Leah Purcell’s ‘The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson’ selected for SXSW

Image: Still from The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson.

Image: Still from The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson.

Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson will have its world premiere at the prestigious South By South West (SXSW) Festival, to be held ‘virtually’ out of the US next month.

SXSW is renowned for discovering and showcasing ground-breaking international creative voices in a program that celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries.

Based on the Henry Lawson short story and re-imagined for a modern audience by Leah Purcell, The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson tells the story of a woman and her stubborn determination to protect her family from the harshness of a life in 1893, Snowy Mountains.

Filmed on location in Adaminaby, Snowy Mountains, the Monaro Plains and in Western Sydney, The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson is the feature adaptation of Leah Purcell’s successful stage play of the same name.

Leah Purcell directed and stars in the film and wrote the screenplay. She is joined in the cast by Rob Collins, Sam Reid, Jessica de Gouw, 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. Memento Films International is handling international sales. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW.

Purcell is “excited and proud” that her debut feature is World Premiering at SXSW and “humbled” to follow in the footsteps of films and filmmakers that have gone before.

“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,” Purcell says.

Head of Screen NSW Grainne Brunsdon, said: “Writer/Director Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson is a provocative and powerful story with a powerhouse team behind it. I am thrilled that it is set to engage global audiences with its raw authority and authenticity, which is matched by sweeping shots of New South Wales’ stunning alpine landscapes, and stirring performances from Australia’s finest talents.”

Explore the SXSW program.

Image: Still from The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson.
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Published: 11 February 2021