In My Blood It Runs +Panel

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In My Blood It Runs is a film and campaign for change
(now-4 Nov UK only +Panel *see below. Film has captions for H/of Hearing) In My Blood It Runs is a compelling, rare insight into the world of 10-year-old child, Dujuan, who has been passed on a gift from his grandfather as a Traditional Healer. We walk with him as he begins to travel the school to prison pipeline paved by so many Indigenous kids before him and his family battle to keep him alive.

In My Blood It Runs is not just a film, it’s also a campaign for change



Dr William 'Lez' Henry (Professor of Criminology and Sociology)


Maya Newell (Director/Producer)
William Tilmouth (Arrernte) (film advisor and founder of partner of Children’s Ground)
Larissa Behrendt (Eualeyai/Kamillaroi) (Producer, Academic, Indigenous Rights Advocate, and first Indigenous Australian to graduate from Harvard Law School 

 Panel #NSFF14 #ReclaimTheFrame collab.

Director Bio

Maya has directed award-winning short documentaries, Two (AFI Docs, Slamdance, Winner AIDC emerging talent) and Growing Up Gayby (ABC TV) and her feature documentary Gayby Baby (2015). Gayby Baby was selected for GoodPitch² Australia 2014, premiered at Hot Docs, screened at London BFI, Doc Leipzig, Doc NYC, is on Netflix US and reached No. 1 on iTunes doc charts during it’s UK release. In Australia, the film famously caused a national stir when it was banned by the Australian State Government and is acknowledged as significant in the fight for Marriage Equality and Adoption Equality in Australia. In My Blood It Runs was selected for Good Pitch Australia 2016, the Sundance Documentary Fund and Sundance Skywalker Music and Sound Design Labs and is due for release in 2020. 

Director Statement

Over the last decade, I have had the privilege to be repeatedly invited to make films with two Arrernte-led organisations in Alice Springs, Akeyulerre and Children’s Ground. These films showcased the empowering work families are doing to educate their children and keep their language and culture strong. Over these years, I have sat with Elders as they recorded songlines for their grandchildren for fear they may be lost, seen kids visit their country for the first time and heard children speaking confidently and fluently in their first, second or third language. 

I was shocked to learn that our mainstream education system perceives these same children as failures at school. And it’s no surprise, when Australia and in many Western countries, First Nations children are only taught in English and their successes are measured by western values. Rarely do we see into the inner lives of First Nations children growing up as they navigate the rich and complex bicultural society they are born into. In My Blood It Runs is a film to dispel the conventional myths of failure, trauma and dysfunction of First Nations families and instead amplify the resilience, strength and love that is often exempt from our screens. 

When I made my first feature documentary Gayby Baby, I learnt that children are rarely given the agency to tell their own stories. But when they do, people stop and listen. When Gayby Baby was banned in Australian schools by the government, the film spurred a national debate about the welfare of Gayby children. IN MY BLOOD IT RUNS takes on another heated national debate; about how Australia treats Indigenous children; and presents a missing voice – the voice of the kids themselves. 

It has been a privilege to have had the opportunity to learn from Dujuan over these years. I have often been inspired by Dujuan’s courage to speak his truth to the camera. Along the way, I have been struck by his innate moral code and his heartbreaking wisdom. He is so resilient yet also so vulnerable. He is growing up to be a strong young man and I believe his truth-telling has much to teach Australia and the World.


Over these years filming In My Blood It Runs, it is clear to me that the systems that are meant to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families are often what are doing so much damage. We need systematic and radical change. Consistently, it was the solutions offered by Dujuan’s own family that were what ensured his safety. I have no doubt that it is the solutions created by First Nations peoples and communities that will be what leads to real change.

In My Blood in Runs - Panel

Availability ended 4/11/2020 BST