“Mystery Road” – written, directed, shot and scored by multi-awarded Aboriginal Director Ivan Sen – will open the Sydney Film Festival, organisers have announced.
He’s played iconic roles in international blockbusters The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings, but Hugo Weaving’s performance in the Sydney Film Festival’s opening night movie Mystery Road has been touted as something special.
So says festival director Nashen Moodley, who described Weaving as “truly one of Australia’s great actors” and feels “very privileged” he’s part of next month’s program.
“Mystery Road” – written, directed, shot and scored by multi-awarded Aboriginal Director Ivan Sen – tells the story of a policeman, played by Aaron Pederson, who has returned to his remote hometown in the outback to investigate the murder of a teengage Aboriginal girl.
The film’s star line-up includes Jack Thompson, Ryan Kwanten, Tasma Walton, Damian Walshe Howling and Hugo Weaving, who also plays a policeman in the small town.
“It has conventions of the western, the thriller, elements of murder, mystery, but he used that and made a thrilling exciting film that takes a look at the social political context,” says Ms Moody.
Hugo Weaving is also the jury president of this year’s official competition.
“I’m a big fan of his (Weaving’s) work,” Moodley said at the program launch for the 60th Sydney Film Festival (SFF).
“But I must say that I think his performance in Mystery Road is pretty special. “It’s not something I could’ve expected.”
This year’s Screen Black program will also show a new film by Steve McGregor about Warumpi Band singer George Rurrambu’s life — called “Big Name No Blankets”.
Director Jon Bell’s film the “Chuck In” will debut as will a film called “Buckskin,” about a young man’s mission to renew the Kaurna language in South Australia.
Nashen Moodley says this year’s program reflects the diversity and success of Australian filmmakers around the world.
“The vast majority of these filmmakers are focusing on issues in other countries and I think that’s really amazing — Australian filmmakers with a global outlook”.
One of those films is “Red Obsession” – a story about the rise of the wine market in China.
The Sydney Film Festival will open with “Mystery Road” on June 5.
The program includes 19 world premieres, 122 Australian films, documentaries, short films and animations. Along with its Official Competition nominees, the films will be screened in nine locations around Sydney until June 16.