The Australian film industry undoubtedly flourished in 2015, setting and breaking records and producing critical and commercial successes. Jocelyn Moorhouse’s runaway success The Dressmaker capped wonderful year, simultaneously proving that there is still a market for female-driven films and that homegrown hottie Liam Hemsworth looks good in any time period. Even smaller-scale Aussie projects Last Cab To Darwin, Holding The Man, Adam and Eve and Paper Planes have combined to deliver the highest box office share for Australian cinema in fifteen years.
In 2016, a diverse range of old and new talent is set to produce just as remarkable a year for Aussie films. Here’s what you can look forward to watching this year:
Native beauty and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman stars alongside Sea Change‘s David Whenam, Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire fame and the girl with the dragon tattoo herself, Rooney Mara, in this true story of a young man adopted by an Australian family. After being lost on the streets of Calcutta twenty-five years earlier, he uses Google Maps to hunt down his birth family. Director Gath Davis, the man behind TV sensation Love My Way bring this story to the screen, along with renowned director Jane Campion (An Angel At My Table, Bright Star, The Piano.)
It’s been over ten years since the infamous 2005 Cronulla riots, and it seems just the occasion to take a blackly comedic look at this embarrassing time in Australia’s history. Featuring young Aussie newcomers, director Abe Forsythe (director of Water Rats, Ned and Laid) promises that this film will ruffle some feathers.
Gods of Egypt
This big budget fantasy boasts a cast headed by Gerard Butler, Captain Barbosa Geoffrey Rush and Maleficent Prince Brenton Thwaites. It tells the story of a mortal man’s battle to defeat Set, the Egyptian god of darkness.
Red Dog: True Blue
Red Dog: True Blue is a sequel to one of the most successful Australian films of all time. It follows Red Dog as he makes a discovery on the road to Dampier, and ascends to the status of local legend. For die-hard fans of Red Dog, there’s also a documentary in the pipeline about the real Red Dog.
From the director of Bran Nue Dae, Rachel Perkins, and the screenwriter of Snowtown, Shaun Grant, comes the story of a rebellious Aboriginal boy and his friend Charlie. After witnessing a terrible crime, they must navigate the denizens and dangers of Corrigan to solve an increasingly dark mystery.
In a terrifying future world, it’s up to Neighbours alumni Daniel Macpherson and former Twilight vampire Kellan Lutz to save the world from an impending global crisis whilst also fighting the inherent evil that lives inside humanity. It’s a sci-fi thriller and a follow-up of sorts to his 2015 film Infini. This film also stars Home and Away sweetheart Isabelle Lucas and Aussie darling Rachel Griffiths.
Xavier Samuel, the second former Twilight vampire to appear on this list, stars in the comedic directorial debut Doug Anthony Allstar and comedy writing coach, Tim Ferguson (co-directing with Marc Gracie). This film tells the story of the invention of the outback Australian Bachelors & Spinsters Ball, the first Sony Pictures-backed Australian film in years.
Everyone’s favourite actor to hate, Mel Gibson, is back as a director in this story of the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded The Congressional Medal Of Honour. The film features Spiderman Andrew Garfield and wedding crasher Vince Vaughn, as well as Aussie localsSam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, Richard Roxburgh, Matt Nable and Teresa Palmer.
A man’s life repeats itself in the same manner in exactly the same way ending every day at 2.22pm. Directed by Paul Currie, making a return to the director’s chair after One Perfect Day (2004), this psychological nightmare film starring Teresa Palmer and Sam Reid should garner attention based on its fascinating premise alone.
Broke is about an elderly working class man who stumbles upon his favourite ex-rugby league star, destitute and struggling with a gambling addiction. He takes him in, unintentionally setting him on a journey of self-discovery that will have lasting and far-reaching consequences for everyone. This moving drama – starring Max Cullen as the Good Samaritan, Steve Le Marquand as the fallen hero, and Claire van der Boom as the love interest – is bound to be a hit among both sports fans and devotees of dramatic character studies.
Mark your diaries and look forward to kicking back with a bucket of popcorn when these homegrown masterpieces hit our screens. Exact release dates are yet to be comfirmed.