AU, DE, UK 2018 • 53', 93' • Gabrielle Brady
current affairshuman interest


Christmas Island; In the middle of the Indian Ocean, 50 million red crabs make their ancient annual voyage from the jungle to the oceans edge. While thousands of asylum seekers are detained indefinitely in a high security facility. Poh Lin, a trauma counsellor living on the Island of Hungry Ghosts, bears witness to the decline of those being detained.


"visually beautiful"
The Guardian
"lyrical and poetic approach [...] highlights not only the terrible reality faced by many, but also gently reveals the absurd cruelty at the heart of much of human behavior"
Screen Daily
"The magic of documentary filmmaking comes alive in this film."
The Knockturnal
"haunting documentary"
Film Forward
"Brady’s surrealist dreamscape, shot breathtakingly by Michael Latham, becomes an all-encompassing tribunal on man’s inhumanity"
Filmmaker Magazine
"timely subject matter giving scope for an arthouse theatrical run in various territories"
Screen Daily
"le film fascine et confère une dimension tant poétique que politique au combat désespéré de la thérapeute dans son soutien aux migrants"
Festival des Libertés Jury statement
"The best documentary award goes to a film that demonstrates extraordinary mastery of the full symphonic range of cinematic tools: cinematography, editing, score, sound design and, perhaps greatest of all, an exquisite use of metaphor," the documentary jury said. "To a film that moved us deeply, impressed us immensely and made us feel we were witnessing nothing less than the emergence, fully formed, of a major new cinematic talent, we are thrilled to award the best documentary award to Island of the Hungry Ghosts.”
Tribeca Jury Statement


Panorama Price @ Festival FReDD 2019
Best Documentary Feature @ Tribeca Film Festival 2018
Buyens-Chagoll Award @ Visions du Réel 2018
Best Documentary film @ Valletta Film Festival
Special Mention @ Edinburgh IFF
Best Documentary @ Crested Butte FF 2018
Flinders University Feature Documentary Award @ Adelaide FF 2018
Prix SMART @ Festival des Libertés 2018
Grand Jury Prize for the International Competition @ Mumbai FF 2018
Amsterdam Human Rights Award @ IDFA 2018
Best Documentary @ SAE ATOM Awards 2018
Prix spécial du Jury @ FIFO Tahiti 2019
Special Mention from the Movies That Matter Jury @ ZagrebDox 2019
Best Director - Documentary @ Ozflix Independent Film Awards 2019
Best Cinematography @ Ozflix Independent Film Awards 2019
Best Editing @ Ozflix Independent Film Awards 2019
Best Sound Design @ Ozflix Independent Film Awards 2019
Best Documentary @ Sole Luna Doc Film Festival 2019
Audience Prize @ Sole Luna Doc Film Festival 2019
Best Film @ Down Under Berlin FF 2019
Best Documentary @ Darwin International Film Festival 2018
Mercurius Prize @ Human Rights Film Festival Zürich 2018
Human Rights Award @ Move it! Dresden 2019
Read More


Official Website


Gabrielle Brady
Alexander Wadouh
Samm Haillay, Alex Kelly, Gizem Acarla
Executive Producer
Lizzie Francke, Sarah Perks
Production Company
Chromosom Film
Co-Production Company
Third Films, Various Films, EchoTango
Michael Latham
Gabrielle Brady
Katharina Fiedler
Aaron Couples
Leo Dolgan


Tribeca 2018
Festival des Libertés 2018
IDFA 2018
Viennale 2018
Visions du Réel 2018
DocAviv 2018
New Zealand IFF 2018
Edinburgh FF 2018
Athens IFF 2018
Melbourne IFF 2018
DOK Leipzig 2018
Valladolid IFF 2018
Montreal IDF
Jio Mami Mumbai IFF 2018
Makedox Festival 2018
Guangzhou IDFF 2018
Tallinn Black Nights IFF 2018
One World Prague 2019
Göteborg IFF 2019
Dokfest München 2019
True/False Film Festival 2019
Moscow IFF 2019
Read More

Press Pictures


Download (pdf)


Gabrielle Brady (1984) is an Australian filmmaker who makes documentary and hybrid films. Gabrielle studied Documentary Direction at the Cuban international film school (EICTV). Gabrielle has lived nomadically for the past ten years, traveling between Cuba, Mongolia, Indonesia, the Australian central desert and Europe. Her short film ISLAND was commissioned as part of the Guardian documentary series and premiered at Sheffield festival 2017. ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS is her first feature film.