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17 12 2020 - Media release

Screen Australia celebrates cinema with blockbuster line up of films


The Dry, Firestarter, High Ground, Penguin Bloom

Screen Australia invites all Australians to rediscover the wonder of the big screen this summer.  

The Our Summer of Cinema campaign will promote a number of high-profile titles releasing theatrically, including The Dry (1 January), Penguin Bloom (21 January), High Ground (28 January) and Firestarter (18 February). Screen Australia in collaboration with each of the films’ distributors is creating a suite of marketing assets for cinema, broadcast, digital and social media channels. The campaign will be amplified by PR and exhibition support and complement the distributors’ comprehensive marketing campaigns.

Commencing on Boxing Day, with the launch of an in-theatre trailer, the Our Summer Of Cinema campaign will highlight the incredible line up of local films releasing and reinforce that Australian cinemas are open and ready for business. A national free-to-air TV campaign will follow in January.

Screen Australia Chief Executive Officer Graeme Mason said, “Looking at the rest of the world we are so fortunate to be able to go to the cinema and see some of our biggest stars including Eric Bana, Naomi Watts and Simon Baker, plus discover a new crop of incredible talent. With Australia’s great success containing COVID-19, cinemas across the country are open for us this holiday season. They are presenting exciting content including a standout selection of Australian films on their screens this summer. We hope Australian audiences will embrace these powerful films, featuring some of our globally celebrated actors, and once again immerse themselves in the big screen experience.

“There is no denying that this has been an incredibly challenging year for all including the entire screen sector. As distributors and exhibitors recalibrate for 2021, we have a terrific opportunity for the entire industry to come together and support showcasing Australian films in cinema to Australia. This campaign is made with the industry for industry to collectively get behind these films and remind everyone of the unique wonder of the cinema experience. Going to the cinema is the most popular cultural activity in Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics*, and this summer we need to work together for the return of big films to the big screen,” said Mason.

The campaign is a creative collaboration between Screen Australia and distributors Roadshow Films, Madman Entertainment and Icon Films. The campaign’s agency partners are Trace House (creative), OMD (media), NixCo (publicity) and Assemble.me (web design).

To view and share the Our Summer of Cinema trailer, please visit here

For more information, please visit here

For tickets and session times, please visit your local cinema website.

The release dates for the four films featured in the Our Summer of Cinema campaign and synopsis details are below:

The Dry: in cinemas 1 January, 2021

When Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns to his home town after an absence of over twenty years to attend the funeral of his childhood friend, Luke, who allegedly killed his wife and child before taking his own life – a victim of the madness that has ravaged this community after more than a decade of drought. When Falk reluctantly agrees to stay and investigate the crime, he opens up an old wound – the death of 17- year-old Ellie Deacon. Falk begins to suspect these two crimes, separated by decades, are connected. As he struggles to prove not only Luke’s innocence but also his own, Falk finds himself pitted against the prejudice towards him and and pent-up rage of a terrified community. Based on the best selling debut novel by Jane Harper, The Dry is written for the screen by Harry Cripps and Robert Connolly, directed by Robert Connolly (Balibo, Paper Planes, Deep State) and stars Eric Bana. The Dry has received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria. It will be distributed by Roadshow Films in Australia and New Zealand.

For more information and to buy tickets please visit here

Penguin Bloom: in cinemas 21 January, 2021

Penguin Bloom tells the true story of Sam Bloom (Academy Award® nominated Naomi Watts) a young mother whose world is turned upside down after a near-fatal accident leaves her paralyzed. Sam's husband, (Andrew Lincoln), her three young boys and her mother (Academy Award® nominated Jacki Weaver), are struggling to adjust to their new situation when an unlikely ally enters their world in the form of an injured baby magpie they name Penguin. The bird’s arrival is a welcome distraction for the Bloom family, eventually making a profound difference in the family's life. Based on the book by Cameron Bloom, Penguin Bloom is written for the screen by Shaun Grant and Harry Cripps, and directed by Glendyn Ivin. Penguin Bloom has received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW.

For more information and to buy tickets please visit here

High Ground: in cinemas 28 January, 2021

Set against the stunning landscapes of 1930s Arnhem Land, High Ground chronicles young Aboriginal man Gutjuk, who in a bid to save the last of his family teams up with ex-soldier Travis to track down Baywara—the most dangerous warrior in the Territory, who is also his uncle. As Travis and Gutjuk journey through the outback they begin to earn each other’s trust, but when the truths of Travis’ past actions are suddenly revealed, it is he who becomes the hunted. Selected to screen at the Berlin International Film Festival 2020, High Ground is directed by Stephen Maxwell Johnson, written by Chris Anastassiades and stars Jacob Junior Nayinggul, Simon Baker, Jack Thmopson, Aaron Pedersen, Ryan Corr and Witiyana Marika. A High Ground Pictures feature with major production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Screen Territory and Film Victoria.

For more information and to buy tickets please visit here

Firestarter: in cinemas 18 February, 2021

AACTA Award winning documentary Firestarter marks Bangarra Dance Theatre’s 30th anniversary. Taking us through Bangarra’s birth and spectacular growth, the film recognises Bangarra’s founders and tells the story of how three young Aboriginal brothers — Stephen, David and Russell Page — turned the newly born dance group into a First Nations cultural powerhouse. Through the eyes of the brothers and company alumni, Firestarter explores the loss and reclaiming of culture, the burden of intergenerational trauma, and – crucially – the power of art as a messenger for social change and healing. Directed by Wayne Blair and Nel Minchin. Firestarter received principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW.

For more information please visit here

* Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2019, March 26) Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia, 2017-18

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Media enquiries

Maddie Walsh | Publicist

+ 61 2 8113 5915  | [email protected]

Ted Rose | Senior Publicist

+ 61 2 8113 1091  | + 61 456 558 679 | ted.rose@screenaustralia.gov.au

All other general/non-media enquiries

Sydney + 61 2 8113 5800  |  Melbourne + 61 3 8682 1900 | [email protected]