Baz Luhrmann’s Faraway Downs to world premiere at SXSW Sydney

The world premiere of Baz Luhrmann’s Faraway Downs, an inspiring epic adventure and reimagined extended version of his 2008 film Australia, will be presented by the celebrated filmmaker in person, on closing night of the inaugural SXSW Sydney Screen Festival on October 21st, 2023.

The film, told in six chapters, will premiere all at once on Hulu in the United States, Star+ in Latin America and on Disney+ in all other territories on Nov. 26, 2023.

“I was inspired to re-approach my film Australia to create Faraway Downs because of the way episodic storytelling has been reinvigorated by the streaming world,” said Luhrmann. “With over 2 million feet of film from the original piece, my team and I were able to revisit anew the central themes of the work. I am honoured to world premiere Faraway Downs in Australia, the place that has inspired me and my work my entire life, and with a partner like SXSW who deeply recognizes the intersection of film, television and music with storytelling.”

Colin Daniels, SXSW Sydney Managing Director, added, We are so happy to be sharing the creative work of Baz Luhrmann and the entire Faraway Downs team at Australia’s first ever SXSW Sydney.”

Starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Bryan Brown, Brandon Walters, Ben Mendelsohn, David Wenham and Jack Thompson, the story centers on English aristocrat Lady Sarah Ashley (Kidman), who travels halfway across the world to confront her wayward husband and sell an unusual asset:  Faraway Downs, a million-acre cattle ranch in the Australian outback. Following the death of her husband, a ruthless Australian cattle baron, King Carney (Brown) plots to take her land, and she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn cattle drover (Jackman) to protect her ranch. The sweeping adventure-romance is explored through the eyes of young Nullah (Walters), an Indigenous Australian child caught up in the government’s Draconian racial policy now referred to as the Stolen Generations. Together, the trio experiences four life-altering years, a love affair between Lady Ashley and the drover, and the unavoidable impact of World War II on Northern Australia.

Australia was directed, produced (with Catherine Knapman and G. Mac Brown) and co-written by Luhrmann, alongside writers Stuart Beattie, Ronald Harwood and Richard Flanagan, with production and costume design by multiple-Academy Award winner Catherine Martin. Faraway Downs is executive produced by Luhrmann, Martin, Knapman and Schuyler Weiss.

For more information about Faraway Downs and what’s on at SXSW Sydney, head to the official site for screenings and ticketing.

Peter Gray

Seasoned film critic. Gives a great interview. Penchant for horror. Unashamed fan of Michelle Pfeiffer and Jason Momoa.