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Published February 9th 2017
Mr Jones dancing with a zombie and a pelican in Andorra?
In 2017, the Australian film industry will continue exciting cinema-goers with some of cinema's most anticipated movies. As Aussies are nominated for Oscars for Lion, Hacksaw Ridge and Tanna, we can also look forward to five more films with an Aussie involvement.
Based on the award-winning 2009 novel by Craig Silvey, Jasper Jones begins in a mining town in Western Australia in the 1960s.
Charlie Bucktin (Levi Miller (Red Dog: True Blue) is woken by a panicked Jasper Jones (Aaron L. McGrath), a teen with White-Aboriginal heritage, after discovering the body of his dead 14-year-old girlfriend. Charlie agrees to help Jasper find the killer as the police target him as a suspect.
When they confront Mad Jack Lionel (Hugo Weaving), the town's eccentric recluse, they discover the truth of Laura's final moments and a town secret that dramatically changes their lives.
The popular ABC teen drama series followed Tara Webster, dreaming of dancing stardom as she joins the National Dance Academy during her final years of high school.
As her talent grows, the friendships, rivalries and stresses of the competitive dance world were dramatised during 3 seasons of the television show. In the final season, Tara and her classmates compete in national competitions and audition for their ultimate aim, to become principal dancers.
As the most talented dancers received contracts to perform in Romeo and Juliet, the series ended in 2013. In March 2017, we revisit Tara's journey 18 months later as her dream of ballet stardom continues.
Dance Academy will star the popular cast from the television series, including Xenia Goodwin, Alicia Banit, Dena Kaplan, Jordan Rodrigues, Keiynan Lonsdale, Thomas Lacey, Tara Morice and Miranda Otto.
Cargo (by Bankside Films)
Cargo, the 2013 short film written by Yolanda Ramke, was a finalist in the Tropfest and a viral hit worldwide. It's now being remade as a feature film starring Martin Freeman.
As a man awakes from a car crash, he searches the scene for his wife and baby child. In the middle of rural Australia, he discovers his wife is now a zombie.
Grabbing his baby, he flees but later realises that not all of his injuries were caused in the accident - she'd bitten and infected him. Before the zombie virus overwhelms him, he tucks the child into a sling and suspends a lure of dead meat to lead him to civilisation.
After becoming a zombie, he reaches a town where his child may be saved.
Colin Thiele's 1964 novel, Storm Boy, is the children's story about a Mike Kingsley, a boy who rescues 3 orphaned pelicans after their mother is shot. When his favourite, Mr. Percival, returns, his friendship with the pelican, amid the backdrop of the long sand dunes and the vast Pacific Ocean, reflects his challenge of a lost childhood innocence.
The 1977 adaptation won the AFI award for best film and in 2017, we return to see Mike as a grandfather, happy with his business success but troubled by his grand-daughter's rebellious life. As he recounts his life experiences at her age, when the bond with Mr. Percival saved him, he attempts to rescue her with the same wisdom.
Fred Schepisi, the renowned director of Evil Angels, Empire Falls and The Devil's Playground, returns to cinema after a 4-year absence for the adaptation of Peter Cameron's novel about an American man seeking a new life in a fictional Andorra.
In this disorientating country, history begins repeating as he becomes romantically involved with two women until a murder, where he is targeted as the prime suspect, causing his world to quickly descend into chaos again.
Andorra, the suspenseful crime thriller, stars Clive Owen, Gillian Anderson, Toni Collette, Essie Davis, Joanna Lumley and Vanessa Redgrave.
Which Australian film is on your must-see list in 2017? Please let us know with a comment.