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Emu Runner

1h 35m Drama, Family, Australia, Australian 2018

Gem, a spirited 8-year-old girl, deals with the grief of her mother's death by forging a bond with a wild emu.

Emu Runner is the story of Gem Daniels (Rhae-Kye Waites), a nine-year-old Indigenous girl, 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. Gem’s obsessive attachment to the emu leads her down a troubled path as she feeds it her school lunches and begins to steal extra food for it. To spend more time with the emu, Gem skips school, attracting the attention of a new social worker in town, Heidi (Georgia Blizzard, Thor: Ragnarok), who is convinced Gem’s family is failing to look after her. With the death of his wife, Gem’s father, Jay Jay (Wayne Blair, The Sapphires), is left to raise Gem, her 15-year old sister Valerie and her 17-year-old brother Ecka on his own. While Jay Jay’s commitment to his family doesn’t waver, the pressures to make ends meet and hold the family together are exacerbated by the antics of his children. Not only does Jay Jay face prejudices from the white community in the town, he also has to prove himself as a competent sole parent before Heidi takes Gem away from him.


Rhae-Kye Waites (Gem) , Wayne Blair (Jay Jay)


Imogen Thomas