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14 04 2022 - Media release

Three Thousand Years of Longing joins Elvis at Cannes Film Festival 2022


Dr George Miller

Screen Australia congratulates Dr George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis and Thomas M Wright’s The Stranger which have been selected for the 75th Festival de Cannes, running from 17 – 28 May 2022.

Screen Australia’s CEO Graeme Mason said, “Cannes is one of the most important and prestigious celebrations of cinema each year and it’s tremendous to see continued appetite for Australian filmmaking talent. It’s special that 2022 marks 30 years since Baz Luhrmann’s first feature Strictly Ballroom screened there, and it’s great to see Dr George Miller returning to the festival after 2015’s outstanding Mad Max Fury Road. I couldn’t think of a better way to launch these feature films that audiences around the world are already excited for. A huge congratulations to the teams on this achievement.”

Writer/director Dr George Miller said, “A superb cast and crew brought the best of themselves to the crafting of this movie. It’s a lovely thing that its first showing will be at that magnificent theatre on the Croisette at Cannes.”

Three Thousand Years of Longing follows Dr Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) who is content with life and comes at the world with a healthy scepticism. Despite this she encounters a Djinn (Idris Elba) who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom. This is a problem because she is a scholar of narrative and knows all the cautionary tales about wishes gone wrong. He pleads his case by telling her fantastical stories of his past. Eventually she is beguiled and makes a wish that surprises them both. The film is being distributed by Roadshow.

Shot in Queensland, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis explores the life and music of Elvis Presley (played by Austin Butler), seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge). It will release in Australia on 23 June 2022 and is being distributed by Universal.

This year continues a long history of the filmmakers at Cannes, with Baz Luhrmann in 2013 being the only director to have two feature films open the festival with Moulin Rouge! in 2001 and then The Great Gatsby. In 1992, Luhrmann’s first film Strictly Ballroom screened in the Un Certain Regard section. Dr George Miller’s Mad Max Fury Road premiered at Cannes in 2015 and Miller headed the jury at the 69th festival in 2016.

Thomas M Wright’s second feature, crime thriller The Stranger, has been selected for Un Certain Regard. Produced by See-Saw Productions, Anonymous Content and Blue-Tongue Films, The Stranger stars Sean Harris and Joel Edgerton as Henry and Mark, two strangers that meet and strike up a friendship. However, what Henry doesn’t know is that Mark is a seasoned undercover officer working to convict Henry for an unsolved murder. International sales are being managed by Rocket Science and Cross City Films and the film received production funding from Screen Australia in association with the South Australian Film Corporation and support from Screen NSW.

A full history of Australian titles at Cannes is available here

Austin Butler as Elvis in Warner Bros. Pictures’ drama Elvis, a Warner Bros. Pictures release (Photo by Hugh Stewart)

Change log – 19 April – This media release was edited on 19 April 2022 to include information about The Stranger.

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