Thank you for visiting the official site of Witchenini Entertainment. You are invited to explore this site to learn more about the life and career of this one-of-a-kind Movie Director - Justin Rhys Grant.
Justin was born to be a director. As a child, there was nothing he enjoyed more than sitting around a campfire with his Elders, absorbing the scenes and dream-time stories like a sponge. Growing up, Justin was lucky to turn his passion into a successful career in the Arts Industry and, in 2020, founded Witchenini Entertainment.
Specializing in visual storytelling, 'WE' is your go-to source for excellent results. From development to production, his company is here to transmit your ideas into a stunning visual representation. Explore our site for videos, services and information. Justin is always looking for his next project or collaboration, whether you’re starting with a vague idea or a fully-fleshed out concept, Justin can bring your vision to life, please get in touch.
Please read on to learn what Justin has to say about his company.
The Witchenini Story So Far...
My name is Justin Rhys Grant, I am an Aboriginal man from the NT, my tribes are Warlpiri, Gurindji and Jawoyn. I started my career as an actor in 2008 and have been in the Industry for 13 years; now with a master’s degree in writing directing for film and TV.
I plan on taking more Indigenous stories into the public eye. I first heard my Ancestor’s stories when I was five years old. I was gifted with the art of storytelling at the age of ten by the Elders of my Tribe. I moved on to acting at the age of seventeen and directed my first theatre production at Victoria University. The reasoning behind this was people had to stay in the room and had to listen to the stories I had to give; which meant, for me, that I had a voice that no one could turn a deaf ear to. I then completed my Diploma in Theatre Arts and started my career as a storyteller all around Melbourne and then on to Newcastle-W.A. and all-over South Australia. This is where I heard of more stories from Tribes and communities and learnt how one story could impact one person and then a tribe as well. In WA we taught the Aboriginal kids to get their stories from their Elders, and then got them to play the stories back to the Elders as if they wore the stories themselves. This moved their Elders to the point of tears. The Elders wanted more of this to happen but, unfortunately, we didn’t have enough funding to continue. After this experience I was inspired to write my grandparents story and wanted to turn it into a short film. Through this I realized their story is a lot bigger than a short film. So, I got to work and wrote my first feature film in three days, with edits. At that point I decided to study more about film-making and enrolled into my Masters of Writing and Directing in Film and TV at Victorian College of the Arts.
My graduating film became critically acclaimed by the teachers at the Victorian College of the Arts. After graduating I found out there is a lack of Aboriginal People’s in the Film Industry which led me to start my own company and now I am the Founder, Owner and Director of Witchenini Entertainment Pty Ltd. Currently I am working on a web series with the goal being to create a platform for Indigenous stories. ‘WE’ will be uploading comical skits, drama and action films, as well as music videos and documentaries. I will be offering editing for footage sent through for all of the above to help get content out there. I am also starting up a 2-week program to teach film makers – inexperienced and experienced – how to go respectfully into communities to respectfully tell stories of Aboriginal People based on their Cultural Land.
Witchenini Entertainment is only the second Aboriginal owned registered film company in Australia. Witchenini Entertainment is 100% Aboriginal owned and operated. I am confident that with this step forward I am now able to bring my culture to the world.
The Witchenini Future...
The goal for Witchenini Entertainment is to open a school in the NT to teach Acting and Writing for Film and TV and Directing to the Indigenous kids to help them tell their family stories, and to hopefully, get them to focus on a better and brighter future through the art of storytelling. In Australia we, Indigenous People’s, have the highest rate of suicide in the World, and in the Northern Territory they have tripled in the last five years... We are losing our younger generation and our Elders are passing away, taking with them our cultural stories.
Witchenini Entertainment’s plan is to actively engage the Indigenous kids back to their Elder’s story and give them a voice to express their trauma through positive storytelling techniques. We all need an outlet when we are going through rough times in our lives; Witchenini Entertainment will provide music, acting and writing classes to be able to help these young voices and stories to be heard.
Acting saved me from traumas I had gone through when I was a kid. To be able to stand and say I have a voice and a story to share empowered me. Witchenini entertainment – WE – strictly follows the cultural protocols of the Indigenous People of the Land. The role of storytelling in Indigenous culture is a sacred and important part of passing our knowledge down to the younger generation.
WE will, soon, open a streaming service to keep the stories flowing into the world. Using apps, online services, social media and the Witchenini Entertainment web page. The goal is to take these stories and showcase them with the same (or better) quality, significance, professionalism and importance of any major production company out there.
‘WE’ is honored to share our story and future with you!
If 'WE' have inspired you and you would like to join us and support 'WE' in this journey; please make a donation using the button below. Any amount is appreciated and will be crucial in helping us achieve our goals. Many thanks!