Principal photography commences this week on Gregor Jordan’s (Two Hands, Buffalo Soldiers) Dirt Music, adapted from Tim Winton’s award winning and Man Booker shortlisted novel by Jack Thorne (The Aeronauts, Wonder).
Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominee Kelly Macdonald (Puzzle, No Country for Old Men, Boardwalk Empire) and Garrett Hedlund (Mudbound, Tron: Legacy) have been joined by acclaimed actor David Wenham (Lion, Top of the Lake, The Lord of the Rings).
Filming begins on Bardi Jawi country in the Kimberley, Western Australia and will continue on Noongar country in Perth and Esperance, Western Australia.
Complimenting the musical backbone of the film, award-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Julia Stone (of internationally acclaimed Australian sibling duo Angus & Julia Stone) will bring her collaborative talents in her role as Sal. Other cast includes Aaron Pederson (Mystery Road), Chris Haywood (Muriel’s Wedding), George Mason (Home and Away) and Dan Wyllie (Animal Kingdom).
Dirt Music is produced by two-time Academy Award® nominees and BAFTA Award winners Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey (Brooklyn, An Education) of Wildgaze Films and Academy Award® nominee Angie Fielder (Lion, Wish You Were Here) and Polly Staniford (Berlin Syndrome) of Australian based production entity Aquarius Films.
Film4 developed the project with Wildgaze Films and are financing along with Screen Australia, the West Australian Regional Film Fund, Screenwest and Ingenious Media. Cornerstone Films will handle the international rights and distribution and will commence sales at the upcoming American Film Market. Focus Features acquired the international rights in Australia and New Zealand where Universal Pictures will distribute. Executive producers are Daniel Battsek, Sue Bruce-Smith and Lauren Dark for Film4 and Peter Touche and Stephen Dailey for Ingenious.
Dirt Music is a gritty, sexy drama with a haunting love story at its heart set against the powerful backdrop of Western Australia’s evocative landscape.
Georgie (MacDonald), sometime sailor, diver and nurse use to have guts. But somehow she has lost her way. Stranded in a remote fishing town on the West Australian coast she’s living with a man she doesn’t love, Jim (Wenham) and his young sons whose dead mother she can never replace. But a reckless moment leads to a life-changing encounter with Lu (Hedlund), an enigmatic loner, one time musician and sometimes poacher, outcast from the community. The two are powerfully drawn to each other and embark on an inescapable, intense and sexually charged affair. Georgie will risk everything for this chance of love, but Lu is haunted by a tragic accident from his past. For him the prospect is too painful and he retreats into the wilderness to the remotest islands leaving little clue as to his whereabouts. With the unlikely help of Jim who is determined to right the wrongs of his own past, Georgie embarks on a journey to bring Lu back from his past and his grief, ultimately finding herself.
Based on the acclaimed novel, Dirt Music is a film about people whose hopes and dreams are lost, and the redemptive power of love.
Dirt Music is a Wildgaze Films and Aquarius Films production with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Film4. It was financed with support from the West Australian Regional Film Fund (WARFF) and Screenwest with Ingenious Media.