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24 04 2024 - Media release

Screen Australia celebrates Australian projects bound for Cannes Film Festival 2024


Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, The Surfer, Withered Blossoms

Three Australian titles have been selected for the 77th Festival de Cannes in France, which runs from 14 – 25 May 2024. Making their respective world premieres are Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, The Surfer and Withered Blossoms.  

Screen Australia’s CEO Deirdre Brennan said, "We are thrilled by the selection of such a diverse range of films for Cannes 2024. From the highly-anticipated feature Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga by George Miller — one of Australia’s most successful filmmakers; Robert Connolly’s The Surfer an Irish/Australian co-production filmed in Western Australia; and Withered Blossoms, a compelling short film crafted from our emerging filmmakers. This is a remarkable achievement and a testament to the strength of our world-class screen industry. Our sincere congratulations to the creative teams involved, we can’t wait for global audiences to engage with these brilliant films."

Academy Award-winning writer/director George Miller will unveil his next action adventure, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga with an Out of Competition gala screening at the Grand Théâtre Lumière on 15 May. The film stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth and Tom Burke, with much of the filming taking place in regional NSW.   

The NSW Government's Made in NSW fund and PDV Rebate and the Federal Government’s Producer Offset helped to secure the production, and to date, is the biggest film ever to be made in Australia.  

Director George Miller said “The idea of this prequel has been with me for over a decade. I couldn’t be more thrilled to return to the Festival de Cannes – along with Anya, Chris and Tom – to share Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.”

Irish/Australian Co-production The Surfer will screen in the Festival’s Midnights section, and is a gritty and intensely unnerving psychological thriller about community, tribalism, ownership and masculinity-in-crisis. Directed by Lorcan Finnegan (Vivarium), written by Thomas Martin and starring Nicolas Cage, the film was shot in a single location in Yallingup in Western Australia.  

Producer Robert Connolly said “It is wonderful to receive such prestigious recognition for the work of so many talented creatives, cast and crew. I’m thrilled for director Lorcan Finnegan who has made an incredible work of cinema.”

Australian talent in front of and behind the camera is further represented across the Cannes Film Festival this year, with the selection of Withered Blossoms in the La Cinéf strand. From the creative talents of AFTRS (Australian Film Television and Radio School) students, the short film is a poignant drama directed and written by Lionel Seah, and produced by Miki Clarke. Featuring Rachel Young and Stella Ye, the narrative follows a young woman confronting her grandmother's struggle with ageing after hiding her own separation from her long-term partner. Spoken in English and Cantonese, this self-financed project showcases the burgeoning diverse and multilingual talent emerging from Australia's film industry. 

Producer Miki Clarke and Director Lionel Seah said, “We're thrilled that Withered Blossoms has been selected in competition for the Cannes Film Festival. As a summer holiday film, fuelled with nothing but passion, this achievement underscores the power of our close-knit team and grassroots filmmaking. We extend a special thank you to Screen Australia, DCP Australia, Trackdown Studios and AFTRS for their support in bringing this deeply personal yet universally resonant film to life.” 

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the world’s most prestigious and competitive international film festivals, and is an invaluable platform for filmmakers and artists to launch their film to the international market. Australian films that have screened in the Cannes Film Festival across its programmes in the past include The New Boy (2023), The Stranger (2022) and Elvis (2022).   

A full history of Australian titles at Cannes is available here.

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