An ancient site, a ticking clock and the unlikely allies calling for change.

In a corner of regional Victoria is Lake Boort, a place of astounding natural beauty and rare archaeological and environmental significance – and it’s being degraded on an annual basis. As the clock ticks, an unlikely partnership could see it saved for future generations.
‘Hosted’ by beloved Dja Dja Wurrung actor Uncle Jack Charles in a unique ‘in-cinema’ role, and including Jida Gulpilil – son of legendary actor, David – who brings his own flavour to his mother’s country, THE LAKE OF SCARS details the relationship between an ageing white farmer and members of Victoria’s Yung Balug clan of the Dja Dja Wurrung as they seek to protect Australia’s largest collection of scarred trees.  Amidst a backdrop of treaty talks and the fight for water rights, can the relationship between characters of different backgrounds and generations survive the stresses of fighting for country, and overturn 200 years of protocol? Or does the road to reconciliation contain more bumps than we might imagine? While exploring the beautiful, mysterious scarred trees, middens and stone scatters along the Lake Boort wetlands, we meet the people, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, who are working against the clock to preserve what they can, including Jida Gulpilil – son of legendary actor, David – who brings his own flavour to his mother’s country. With organic relics at its heart, the film examines the preservation of culture and environment as our protagonists fight for scarred trees to be preserved, for middens and stone scatters to be protected and recognised, for environmental flows of water to be allowed into the seasonal lake, and for a ‘keeping place’ to be built.
Post screening panel discussion

A conversation with Festival Guests, Uncle Jack Charles, Ngarra Murray and Bill Code (Dir)

in recognition of


Director: Bill Code
Producer: Christian Pazzaglia
Australia, 2022
96 minutes