Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Film industry creates jobs in Arnhem Land

A cast of renowned Australian movie stars, including Guy Pearce, David Gulpilil and Jack Thompson, will appear in a film featuring Northern Territory’s Arnhem Land with the support of the Country Liberals Government.

High Ground will be directed by Stephen Johnson who is widely regarded as the director and cinematographer for Yothu Yindi and breakthrough feature film Yolgnu Boy in 2001.

Chief Minister Adam Giles joined Stephen Johnson, Witiyana Marika and actor Jack Thompson to announce the film at Garma Festival today.

“Garma Festival is Australia’s most significant Indigenous events and provides the perfect backdrop for this announcement,” Mr Giles said.

“The Country Liberals Government has provided $400,000 of seed funding for project planning and development towards the filming of High Ground.

“Set in the 1920’s in Arnhem Land, High Ground will highlight the more confronting experiences in the Northern Territory’s history.

“This is an important story that needs to be told, not just for the Northern Territory but Australia wide.

“The Northern Territory has the natural environment and cultural diversity that appeals to feature film makers.

“The film will be shot 100% in the Territory which will create local jobs, develop the local film industry and build our own capability for feature film making in the future.

Director Stephen Johnson with producers Witiyana Marika and David Jowsey, said that they have been consulting with the Arnhem Land community for the past decade.

High Ground is impeccably researched, and even though it is a fiction, it is inspired by true events and real characters,” Mr Johnson said.

“This movie is an action-thriller about the forgotten war in early Australia and the true recognition of Australia’s first people. It is about identity and the finding of one’s roots, a real story of redemption.

“Filming will commence in August/September 2017 and casting will take place across Arnhem Land. High Ground will be released in mid-2018.”

Chief Minister Adam Giles said that since coming into office in 2012, the Country Liberals Government has been working hard to support Aboriginal Territorians.

“The Country Liberals Government is a great supporter of Garma Festival, which has seen a 100% increase in funding over the past two years.

“This Government is committed to supporting Aboriginal people to live on country and maintain their culture, kinship and language.

“To do that, we’ve invested in economic and cultural initiatives and have substantially increased funding for Aboriginal arts, culture and language.”

The Country Liberals Government’s arts policy will be announced in the coming weeks

Media contact: Joss Papworth 0418 979 633