Debut film from Australian writer/director Imogen Thomas. Nine-year-old Gem (newcomer Rhae-Kye Waites) forms a bond with a wild emu in the remote town of Brewarrina NSW, as she tries to cope with her beleaguered father, a naïve social worker, and her own painful grief in the aftermath of her mother's sudden death.
"In nature, the male emu takes on the role of rearing the chicks. The human parallel to this emu trait is explored in this delicately beautiful feature debut... At the moment of her greatest need for comfort, Gem encounters and forges a bond with a wild emu, the totem bird of her ancestors. While her connection with the bird gives her solace, it also leads to behaviours that bring Gem to the attention of Heidi (Georgia Blizzard), a new social worker in town.
"Emu Runner was a multi-year collaboration between director Thomas and the entire Brewarrina community. Each moment of care shows on the screen. The film's theme of respecting differences while treasuring community has never felt more contemporary, compelling, or universal." (Toronto International Film Festival)