At a cinema under the stars in his home town of Wyndham, Kimberley teenager Joseph Pedley watched himself on the big screen for the first time last Friday.
The 13-year-old is one of two Kimberley boys who play starring roles in the WA feature film Satellite Boy, directed by Catriona McKenzie and co-starring David Gulpilil.
The movie made its Australian debut at a small community screening at Wyndham, where most of it was filmed, on Friday.
Pedley flew back from Perth, where he boards at Christchurch Grammar School, to watch the movie with his family and friends.
He said he was more excited than nervous about seeing the film for the first time, but he was expecting there would be some embarrassing moments.
“There will be a few parts where I will have to close my eyes,” he said.
“I’ve got lots of family in Wyndham so I’m going to be a bit shame (but) my mum tells me ‘just be proud of what you did’.”
Satellite Boy tells the story of Pete, played by 11 year-old Yiyili boy Cameron Wallaby, and his friend Kalmain (Pedley), who set out to save the town’s outdoor cinema from developers.
Last month the film made its world debut to high praise at the Toronto Film Festival in Canada.
Producer David Jowsey said it was important that East Kimberley residents were the first Australians to see it.
“It means a lot because we got a lot of support from both the Aboriginal community and the white community,” he said. “People helped us at so many different levels. It doesn’t happen in the city.
“We feel like it’s just important to bring it back to where it was made and show people the movie and hopefully they are going to like it.”
More than 500 people walked a red carpet to see the film on Friday.
A screening held at the Kununurra Picture Gardens on Sunday evening drew a crowd of about 600 people.