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The Drover’s Wife the Legend of Molly Johnson starts filming

Filming recently began in NSW on Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife the Legend of Molly Johnson, Leah’s feature film adaptation of her hugely successful stage play.

Leah will direct and star in the film and has written the screenplay. She is joined in the cast by 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.

The film is produced by Bain Stewart for Oombarra Productions and David Jowsey, Angela Littlejohn and Greer Simpkin for Bunya Productions. Roadshow Films will distribute the film in Australia and New Zealand.

The Drover’s Wife the Legend of Molly Johnson is a reimagining of Leah Purcell’s acclaimed play and Henry Lawson’s classic short story. A searing Australian Snowy Mountains revenge Western with love, family, protection, survival, truth, misogyny and racism at its heart, it asks the question: how far do you go to protect the ones you love?

Leah Purcell, Oombarra Productions said: “This story has been with me for a long time from when my mother used to read it to me as a small child. To be able to realise this film now along with Bunya Productions after writing the play and novel is a part of my contemporary Dreaming and I’m thrilled and excited to be doing so with amazing, supportive partners as Screen Australia, Screen NSW, Memento and Roadshow Films.”

Joel Pearlman, CEO Roadshow Films said “The Drover’s Wife the Legend of Molly Johnson will engage theatrical audiences globally in this sweeping Australian story. Roadshow Films is proud to include Leah Purcell’s epic drama as part of our ambitious Australian production slate for 2020.”

Screen Australia’s Head of Content, Sally Caplan said: “We are proud to support the highly talented Leah Purcell in directing her first feature, and I could think of no one better to take this powerful Australian story to our screens. Bunya Productions continue to go from strength to strength and I’m confident that together with Purcell, Oombarra Productions and a cracking cast, they will create a poignant piece of work that delves into family, identity, and also showcases the beautiful Snowy Mountains region.”

Head of Screen NSW, Grainne Brunsdon commented: “Through both arts and screen funding, we are incredibly proud to have supported Leah Purcell’s theatrical development of Henry Lawson’s dramatic short story and thrilled to see filming kick off at last on her feature length adaptation. Backed by a stellar creative team, we’re hugely excited that this important and powerful First Nations story will film across regional NSW and Western Sydney, and in doing so create new opportunities for a diverse range of screen practitioners.”

The film will be shot in Adaminaby, Snowy Mountains, the Monaro Plains and in Western Sydney.

Production credit: The Drover’s Wife the Legend of Molly Johnson is a Oombarra and Bunya Productions production. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW.






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