Sweet Country, a low-budget Australian Western, has won a major prize at TIFF. Congratulations! Hopefully there’d be an Oscar nod in the works. Via the Sydney Morning Herald:
For a film initially suggested by the sound recordist on one of his films, director Warwick Thornton has been overwhelmed by the early response to Sweet Country.
After being “unbelievably nervous” before the world premiere at the Venice Film Festival last month, he was thrilled when the outback western received an extended standing ovation and won a special jury prize.
Warm reviews called it “majestic” (Variety), “a drama of imposing breadth and emotional depth” (The Hollywood Reporter) and “a milestone for Australian Indigenous cinema” (Screen Daily).
Then came more acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival, including winning the prestigious Platform prize for artistically ambitious work, and another standing ovation at the Australian premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival on Saturday night. “It’s been awesome,” Thornton said. “An absolute fairytale.”
Set in the Northern Territory’s MacDonnell Ranges in the 1920s, Sweet Country stars non-professional actor Hamilton Morris as an Aboriginal stockman who goes on the run with his wife (Natassia Gorey-Furber) after killing a white station owner (Ewen Leslie) in self-defence. The cast also includes Bryan Brown, Sam Neill and Matt Day.