Director: Rolf de Heer, Peter Djiggirr
90 minutes

Co-Investors: SA Film Corporation, Adelaide Film Festival

Shot on the extraordinary Arafura Swamp in north- eastern Arnhem Land, Ten Canoes is the first Australian feature film to be made in Indigenous language. Ten Canoes is set in the distant past, tribal times. Dayindi covets one of the wives of his older brother. To teach him the proper way, he is told a story from the mythical past, a story of wrong love, kidnapping, sorcery, bungling, mayhem and revenge gone wrong.


  • Awarded Special Jury Prize by the Un Certain Regard Jury, Cannes 2006
  • Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Sound – AFI Awards 2006
  • Best Film, Best Editing (Tania Nehme) & shared award for Best Cinematography (Ian Jones) with Jindabyne (David Williamson) – Film Critics Circle of Australia
  • Winner grand prize: Cinema des Antipodes, France, October 2006
  • Winner grand prize: Flanders International Film Festival 2006
  • Nominated as Australia’s entry to 2006 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film
  • Nominated Best Feature, Director, Actor, Cinematography, Script, Sound for IF Awards 2006
  • Nominated Best Film, Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Sound, Best Production Design, AFI Awards 2006
  • 2006 Film of the Year – Australian Catholic Film Office
  • Selected as Opening Night film, 2006 Sydney Film Festival
  • Winner Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for best screenplay
  • Winner NSW Premier $15,000 Audio Visual History Prize 2006
  • Nominated Film Critics Circle Awards 2006 for Best Film, Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography and Editing
Film Type Feature Fiction
Director Rolf de Heer, Peter Djiggirr
Producer Julie Ryan