/News 19.04.23


South Australian Film Corporation celebrates international screen success:

Warwick Thornton’s The New Boy selected for Cannes

South Australia’s screen industry is set to shine on the international stage once again with Warwick Thornton’s new feature film The New Boy officially selected for the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.

The South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) supported film, shot in regional South Australia, has been announced in the festival’s Un Certain Regard program.

The New Boy. Image: Ben King

Written and directed by Warwick Thornton, the film is produced by Kath Shelper for Scarlett Pictures, Cate Blanchett, Andrew Upton and co-producer Georgie Pym for Dirty Films, and Lorenzo De Maio (of De Maio Entertainment), with Coco Francini serving as executive producer for Dirty Films alongside Gretel Packer for Longbridge Nominees.

Set in 1940s Australia, The New Boy is the story of a nine-year-old Aboriginal orphan boy (newcomer Aswan Reid) who arrives in the dead of night at a remote monastery, run by a renegade nun (Cate Blanchett), where his presence disturbs the delicately balanced world in this story of spiritual struggle and the cost of survival. The film also stars Deborah Mailman and Wayne Blair, alongside an ensemble of new faces including Shane Brady, Tyrique Brady, Laiken Woolmington, Kailem Miller, Kyle Miller, Tyzailin Roderick and Tyler Spencer.

The selection marks a return to Cannes for Warwick Thornton, who won the Caméra d’Or (Golden Camera) for best first feature in 2009 for his acclaimed debut Samson & Delilah, which premiered in Un Certain Regard, a program dedicated to celebrating bold and innovative cinematic voices. 

The prestigious festival honour continues an impressive year for South Australian-made and SAFC-supported films at international festivals with The Survival of Kindness and Limbo premiering in Competition at the Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival in February as the first Australian films in Competition since 2006, alongside Talk to Me, and short film Marungka Tjalatjunu/Dipped in Black which won the Teddy Award. Talk to Me and Run Rabbit Run were selected for the Sundance Film Festival (19-29 January, Utah, US); and Monolith and Talk to Me were selected for South by Southwest – SXSW (10-19 March, Austin, US).

“ Congratulations to Warwick Thornton, Cate Blanchett, Andrew Upton, Kath Shelper and the entire cast and crew on the success of The New Boy.
It is wonderful to see so many South Australian-made films continue to receive such prestigious international recognition, which not only highlights the talent within our local industry but showcases our great state to audiences around the globe. ”
– Andrea Michaels, Arts Minister for South Australia 

The New Boy is the second South Australian-made film to be selected for Cannes in as many years, after See-Saw Films’ The Stranger starring Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris received standing ovations in the festival’s Un Certain Regard program in 2022.

“ We are thrilled to see such significant international recognition for The New Boy, the latest South Australian-made production to come from our state’s long and fruitful relationship with filmmakers Warwick Thornton, Kath Shelper of Scarlett Pictures and Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton of Dirty Films. Congratulations to the entire creative team, cast and crew on this prestigious honour. ”
– Kate Croser, CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation

The New Boy has major production investment from Screen Australia’s First Nations Department in association with Screen NSW and the SAFC. Roadshow Films is handling distribution in Australia and New Zealand.

Read more about The New Boy.

Check out the new trailer for A24’s South Australian-made horror Talk to Me 

A24 has released the terrifying new trailer for the highly anticipated South Australian-made horror Talk to Me, ahead of its 28 July release in US cinemas. 

Filmed in Adelaide and supported by the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC), Talk to Me is the directorial debut from South Australian filmmaking twin brothers Danny and Michael Philippou, aka Youtube sensations RackaRacka, and co-written by Danny Philippou and South Australian writer Bill Hinzman.

The film follows a group of friends who discover how to conjure spirits using an embalmed hand and become hooked on the new thrill, until one of them goes too far and opens the door to the spirit world, forcing them to choose who to trust: the dead or the living.

Talk to Me

Picked up by Oscar-winning studio A24 after its international premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2023 sparked a bidding war, Talk to Me has been praised by filmmakers Ari Aster (Hereditary) and Jordan Peele (Nope) and producer Jason Blum (M3GAN). Following successful screenings at the Berlinale, SXSW and Overlook Film Festival it’s also scored raves from critics with Variety calling the film an “entertaining Aussie horror” that’s “a cut above average”, The Hollywood Reporter calling it a “high-concept horror that works… Bone-chilling” and The Daily Beast describes it as “ a terrifying horror breakout”.

Talk to Me stars Sophie Wilde (EdenThe Portable Door, Netflix’s upcoming limited series The Fuck It Bucket), Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings), Zoe Terakes (Nine Perfect Strangers, Marvel’s upcoming Disney+ series Ironheart), Otis Dhanji (Aquaman), Chris Alosio (Millie Lies Low) and Alexandra Jensen (Joe vs CaroleFrayed).

Talk to Me is produced by Causeway Films’ Samantha Jennings and Kristina Ceyton. Executive producers are Stephen Kelliher, Sophie Green, Compton Ross, Daniel Negret, Noah Dummett, John Dummett, Jeff Harrison, Ari Harrison, Miranda Otto, Dale Roberts, Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou. The film received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the South Australian Film Corporation, Adelaide Film Festival, KOJO Studios, Head Gear Films, Hold Standard and Maslow Umbrella Ahi Entertainment. 

Talk to Me will be released theatrically in the US on 28 July 2023 and in Australia on 27 July 2023.

Read more about Talk to Me here

Iven Sen’s South Australian-shot desert noir Limbo impresses at Berlinale

Iven Sen’s South Australian shot mystery thriller Limbo has been lauded as a hit by international critics following its world premiere In Competition at the 2023 Berlinale.

Simon Baker in Limbo, Coober Pedy

Filmed in the unique South Australian underground outback town of Coober Pedy, which in recent times has served as a location for AMC+ series Firebite and blockbuster Mortal Kombat, Limbo stars Simon Baker (Breath, Blaze, The Mentalist, High Ground) as Travis Hurley, a detective investigating the 20-year-old unsolved murder of a local Aboriginal girl. As truths about the murder begin to unfold, he gains new insight into the unsolved case from the victim’s fractured family, the surviving witnesses and the reclusive brother of the chief suspect, highlighting the complexities of loss and the impact of the justice system on First Nations families in Australia.

Limbo has been praised by international critics, rated among the “Best of Berlin” by The Guardian, and described by the Hollywood Reporter as a “visually striking outback procedural” with a “superb” performance by Simon Baker.

Variety labelled the film “a starkly atmospheric outback noir … oblique, secretive and as hard-boiled as the ground is hard-baked” with Baker “never better” as detective Hurley, while Sen’s cinematography was described as “a star unto itself” by Ioncinema. Screen International called the film “terrific” and “atmospheric” while The Observer described it as being “dazzlingly shot… a pared-to-the-bleached-bones existential thriller”.

Limbo also stars Rob Collins (The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson, Firebite), South Australian actor Natasha Wanganeen (Rabbit Proof Fence, Firebite) and Nicholas Hope (Bad Boy Bubby, The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson), and is produced by Bunya Productions’ David Jowsey and Greer Simpkin (Mystery Road Origin, The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson, High Ground, Sweet Country) and Rachel Higgins (Apprentice, Red Hill).

Limbo is a Bunya Productions film presented by the ABC and Screen Queensland in association with Windalong Films and the South Australian Film Corporation. The film will be distributed by Dark Matter Distribution.

Read more about Limbo here