The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson

2022 - Shortlisted

Shortlisted

Judges' Comments 

This is an ambitious further re-imagining of the classic short Henry Lawson short story by writer, actor and director Leah Purcell, told through an Indigenous feminist lens that makes it contemporary and highly reflexive. This cinematic adaptation fuses subject matter, world and genre in a bold and imaginative way, inviting readers to get behind protagonist Molly Johnson all the way. It feels like a film Australia has been waiting for. 

Characters are well drawn and the cinematic landscape sits with you as you move through the story. Another successful aspect of the script is the perspective presented on the page, not just of the protagonist and her journey, but also of the writer and her sense of a contemporary Australia rooted in the past. This makes the craft of the script resonate on many levels.