We acknowledge Australia’s First Nations People as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land, and pay respect to the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, upon whose Country SFF are based.
We honour the storytelling and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.

We Were Dangerous

Directed by Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu
New Zealand
82 minutes
Unclassified 15+
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From director Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu and executive producer Taika Waititi, We Were Dangerous is a funny yet frightening drama following three defiant girls caught in New Zealand’s history of eugenics.

Two Māori teens, Nellie (Erana James, The Wilds) and Daisy (Manaia Hall), attempt to escape an institution for delinquent girls in 1954 New Zealand. They are caught, and & – in the ensuing bureaucratic frenzy – relocated to a remote island facility, where they team up with well-to-do Lou (Nathalie Morris, Bump). Life on the island is dominated by The Matron (Rima Te Wiata, Hunt for the Wilderpeople), a stern taskmistress who delights in experimental dead-of-night punishments. Unbroken, the trio begin to plot another daring escape. Stewart-Te Whiu displays a deft hand with her trio of young stars in an ultimately inspirational film about the power of female friendship.

Limited seats are available for patrons requiring access for wheelchairs, low vision and hearing loop. Please contact our ticketing team directly on 1300 733 733 or tickets@sff.org.au to complete your booking.

Flexipasses cannot be redeemed for Back By Popular Demand sessions 
A hopeful – sometimes borderline exuberant – rallying cry for girls to stick together across the various divides that people use to disempower them
David Ehrlich, IndieWire

Special Guests

Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu
Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu is a New Zealand-based writer and director of Maori and Pakeha descent. Her debut short Ani (2019) premiered at the Berlinale, was long-listed for the Academy Awards Narrative Shorts in 2020, and was acquired by Fox Searchlight Shorts. Te Whiu is also an alumnus of the TIFF Filmmakers Lab and Canada Goose Fellowship.
Polly Fryer
Polly Fryer is an Emmy-nominated producer, best known for the documentary drama The Golden Hour. A former co-head of Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission, Fryer was a supervising producer on the Hulu series Creamerie. She is currently producing I, Object, the upcoming feature film by Andrew Niccol (The Truman Show, Gattaca).

Films showing at this event:

Lea Tupu'anga/Mother Tongue
Thu 13 June 6:00pm, Sat 15 June 3:30pm
A young speech therapist disconnected from her Tongan heritage lies about her Tongan language skills to get a job. Out of her depth, she must find a way to communicate or else she risks her patient’s life. Sundance 2024.


Thu 13 Jun
Event Cinemas George Street - Cinema 9
Assisted Listening
Past Event Cancel
Sat 15 Jun
Dendy Newtown - Cinema 1
Assisted Listening
Close Captioned
Past Event Cancel
Thu 20 Jun
Ritz Randwick - Cinema 5
Assisted Listening
Close Captioned
Past Event Cancel
Program Strand
First Nations Award, Back By Popular Demand
Unclassified 15+
New Zealand
In English
Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu
Morgan Waru, Polly Fryer
Erana James, Nathalie Morris, Manaia Hall
Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu, Maddie Dai
María Inés Manchego
Hansjörg Weissbrich, Richard Shaw
Australian Premiere
First Nations, Women Directors, Focus on Women, Festival Award Winners, Human Rights
Company Credits
Australian Distributor: Madman Entertainment
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