News in Brief: Three Australian films for SXSW, ACMI opens, and conferences get set to go

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Leah Purcell's The Drover's Wife will world premiere at SXSW, along with Gracie Otto's music doc Under the Volcano. There are festivals, conferences, tributes and more in our snappy fortnightly wrap.


  • Three Australian films have been selected to screen as part of the South by South West (SXSW) Festival which will screen virtually March 16 – 20 2021.
  • Leah Purcell's debut feature film The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson will have its world premiere in the Narrative Spotlight section, while director Gracie Otto and producer Cody Greenwood's feature documentary about the creative process of some of the world's most iconic recording artists, Under The Volcanowill premiere in the 24 Beats Per Second music section.
  • John Bell's horror short film The Moogai is also screening as part of the line-up, having already won acclaim, including the Erwin Rado Award for Best Audience Short Film at MIFF 2020. The music clip for Julia Stone's Break, directed by Jessie Hill, has also been selected to screen in the Music Video Competition section.
  • The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson is the feature adaptation of Purcell’s hugely successful stage play, which won AWGIE and Helpmann Awards and is a reimagining of Henry Lawson's short story. This is one of the year's most highly anticipated Australian features. Purcell is powerhouse in everything she does. She wrote the screenplay, directed the film and also stars in the lead role. 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 in Australia and New Zealand later this year, with Memento Films International handling international sales.   

ACMI opens up refreshed

  • Rebooting the museum of the moving image. As of 11 February the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is open for visits after closing for a major make-over.
  • A fresh approach to its collection and exhibition spaces includes a new centrepiece exhibition ‘The Story of the Moving Image’ and the introduction of the ‘Lens’, a free tool for visitors to collect their favourite objects, artworks and creations in the exhibition. It's intended to keep us off our phones.
  • Also at ACMI now until 30 May, the exhibition 'Gabriella Hirst: Darling Darling', a two-channel video art piece presenting contrasting visions of the Barka Darling River in dialogue.
  • In ACMI's cinemas, film lovers will go crazy for the program of films: 'Love and Neon: The Cinema of Wong Kar Wai' (screening until 27 Feb).

Read: Wong Kar Wai’s School for Cool by Adrian Martin  

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