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10 10 2017 - Media release

Sweet success for Sweet Country – full release January 2018


Natassia Gorey Furber and Hamilton Morris star in Sweet Country / Photo credit Mark Rogers

Having been awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival in September and just one week later taking home the Platform award at the Toronto International Film Festival, Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country gold rush continues with a further nine festival appearances ahead of its 25 January 2018 Australian cinema release.

The Australian premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival (7 October) was met with a standing ovation, with film critic Luke Buckmaster notingSweet Country is gobsmacking. A profound, every frame a painting neo-western. A lot of dropped jaws.”

The North American rights to the film were snapped up early by Samuel Goldwyn Films, with distribution also secured for the UK, France, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Hungary, Romania, China, Bulgaria and the Middle East.

Sweet Country is one of the most important and exquisite films to come out of this country, from a director who is recognised around the world as one of the premier auteurs of his generation,” said Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason. “The international acclaim and sales are unsurprising and richly deserved. We look forward to all Australians being able to enjoy this incredible film in January.”

Based on a true story, Sweet Country follows an Indigenous farm hand Sam Kelly (Hamilton Morris) and his wife Lizzie (Natassia Gorey Furber) who become embroiled in a white pastoralist’s (Ewen Leslie) quest to punish an Indigenous boy (played by twins Tremayne and Trevon Doolan) for an alleged crime. Despite the efforts of Sam’s employer Fred Smith (Sam Neill), the local head of police Fletcher (Bryan Brown) cannot be dissuaded from his dogged pursuit of justice which sees the film unfold against the beauty and brutality of Australia’s outback.

Production credit: 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.



“graceful, soulful, quietly incendiary” Variety / Venice Film Festival

“in terms of its visual command, the movie could hardly be more expressive” The Hollywood Reporter / Venice Film Festival

Sweet Country is a milestone for Australian Indigenous cinema that will travel extensively after its Venice competition premiere” Screen Daily / Venice Film Festival

★★★★★ “a stark, shocking movie, superbly shot by Thornton” The Guardian / Toronto Film Festival

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