Emu Runner

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    Emu Runner

    Directed by



    95 min

    • English


    EMU RUNNER is a story about a nine-year-old Indigenous girl, Gem Daniels, who lives in a remote Australian town. As she copes with her mother’s unexpected death, Gem finds solace in the company of a wild emu, unwittingly connecting with her mother’s traditional totem animal.



    Wayne Blair
    Rhae-Kye Waites
    Rob Carlton
    Imogen Thomas
    Michael Gibbs
    Jenny Hicks
    Nicole Norelli
    Ben Fink

    Director's Statement

    Gem is the driving force of EMU RUNNER. It is through her eyes that the story unfolds. She is a child full of wonder and intrigue and anchored by the deep cultural roots of her Ngemba people and country, and thus her sense of belonging is implicit. Her remote country town may struggle to exist, and yet, it is a place that offers great freedoms and a way of life where time slows and simple pleasures are found. At the same time Emu Runner presents the fragility of this world and how quickly it can change. The unexpected death of her mother puts Gem and her family’s lives into a state of flux as they contend with their sorrow.

    Imogen Thomas

    Imogen Thomas


    Imogen Thomas has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Tisch School of Arts graduate film program at New York University. She also holds a First-Class Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Drama, from Flinders University in South Australia. It was here that Imogen began making short films, many of which have been screened at festivals and have received awards, including Best Narrative Drama at the 11th Adelaide Film Festival for DEPARTURE. At this time, she also pursued a career in set and costume design for the theatre, designing celebrated productions for Sydney’s Belvoir St Theatre, the Adelaide Theatre Festival and Magpie2. In 1998 Imogen was awarded the prestigious South Australian Premier’s Award for Emerging Artist of Year. This award afforded her the opportunity to undertake her Masters degree at NYU. Imogen’s graduating film, MIXED BAG, premiered at the Montreal Film Festival in 2008 and went on to be screened at both national and international festivals. It received the Gold Award at the Australian Cinematographer’s Society Awards 2008 as well as being a finalist for the Wasserman and King Award, First Run Film Festival 2009, NYC. EMU RUNNER is Imogen’s first narrative feature-length film.