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Martin I. Petrov

Cine-voyeur. Festival traveller currently based in Glasgow, UK. 

Festival director at WoFF: World of Film International Festival Glasgow. 

Festival Coordinator at MIAFF: Montreal International Animation Film Festival 

Writing reviews, articles and a passionate interview lover. 


Australian film Goldstone to open Sydney FF

The 63rd Sydney Film Festival today announced the World Premiere of Goldstone, a stylish and intelligent outback noir from acclaimed Indigenous writer/director Ivan Sen, as the Opening Night Film, screening at the State Theatre at 7.30pm on Wednesday 8 June. 

Sydney Film Festival’s Opening Night is proudly presented by Lexus Australia. 

Goldstone is the fourth feature by award-winning filmmaker Sen and stars Aaron Pederson who reprises his role of the troubled Indigenous detective Jay Swan, who audiences first met in Sen’s Mystery Road, which opened Sydney Film Festival in 2013. 

The film’s stellar cast also includes Jacki Weaver, David Wenham, David Gulpilil, Cheng Pei-pei, Michelle Lim Davidson and Tom E. Lewis.  

Shot on location in the remote settlement of Middleton (population 3) in outback western Queensland, Goldstone’s tightly knitted story weaves through a range of issues, including; Land Rights, mining, the Stolen Generations, cultural destruction, people trafficking, greed, loneliness and love.

Ivan Sen said, “You get the sense you must offer something special to be invited back to open the Festival for a second time, and we hope that Goldstone does do that. It’s an extreme privilege for everyone involved with the film to have this exciting opportunity.

“From experience we know the Sydney Film Festival opening night is a very special screening here in Australia. Goldstone is about us, and our cultural crossroads.  The first screening of the film anywhere in the world will be here, at home in our country, on country, where it should be.”

“The Festival is very proud to open with the World Premiere of this outstanding Australian film,” said Festival Director Nashen Moodley. “Goldstone is a complex and layered work that comes together brilliantly in Ivan Sen’s signature outback noir style.”

A limited number of Film and Party tickets are available from 9am on Thursday 21 April, in addition to film-only tickets. Film and Party tickets include entry to the Opening Night Film and the exclusive afterparty at Keystone’s Bungalow 8. 

NB: Tickets to the as-yet-unannounced Closing Night Film and Awards Presentation on Sunday 19 June are also on sale now.

Last week, Sydney Film Festival announced 26 new films to be featured in this year’s June event, plus a 10-film Martin Scorsese retrospective, curated by David Stratton. The full program of 200+ films will be launched on Wednesday 11 May.


SYNOPSIS: Goldstone

Australian auteur Ivan Sen’s new feature is a complex, stylish and intelligent outback noir that reflects on Australia’s history with a compelling tale of its present. Goldstone sees the excellent Aaron Pedersen (Mystery Road, SFF 2013) reprise his role as troubled Indigenous detective Jay Swan. On the trail of a missing person, Jay finds himself in the small mining town of Goldstone, where he is immediately arrested for drunk driving by young local cop Josh (Alex Russell). When Jay’s motel room is blasted with gunfire, it becomes clear that something larger is at play in the district. Jay and Josh struggle to overcome their mutual distrust to uncover the unpleasant truth. Sen, who also wrote, shot, edited and scored the film, takes full advantage of the beauty of the outback without shying away from the scars it bears – both societal and environmental. With a stellar cast including Jacki Weaver, David Wenham, David Gulpilil, Cheng Pei-pei, Michelle Lim Davidson and Tom E. Lewis, Goldstone’s themes encompass the environment, corruption, politics, corporate greed, tradition and mythology.

Goldstone is distributed through Transmission Films and will have a national theatrical release on Thursday 30 June.

The Sydney Film Festival Opening Night film is presented by Lexus Australia.

The full Sydney Film Festival program will be announced on Wednesday 11 May at 11am. 


From official press release. Edited by Martin I. Petrov 


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