US comedian / actor / writer Steve Martin (Only Murders in the Building), who is an avid collector of Indigenous art, has invested in a new feature film, Honey Ant Dreamers, being produced by CJZ (Gruen, Con Girl, Bondi Rescue).
The film, to shoot in the Northern Territory next year portrays the rich Aboriginal culture of Central Australia and reveals the inspiring story behind the birth of the Western Desert Art Movement.
This project, a decade in the making, is expected to inject $1.92 million directly into the local economy, creating jobs and boosting the sale of goods and services.
Co-written and co-directed by Pitjantjara and Warlpiri woman, Anyupa Emily Napangarti Butcher, alongside Michael Cordell from CJZ, this film will capture the Red Centre, including Papunya, the MacDonnell Ranges, and Alice Springs.
Martin has consulted heavily on script development, with Executive Producer Michael Cordell and Producer Maggie Miles.
Steve Martin said, “I am honoured to be a part of this exciting and valuable project. It presents a little known yet powerful story to a waiting world.”
$450,000 has been allocated by the Territory Labor Government to the project.
It comes as Darwin gears up to host the NT Screen Summit this weekend, an event bringing together over 100 screen professionals for two days of development, creativity and innovation.
Presented by Screen Territory, the summit is aimed at upskilling those already working in the screen industry, those considering a career in screen and game developers.
Jennie Hughes: Director, Screen Territory said, “We’re thrilled to welcome so many internationally renowned leaders to our NT Screen Summit this year. The calibre of presenters reinforces the Territory’s position as an attractive place to produce screen projects.
“Held on the final weekend of the Darwin International Film Festival, we hope that the summit ignites opportunities, fuels collaborations, and speaks to the remarkable trajectory that our local industry has had over the last few years.”
Minister for Industry, Nicole Manison added, “It is fantastic to see more major productions happening right here in the Northern Territory, we have an abundance of talent and we are keen to grow the sector further.
“Filming Honey Ant Dreamers in the Red Centre will have significant benefits for the local community, not only showcasing the area as a vibrant and enticing destination but highlighting the Papunya art movement.
“Supporting our screen industry has a knock on effect for the Territory economy, supporting local jobs and growing an industry crucial to our economy.”