'The Tale of Mr. Kimberley' - a film by Marlanie Haerewa to be featured at the CinefestOZ Broome Festival

Published on Thursday, 26 October 2023 at 1:43:46 PM

The incredible story of Aboriginal elder and Derby man Sam Lovell is being told in a new award winning short documentary “The Tale of Mr. Kimberley” screening in Broome this Saturday (28th). 

The five minute documentary explores Lovell’s life and how the “father of Aboriginal tourism” shared Indigenous culture and the magnificence of the Kimberley with the rest of the world. 

“The beauty with film is that it’s with us forever,” says film producer Marlanie Haerewa. 

Haerewa’s short documentary won the WA Cinefest in Margaret River and has been nominated for the Sydney Cinefest award. 

“It was such a privilege and a blessing to have Uncle Sammy Lovell tell his own story about his life. It's a great gift that we can now keep this film - this short documentary - for our next generations to learn about the history of Derby and the Kimberley region.” 

Lovell, now 90-years-old, founded Kimberley Safari Tours in 1981 with his wife Rosita, and for his contribution to Aboriginal tourism, received the Member of the Order of Australia medal in 2003. 

Also considered the “top stockman of the Kimberley,” Lovell worked as a stockman and boundary rider at cattle stations along the Gibb River Road.

As a part of the Stolen Generation, Lovell was taken from his parents as a toddler to live at Mulla Bulla Station near Halls Creek. He then became a 19-year-old head stockman at Glenroy Station, however, was never paid.

Often referred to as the “Legend of the Kimberley,” Lovell has spent his life understanding the vast beauty and cultures of the region.

“The passion and the love he has for the Kimberley and Derby is next level,” says Haerewa about working with Lovell on the short film. 

She says Lovell’s memory and knowledge of the country is still “sharp as a needle.”

Being from Derby, Haerewa says telling Lovell’s story through the short documentary helped capture stories from her own family. 

“He’s lived in the Kimberley region for 90 years. He has so many stories about my own grandmother and grandad. And that history, and that generation is just built differently; so strong and so full of knowledge.” 

She says it was a blessing to capture the stories from Lovell in her hometown. 

“To capture stories from our elders for our next generation to learn from, I think that’s my goal. And that’s what I’m most passionate about.”

She says working on the film has inspired her to tell more stories about the people of Derby and the Kimberley. 

“I feel like every person in the Kimberley has a story.”

Lovell shared dozens of images with the State Library of Western Australia, including images of his life as far back as the 1950s in Halls Creek.  

‘The Tale of Mr. Kimberley’ will be screened in Broome this Saturday at 6 p.m. at Sun Pictures. 

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