It took Ivan Sen five weeks to shoot Mystery Road in the small town of Winton in central western Queensland, and that was the location for the first public launch of the film on the weekend.
“Winton was an amazing experience, it was probably the highlight for me, because we had Indigenous and non-Indigenous people coming together, probably for the first time in such a scale, and it was really emotional,” said Mr Sen.
The murder mystery stars Aaron Pedersen as Detective Jay Swan, who returns to his hometown to find a local teenage girl dead in a drain under the highway out of town.
“The story is actually based on a lot of personal family incidents that have occurred, most around crimes involving women in the family, and the aftermath of the police investigations, which are often unfocused and lack enthusiasm from the white police”.
Since it premiered at the Sydney Festival earlier this year, Mystery Road and its stars including Hugo Weaving, Jack Thompson and Ryan Kwanten have received accolades from festivals and critics.
Unlike most feature films, it was written, directed, shot, edited, music composition and even publicity stills were done by Ivan Sen.
Mystery Road will open in Australian cinemas next week while director Sen and actor Pedersen will be in Canada for the opening night screening for the international Indigenous festival, ” Imaginenative”.