Chili Films
Chili Films
Bringing stories to life

Bringing impactful stories to the world


Chili Films

Chili Films is a boutique media company, based in the middle of Australia in Alice Springs. Chili Films’ principal, Penelope McDonald, has a depth of experience in making programs for television and cinema release, as well as audio visual and print media for specific messaging across a range of government and community agencies.

Our productions have won many awards in Australia and Internationally. Buckskin won Foxtel Sydney Film Festival Documentary Award in 2013. My Mother India won best documentary Sydney, Melbourne Festivals, and Film Critics Circle in 2002. Previous films include Indigenous dramas My Bed Your Bed, Payback, My Mother My Son and Night Cries awarded nationally and internationally.

Chili Films offers extensive experience in working with the best creatives – producers, writers and directors, and technicians.


In Development


Beating Diabetes: The Anangu Way

This three-part series journeys with renal patients from the quirky innovative Purple House in Alice Springs on their road to holistic healing - body, mind and spirit - and back home to their traditional lands in the remote Australian desert.

Run Time 3 x 30 minutes Style: Factual documentary



the daily grind

In the remote deserts of Australia, grinding stones, archaeological remnants dating back 40,000 years and more, are left lying on the ground, reminders of  to future generations of Australians by their generations of women’s daily work, keeping families and children and their cultures alive through grinding seed.  We tread in the footsteps of the past, as a new generation discovers the health benefits of ancient practices.

Run Time 1 x 60 minutes Style: Factual documentary



Chillis and Climate Change Around the World

Throughout the world eating certain foods have been associated with helping to expel environmental conditions. In Sichuan, China, one very important function of chilli is to clear the dampness and to expel the cold. Conversely, in hot countries, like Thailand, chilis are used to cool the body. No need for heaters or air conditioning. This series explores the traditional functions of Chili’s around the world and how their adaptions can help reduce the emissions of fossil fuels.

Run time: 10 x 30 mins Style: Documentary


“Creative adaptability is the key to working across audiences.”

Penelope McDonald - Founder


Completed Projects


Buckskin (2013)

Jack Buckskin is a man whose mission is to sculpt a new urban Aboriginal language and culture, and through that bring hope back to his people.

Run time:  55 mins

Style: Documentary

Broadcaster: ABC

DSCF2648 copy.jpg

first nations bedtime stories

Five unique short films share Dreamtime stories from Central Australian Aboriginal people that have been handed down since time immemorial. They introduce a few Aboriginal words, in languages rarely heard.

Run time: 5 x 5 minutes. 26 mins

Style: Documentary

Broadcaster: NITV


my mother india

A young woman's journey of cultural exploration and reconciliation within her family. The story travels between cultures and two continents as she comes to understand the different heritages she has inherited through her matriarchal forebears; her Indian 'Biji' and her Australian grandmother.

Run time:  52 mins

Style: Documentary

Broadcaster: SBS


Want to work with us?

reach out to speak with us