Friday, April 18th, 2014

Two Australian feature films have been invited in the 67th Festival de Cannes Official Selection for the prestigious film festival.  David Michôd’s highly anticipated second feature, The Rover, will have its world premiere 'Out of Competition', and Charlie’s Country, from revered Australian filmmaker Rolf de Heer, has been selected for 'Un Certain Regard'.

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said, “This is an honour for two remarkable Australian filmmakers – a veteran and a tremendous next generation storyteller. It is wonderful to see both being celebrated by one of the leading film festivals of the world, Cannes, and well-deserved recognition to both.”

This is David Michôd’s first invitation to the prominent film festival, for his thriller The Rover. David’s well-received debut feature, Animal Kingdom, received 36 awards including the Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema: Dramatic at Sundance Film Festival, a first for an Australian film, and received a prestigious Academy Award® nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Jacki Weaver).

The Rover producer Liz Watts said, “David and everyone involved with The Rover are thrilled by its world premiere at the highly prestigious Cannes Film Festival – it’s truly an honour to screen there, and a wonderful start to the movie's journey to audiences all over the world.”

The Rover is set ten years after the downfall of the western economic system, when society is in decline, the rule of law has disintegrated and life is cheap. Eric is a cold and angry drifter who has left everything and everyone behind. When his car is stolen by a gang of desperate desert hustlers, Eric embarks on a ruthless mission to track them down. Along the way he is forced into an unlikely relationship with Rey, a naïve and injured gang member. 

Writer, producer, and director David Michôd will be joined by The Rover lead cast including Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson, along with producers Liz Watts and David Linde.

The Rover was made with financial support from Screen Australia, the South Australian Film Corporation and Screen NSW, and was produced by Porchlight Films in association with Lava Bear Films.

Returning to Cannes for the fourth time, Rolf de Heer has previously received two Palme d’Or nominations, for The Quiet Room and Dance Me to My Song, and won the Special Jury Prize, Un Certain Regard for Ten Canoes. Charlie’s Country is the long-awaited third film in Rolf’s unofficial trilogy and longstanding collaboration with Aboriginal Australian screen icon David Gulpilil, beginning with The Tracker in 2002 and followed by Ten Canoes in 2006.

Rolf said of his return to the festival, “As a great celebration of cinema, the Cannes Film Festival has historically been a wonderful launching pad into the world market for films I've directed. I'm consequently very pleased that Charlie's Country has been selected, because it means the film will be seen.” 

Charlie’s Country was developed, written, produced and directed by Rolf, who will attend the film’s international premiere in Cannes accompanied by co-developer/lead actor David Gulpilil, actor/producer Peter Djigirr and executive producer Sue Murray. 

The story centres on the character of Charlie, played by David Gulpilil, who decides to make a stand following the new invasion of his Aboriginal community… and finds he still has a long way to fall. 

Charlie's Country is a co-production between Vertigo Productions and Bula'bula Arts Aboriginal Corporation, produced by Nils Erik Nielsen, Peter Djigirr and Rolf de Heer. The film is presented by Screen Australia and Domenico Procacci and produced in association with the South Australian Film Corporation, Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation and Adelaide Film Festival.

David and Rolf will join eminent Sydney-based filmmaker Jane Campion, who will preside over the jury of the 67th Festival de Cannes, and is the only female filmmaker to have ever received Cannes’ top award, the Palme d’Or, which she won for The Piano in 1993. The Australian presence will be further emphasised with attendance by Nicole Kidman for her film Grace of Monaco, which is scheduled to open the festival, and Sam Holst, who has been selected for the Cannes Cinéfondation Résidence in Paris.

Production Companies Vertigo Productions, Bula'bula Arts Aboriginal Corporation
Devised by David Gulpilil, Rolf de Heer
Writer/Director Rolf de Heer
Producers Nils Erik Nielsen, Rolf de Heer, Peter Djigirr
Executive Producers Domenico Procacci, Bryce Menzies, Sue Murray, Troy Lum, Peter McMahon
Australian Distributor Entertainment One Films Australia
Cast David Gulpilil, Peter Djigirr, Luke Ford, Jennifer Budukpuduk, Peter Minygululu, Bojana Novakovic
Synopsis With the new invasion of his Aboriginal community in full swing, Charlie decides to make a stand... and finds he still has a long way to fall.

Production Companies Porchlight Films Pty Ltd in association with Lava Bear Films LLC
Writer/Director David Michôd
Producers Liz Watts, David Linde, David Michôd
Executive Producers Tory Metzger, Adam Rymer, Vincent Sheehan, Anita Sheehan, Nina Stevenson, Glen Basner, Allison Cohen 
Cast Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy, David Field, Anthony Hayes, Gillian Jones, Susan Prior
International Sales FilmNation Entertainment
Australian Distributor Village Roadshow
Synopsis Ten years after a collapse of the western economic system, Australia’s mineral resources have drawn the desperate and dangerous to its shores. With society in decline, the rule of law has disintegrated and life is cheap. Eric (Guy Pearce) is a cold and angry drifter who has left everything and everyone behind. When his car – his last possession – is stolen by a gang of desperate desert hustlers, Eric embarks on a ruthless mission to track them down. Along the way he is forced into an unlikely relationship with Rey (Robert Pattinson), a naïve and injured younger brother of gang member Henry (Scoot McNairy), who has left Rey behind in the bloody aftermath of the gang's most recent robbery. From the acclaimed director of Animal Kingdom.


For further information on Cannes –

Access to press materials for Charlie’s Country are available via

An Australian exclusive film poster for The Rover is available to download.

Media enquiries
Annaliese Zuzarte T: 02 8113 5833


Cannes, Australian movies, films


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