SWEET COUNTRY BOUND FOR VENICE, TORONTO & ADELAIDE
JUST ANNOUNCED: With its World Premiere In Official Competition at the Venice Film Festival, Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country will have its North American premiere as the Closing Night film in the Platform Competition of the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, before its Australian Premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival.
Inspired by real events and starring Sam Neill, Bryan Brown, Ewen Leslie, Thomas M. Wright, Anni Finsterer, Matt Day and introducing Hamilton Morris, Gibson John, Natassia Gorey-Furber, Tremayne Doolan and Trevon Doolan, Sweet Country is set in the 1920s on the Northern Territory frontier - where justice itself is put on trial.
Directed by Warwick Thornton, recipient of the Camera d’Or at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for his debut feature Samson and Delilah, the period western is a stunning cinematic vision and soundscape set in the desert of the magnificent MacDonnell Ranges around Alice Springs in central Australia.
Director Warwick Thornton said: "That landscape around Alice Springs is sacred. The MacDonnell Ranges are always in my mind from growing up there with my family. So, Sweet Country, is a film about the land and our family and what happened when the missionaries and pastoralists arrived."
Produced by Bunya Productions’ Greer Simpkin and David Jowsey, and written by Steven McGregor and co-producer David Tranter, Sweet Country received major production investment and development support from Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, in association with the South Australian Film Corporation, Create NSW, Screen Territory and the Adelaide Film Festival, with international sales being handled by Memento and the Australian release by Transmission Films.
“To represent Australia on the cinematic world stage with such an important story is both humbling and thrilling. To our stellar cast and crew we thank you; to our inspiring director – we salute you, and to our funding partners who believed in this production from the start – we are sincerely grateful.”
ABOUT SWEET COUNTRY
Inspired by real events, Sweet Country is a period western set in 1929 in the outback of the Northern Territory, Australia. When Aboriginal stockman Sam (Hamilton Morris) kills white station owner Harry March (Ewen Leslie) in self-defence, Sam and his wife Lizzie (Natassia Gorey-Furber) go on the run. They are pursued across the outback, through glorious but harsh desert country. Sergeant Fletcher (Bryan Brown) leads the posse with the help of Aboriginal tracker Archie (Gibson John) and local landowners Fred Smith (Sam Neill) and Mick Kennedy (Thomas M. Wright). Fletcher is desperate to capture Sam and put him on trial for murder - but Sam is an expert bushman and he has little difficulty outlasting them. Eventually, for the health of his pregnant wife, Sam decides to give himself up. He is put on trial in the courtroom of Judge Taylor (Matt Day). But will justice be served?