Territorians are in for a treat when the locally filmed Sweet Country premieres in Alice Springs tonight.
The international award-winning feature film is set in the 1920s and tells the tale of an Aboriginal stockman tried for murder - it’s an Australian frontier drama told from an authentic Aboriginal perspective.
The Territory Labor Government is investing $9 million over four years to support the growth and development of the Northern Territory screen industry, and provided $200,000 towards the production of Sweet Country in 2016-17.
At the Alice Springs premiere, Minister for Tourism and Culture Lauren Moss congratulated Director Mr Warwick Thornton, writers Mr Steven McGregor and Mr David Tranter, and national producers Mr David Jowsey and Ms Greer Simpkin from Bunya Productions on their outstanding success with Sweet Country.
“Sweet Country shares an important Aboriginal story, unique to the Northern Territory, with the world and showcases the beautiful landscape of Central Australia, in particular Ooraminna Station, Simpsons Gap and Trephina Gorge,” Ms Moss said.
“A major production such as this delivers wider economic benefits, with the production of Sweet Country alone contributing approximately $1.2 million to the Alice Springs economy and creating jobs by employing 50 local people as acting extras.
“I am sure Sweet Country will become an Australian 'must see' and continue to receive accolades from around the world as audiences engage with this important story.”
Starring acclaimed Australian actors Sam Neill, Bryan Brown and Ewen Leslie, and Warlpiri man Hamilton Morris who found fame on 8MMM, the ABC TV series about a remote community radio station, Sweet Country has screened at more than 25 international film festivals, including London and Tokyo. It has collected significant international and Australian awards including:
- Venice Film Festival Special Jury Prize and the Premio Bisato d’Or, the Venice film critics award for best overall film,
- Best Film awards from the Toronto International Film Festival,
- Asia Pacific Screen Award,
- FIPRESCI Camerimage Film Festival in Poland,
- Adelaide Film Festival, and
- ImagineNATIVE Film Festival, the world’s largest Indigenous film and media arts festival in Canada.
For more information on the Territory's film industry, visit www.screenterritory.nt.gov.au