Wendy Mocke is an award winning Papua New Guinean interdisciplinary storyteller and a NIDA Acting graduate, working across live performance and film as an actor, writer and visual artist.

Samoan-Maltese-Australian producer Jessica Magro founded Purple Carrot Entertainment, an independent production company committed to telling the untold stories of misrepresented Australia.

Bad Ancestors is a satire and black comedy that centres on two best friends: Nora and Charli, millennials who haven’t figured out life and “adulting”. Bad Ancestors will be out on ABC’s YouTube channel worldwide this February.


Creating, Empowering and Entertaining with ‘Bad Ancestors’: A Conversation with Wendy Mocke and Jess Magro

This conversation features Papua New Guinean Storyteller Wendy Mocke and Samoan-Maltese-Australian producer Jessica Magro, discussing their comedy, ‘Bad Ancestors’, and their experiences in the film industry. Mocke and Magro highlight the importance of Pacific Island representation and sharing diverse Pacific stories in mainstream media. Wendy Mocke expands on her aim to celebrate the diversity of the Pacific Islands in her work, tearing down stereotypes and western lenses. The pair share their views on the balance between industry accolades and community support, leaning towards prioritising community impact and relatability of their content. Mocke reveals that ‘Bad Ancestors’ was inspired by real-life experiences and underlines the value of a shared cultural understanding between the cast and crew. They conclude by recommending ‘Black Comedy’ as a companion show to watch alongside ‘Bad Ancestors’.


  • Representation of Black Pacific Islanders in the Australian film industry is limited, and initiatives like the Fresh Blood Initiative provide opportunities for underrepresented voices to be heard.
  • Creating art that is true to one’s vision and challenges stereotypes is important.
  • Collaboration and finding a supportive team are crucial in the filmmaking process.
  • Community support and connection are essential for the success and impact of creative projects.
  • Balancing industry accolades and community support can be challenging, but prioritizing the impact on the community is ultimately more fulfilling.


0:00 Interview – Jess and Wendy
00:16 Introduction to the Guests
00:54 The Excitement of the Interview
01:26 Discussing Pacific Islanders Identity
02:49 The Importance of Representation
08:11 The Challenges of Being the Only Pasifika Project
11:40 The Creative Process Behind Bad Ancestors
16:06 The Power of Collaboration and Community
20:17 The Impact of Bad Ancestors
28:29 The Power of Delusion and Collective Success
29:03 The Role of Ancestors and Community in Personal Success
29:21 The Importance of a Good Cast and Crew
31:48 The Challenges and Rewards of Being a Producer
37:13 The Struggle for Recognition and Validation in the Industry
42:12 The Importance of Community Support Over Industry Accolades
44:08 The Power of Representation and Shared Experiences
47:35 The Importance of Cross-Cultural Relationships
51:27 For Your Reference