOLID Screen Trail Blazer. One of the first feature productions shot by local filmmakers was Guam: Paradise Island, which was shot on video and presented on television in 1984. Produced and directed by Herman Crisostomo and written by Jillette Leon-Guerrero, the feature used local actors, models and music to portray some of the island’s history and its stories. Jillette Leon-Guerrero graduated with summa cum laude honors from the University of Guam in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a minor in Micronesian area studies. She earned a master’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma in 1991.
Guam Filmmaker Jillette Leon-Guerrero
- SOLID Screen Storytellers 
Born in Moose Factory Ontario, Jules Koostachin was raised by her traditional Cree speaking grandparents in Moosonee, and with her mother, a survivor of the Canadian Residential school system. Jules is from Attawapiskat First Nation, Mushkekowok territory, and currently resides in Vancouver where she commenced her PhD at the University of British Columbia. Jules’ docu-series AskiBOYZ (2016) co-produced with Big Soul Production about two urban Cree youth reconnecting with the land is currently being aired on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, as well as on the website:
Jules Koostachin at Numinbah Valley accepting her award
Leiana San Agustin Naholowaʻa received a SOLID SCREEN Storyteller Award. Leiana has a bachelor’s degree in Literature and Writing Studies at California State University, San Marcos, and is completing her master’s in English at the University of Guam. She has taught at Université Paris-Est (previously Université de Marne-la-Vallée), California State University-San Marcos, University of Guam, and Guam Community College. Naholowa’a has worked with community and non-profit organizations for many years in San Diego and Guam. Her current documentary examines mothering in Chamorro culture.
Leiana Naholowaʻa
- SOLID Screen Festival Director 
Zoila Margarita Jiménez Pacheco was born in 1978 and is a native of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. She studied at the Autonomous University of Yucatán in the Faculty of Anthropological Sciences in the specialty of Social Anthropology and completed her thesis "Religious diversity. Beliefs and rituals in a Mayan community. " Zoila has been interested in issues such as religious diversity in Indigenous communities, international migration and the integration of young people into the labour market. Her work experience focused on the work of social research at the Department of Social Sciences at the Autonomous University of Yucatan, in the CIESAS Peninsular, The University of Florida and the Center for Comparative Migration Studies at the University of California-San Diego. Cultural Enterprise Management in A.C., l Institute for Sustainable Development in Mesoamerica and currently in Haciendas del Mundo Maya Foundation. Parallel to her academic training, Zoila has also been dedicated to developing skills in audiovisual media, taking up photography in 1998 in analog and digital techniques. She is part of the Kayche Collective that runs the the Film and Video Festival Kayche' Tejidos Visuales, which is a window that evokes dialogue in order to promote self-representation and demand catalysts for change in an unequal world.
Zoila Margarita Jiménez Pacheco at Numinbah Valley accepting her award.
- SOLID Arts Leadership
Ella Henry has a background in Sociology, Māori Studies, Management Studies and Māori Development. Her PhD focused on Māori entrepreneurship in screen production, and her Masters on Māori women and leadership. Dr Henry has been actively involved in the Māori screen industry, serving as Chair of Nga Aho Whakaari, the Association of Māori in Screen Production.
Ella Henry presented her award at Nga Aho Whakaari in Auckland, New Zealand
- SOLID Screen Artist
Tuafale Tanoai a.k.a Linda T was presented a SOLID SCREEN Artist Award, for her tireless work, including her own community broadcasting channel, Linda T TV.  Linda.T is an Auckland based artist of Samoan descent and member of D.A.N.C.E. Art Club. Her art practice focuses on short story documentaries through photography and video. She has worked in local radio, TV and short film and is widely recognised for her contributions to small communities in New Zealand through her tireless efforts as a documenter since the early 1980’s.

Linda T accepting her award at Kahungunu Marae in Aotearoa New Zealand

- SOLID Screen Producer 
Semah Mokak-Wischki is a Djugun woman who was born in Broome and raised at AdelaideRiver in the NorthernTerritory. She wrote and directed Through Our Eyes, a documentary which explores issues being brought up Aboriginal and Muslim (selected WestEndFilmFestival 2011). Semah works in disability and currently lives in Brisbane. 


SOLID Screen Trail Blazer - Essie Coffey.
SOLID Photographer - Barbara McGrady
SOLID Screen Screen Makers - Nanobah Becker and Tracey Rector 
SOLID Arts Leadership - Whetu Fala 
SOLID Contribution to Screen Culture - Rena Owen 

- SOLID Screen Trail Blazer
Essie Coffey OAM (born Essienina Shillingsworth 1941 - 1998) [ R.I.P ] was born near Goodooga. She was Muruwari singer and activist from the far northwest of New South Wales. 

Coffey was also an active filmmaker. In 1978 she made My Survival as an Aboriginal, which she gave to Queen Elizabeth II as a gift at the opening of Australia's new Parliament House in 1988. The film won the Greater Union Award for documentary film and the Rouben Mamoulian Award at the Sydney Film Festival 1979. The sequel, My Life As I Live It, was released in 1993. Coffey also appeared in the film 'Backroads'.

My Survival As An Aboriginal rocked Australia and the world with its presentation of atrocities and hardships committed against Aboriginal people. The movie delves beneath surface appearances to reveal a strong resistance to assimilation and loss of identity, as the late Essie Coffey, a Murrawarri woman, takes us into the Aboriginal struggle for survival.  She documents the effect of dispossession, the chronic depression, alcoholism, deaths in custody and poverty that were so much a part of life for Aboriginal people.

In her later years, Essie developed renal failure and became the subject of the film Big Girls Don’t Cry, by Aboriginal filmmaker Darren Ballangarri. She passed away on January 3rd, 1998.

Her family avoided forced relocation to a reserve by following seasonal rural work. She co-founded the Western Aboriginal Legal Service and the Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Museum in Brewarrina, serving on several government bodies and Aboriginal community organisations including the Aboriginal Lands Trust and the Aboriginal Advisory Council. She was an inaugural member of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.

She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) on 10 June 1985, for service to the Aboriginal community. She was nominated for an MBE but refused it, explaining "I knocked the MBE back because I'm not a member of the British Empire".

My Survival As An Aboriginal

- SOLID Photographer 
Barbara McGrady is a Gamilaroi Murri yinah (woman) from the north west of NSW and Southern Queensland. A Sydney based photographer, Barbara's images tell the story of contemporary Aboriginal history through her unique sociological eye. Barbara describes herself as an observer and a protagonist - a 'documentarian' of historical events that are important to Aboriginal culture and people.

Desperate Measures - Barbara McGrady 


The inaugural SOLID Awards night was a separate event held on Tuesday 22 July, 2014, presented exclusively by cyberTribe, without any funding support. 

The SOLID SCREEN Festival kicked off the inaugural SOLID Awards for Indigenous Women in Screen which honoured those women who have long standing and also emerging careers in the screen arts - those who have cut a track here in Australia and overseas. This was an important way of acknowledging artists, curators and other arts leaders who have contributed substantially to their respective industries over the past 30 - 40 years, and also a very rare opportunity to celebrate the current outstanding practice offered by Indigenous Women Screen-makers, and include the following categories:

Historically SOLID Screen Trail Blazer - Hyllus Marus
SOLID Contribution to Photo Media - Destiny Deacon
SOLID Screen Storyteller - Darlene Johnson and Michelle Derosier
SOLID Screen Artist - r e a
SOLID Screen Curator - Christine Peacock
SOLID Screen Festival Director - Janina Harding
SOLID Arts Leadership - Denise Bolduc and Lori Blondeau
SOLID Contribution to Screen Culture - Ariel Smith and Hiona Henare
The awards night was hosted by Nickeema Williams on Tuesday 22nd July 2014, and the winners were:

- Historically SOLID Screen Trail Blazer

This is a posthumous Award that goes to Hyllus Marus for her writing work on the television series Women of the Sun (1981), which was a landmark production that dealt with the experiences of Aboriginal women through two hundred years of colonisation. The series had a powerful impact, bringing the story of Aboriginal women – in their own language – to a national audience for the first time.  First broadcast in 1982, Women of the Sun itself won several awards including the United Nations media peace prize, a Banff television festival award, two Awgies (Australian Writers’ Guild) and five Penguin (Television Society of Australia) awards. Published as a script (1983) and novel (1985), it also featured widely in school curricula. 
You can view the study guide to Women of the Sun here

- SOLID Contribution to Photo Media  

Destiny Deacon is an artist, performer and political activist. Her performative photographs, videos and installations are melodramatic and driven by acerbic humour.  She worked as a teacher, before turning to photography and film to stimulate public ideas about Aboriginal politics. She has exhibited widely nationally and internationally since 1990,  and in 2002 Destiny  was chosen for Documenta II in Germany and she has been included in many other important survey exhibitions such as the Havana Biennial in 1994 and the 1st Johannesburg Biennale in 1995. 

- SOLID Screen Storytellers 

Darlene Johnson is a director and actress based in Sydney. Her first short drama, Two-Bob Mermaid (1996), won the Australian Film Critics Circle Award for Best Australian Short Film. It was nominated at the Venice Film Festival for the Baby Lion Award, won the Best Dramatic Short Film at the 41st Asia-Pacific Film Festival and is now used as a standard teaching resource in primary and secondary schools Australia-wide.

Michelle Derosier was named 2011 Female News-maker of the Year by Wawatay News in Canada, and is an award-winning filmmaker who brings her twelve years of experience as a front line social worker to bear on her drama and documentary film work. Co-owner of Thunderstone Pictures, she works as a producer, director, writer, and occasionally even as an actor in Thunder Bay.

- SOLID Screen Artist

Sponsored Prize : $500 worth of Metro Screen equipment & Facilities Hire

r e a was born in Coonabarabran, New South Wales, into the Gamilaraay/Wailwan people and currently lives in Sydney.  In 2004 she received a Fulbright Scholarship for research and development in creative technologies and she recently received a New Media Arts Fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts. r e a 's work is held in the collections of the Australian Museum, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Gallery of Australia, among others. Active as a curator and artist, r e a has participated in numerous group exhibitions, residencies and conferences both in Australia and Internationally.

- SOLID Arts Leadership
Denise Bolduc is French and Anishnawbe of the Batchewana First Nations, located near Sault Ste Marie. With an extensive background as an artistic director, producer, coordinator and presenter, Denise has also worked as a Multi-disciplinary Arts Officer at the Ontario Arts Council and as a Music & Dance Officer at the Canada Council for the Arts.  Notable projects include CopyCamp - an event for artists working on the net and the challenges of copyright, Honouring Theatre - a tri-country theatre tour, and Planet IndigenUs - an international 10 day contemporary multidisciplinary arts festival. Denise was also the Artistic Director/Co-founder of the Aboriginal Music Project in a premier Aboriginal music organization in Canada. Denise has also worked in documentary film making and is an inspiration to one and all.

Lori Blondeau is a Cree / Saulteaux / Metis artist originally from Saskatchewan.  Blondeau holds an MFA from the University of Saskatchewan, and has sat on the Advisory Panel for Visual Arts for the Canada Council for the Arts and is a co-founder and the current director of TRIBE, a Canadian Aboriginal media arts organization. Her contemporary practice, includes both visual and performance art.

- SOLID Screen Festival Director 

Janina Harding grew up in Melbourne where she has lived and worked most of her life. Her grandmother is Meriam Mir, of the Eastern Torres Strait and grandfather is Kuku of North East Cape York. Janina’s career in the arts began almost 30 years ago- serving 2 terms on the Australia Council’s, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board. Janina has worked for the City of Melbourne as the Indigenous Arts Program Manager since 2001 and is currently the Artistic Director/ Executive Producer of the Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival and Blak Nite Cinema. 

Indigenous Australian writers, directors and actors showcase their incredible talents through a diverse range of films presented at Blak Nite Cinema. This collection of short and feature length works explores the Indigenous experience and varies in genres from comedy to drama.  Presented as part of the Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival. 

- SOLID Screen Curator 

Christine Peacock is a descendent of Erub in the Torres Strait Islands and has lived and worked in media art within the Indigenous community of Brisbane since 1985.  Originally trained as a television producer with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Sydney and previously worked in performance.  She is a principle member of Uniikup Productions Ltd., a community live-media-art organisation and the Artistic Director of Colourise Festival an annual live-media-art event.  Her work is place-based and guided and informed by Indigenous philosophical concepts and beliefs, and as such enacts and promotes the Indigenous Australian concept of sovereignty. She is Mum to two children and they live on their ancestral lands in Wolvi, Gubbi Gubbi country, South East Queensland.

The Colourise Festivals are a series of Indigenous media arts community events that promote the production of local, nation and international Indigenous in Brisbane. Colourise Festival events vary in response to seasonal and conditional–community cultural activity and development; availability of financial support and event organisers, collaboration with NAIDOC and other community events and venues.

Colourise Festival is presented by Uniikup Productions Limited, a community based media arts group, and is organised by Colourise, Uniikup’s innovative screen culture-based creative consultancy service which is spear-headed by Christine Peacock.

- SOLID Contribution to Screen Arts

Hiona Henare has spent over fifteen years working in the Māori creative industries as a producer, director, writer and performer - she is deeply dedicated to the advancement of Māori Theatre, Contemporary Dance, Film and Broadcasting. Hiona has produced many high profile events, conferences, festivals, tours, contemporary dance tours, te reo māori tours, theatre, music videos, television and recently film.

Ariel Smith (Nêhiyaw/Jewish) is a filmmaker, video artist and cultural worker currently based in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. Having created independent media art since 2001, much of her work has shown at festivals and galleries across Canada and Internationally.  Ariel also works in arts advocacy and administration and is currently the Director of the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition.

The 2014 SOLID Award winners received a limited edition artwork:


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