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Emu Runner (2018)

2:06 | Trailer
A spirited 8-year-old girl deals with the grief of her mother's death by forging a bond with a wild emu. This spiritual dreaming is a bond she will do anything to keep, but one that puts her at odds with the new social worker.


Imogen Thomas


Imogen Thomas
3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview:
Rhae-Kye Waites Rhae-Kye Waites ... Gem
Wayne Blair ... Jay Jay
Rob Carlton Rob Carlton ... Stan
Georgia Blizzard ... Heidi
Maurial Spearim Maurial Spearim ... Darlene
Stella Carter Stella Carter ... Tessa
Mary Waites Mary Waites ... Daphne
Lindsay Waites Lindsay Waites ... Uncle Wes
Letisha Boney Letisha Boney ... Valerie
Rodney McHughes Rodney McHughes ... Ecka


Emu Runner is a lyrical story about the impact a mother's death has on an Aboriginal family living in an isolated community, which is perched on an ancient river and surrounded by sprawling plains. The story is seen through the eyes of Gem, a spirited 8-year-old girl, who deals with the grief of her mother's death by forging a bond with a wild emu, a mythical bird of her ancestors. This spiritual dreaming is a bond she will do anything to keep, but one that puts her at odds with the new social worker.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A story to open hearts and minds. See more »









Release Date:

7 November 2019 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Emu Runner See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Imogen Thomas Films See more »
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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Jane Schoettle, International Programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), said of this film: "The film is so beautifully made - deceptively simple and yet with so many resonant layers of meaning. The photography is beautiful, and the script is spare, making every word meaningful. While all of the cast is compelling, Rhae-Kye Waites as Gem is amazing - I've not been able to get her performance out of my mind (not that I'd want to-!) - she has an onscreen charisma that is rare. Many of the images from the film have stayed with me and I know this will be especially true for all audiences, but perhaps even more for our significant Indigenous audience. Having recently lost an older female family member, the film really moved me on many levels." See more »

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User Reviews

A captivating Australian movie
13 November 2019 | by SoylentGreenieSee all my reviews

Emu Runner is a beautiful movie with its heart absolutely in the right place. The writer/director has set the film in the real outback NSW town of Brewarrina and I read that many of the townspeople were involved in the making of it, having small parts etc. The father is played by actor/director Wayne Blair and he is terrific; you can see how much his family means to him. Many of the other actors are non-professional and do very well with their roles; some of the young ones have amazing presence. The story is of a bereaved young Aboriginal girl in a small town who finds solace in interacting with an emu. Her character and the depiction of the town, its people and landscape is captivating and I found the movie very enjoyable.

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