In a Huge Win for Australian Cinema, Leah Purcell’s Latest Film Will Premiere at South By Southwest Festival

Leah Purcell

In very exciting news for Australian film, Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson will premiere at the extremely prestigious South By Southwest (SXSW) Festival. 

The annual festival, which is a celebration of film, music, art and technology will be held virtually in the US in March.  

The film will debut in the Festival’s Narrative Spotlight section, for high profile features having their World, North American or U.S. premieres.

The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson is the feature adaptation of Leah Purcell’s hugely successful stage play which was inspired by Henry Lawson’s famous poem. 

The film tells the story of a woman and her stubborn determination to protect her family from the harshness of life in 1893 in the Snowy Mountains. Both a searing thriller and a stark revisionist Western, the film offers a powerful new interrogation of Australian history and culture through the determination of a woman to ensure her children are given a future filled with hope. 

The movie was filmed on location in Adaminaby, the Snowy Mountains, the Monaro Plains and in Western Sydney with Purcell performing acting, directing and screenwriting duties. 

Oombarra and Bunya Productions

“I am excited and proud that my debut feature is World Premiering at SXSW in Austin TX USA,” Purcell said in a press statement. “I’ve seen and heard so much about the festival over the years so to be following in the footsteps of the amazing films and filmmakers that have gone before me is humbling. As an Indigenous Australian woman and filmmaker, I am proud to be sharing a story that literally has mine and my family’s DNA all over it and to be able to share our cultural practise as storytellers through film to the world. I wish I could be at SXSW for the film’s premiere but I’ll be with you in spirit.”

Rounding out the cast are Rob Collins (Cleverman, The Wrong Girl), Sam Reid (Lambs of God, The Railway Man), Jessica de Gouw (Arrow, Gretel & Hansel), Malachi Dower-Roberts, Tony Cogin and Harry Greenwood.

SXSW has served as an important showcase for international talent with prolific directors such as Lena Dunham, Barry Jenkins and Greta Gerwig all making their mark at the Festival. 

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