Roadshow secures ANZ rights to Jub Clerc’s ‘Sweet As’

'Sweet As'. (Photo: Nic Duncan).

Roadshow Films will release Jub Clerc’s Sweet As in Australia and New Zealand next year after acquiring the distribution rights to Nyul Nyul/Yawuru director’s debut feature.

Partly based on Clerc’s own experience growing up in the Pilbara and The Kimberley, the film stars Shantae Barnes-Cowan as 16-year-old Indigenous girl Murra who, after a volatile fight with her mother, embarks on a journey of self-discovery with some assistance from her uncle.

The cast also includes Tasma Walton, Mark Coles Smith, and Ngaire Pigram. Clerc wrote the script with Steve Rodgers, with Arenamedia’s Liz Kearney as producer and Robert Connolly and Robert Patterson executive producers.

The production was facilitated by Screenwest’s West Coast Visions Initiative, and with major investment from Screen Australia’s First Nations Department, in association with Screenwest, Lotterywest, and the Western Australian Screen Fund.

Kearney said she and Clerc were “beyond excited” to be working with Roadshow Films.

Sweet As is such a special film to us – it’s a film full of joy and hope and it was so much fun to make,” she said.

“We know Roadshow Films is the best partner to bring Sweet As to Australian audiences and we can’t wait for people to see it!”

After having its world premiere at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), where it won the Blackmagic Design Australian Innovation Award, Sweet As was shown at CinefestOZ as one of four finalists in the festival’s $100,000 Film Prize.

The film will next join Benjamin Millepied’s Carmen in the Discovery section of September’s Toronto International Film Festival, before becoming the seventh production that Roadshow Films releases in ANZ with Arenamedia.

Roadshow Films CEO Joel Pearlman described Sweet As as “an extraordinary coming-of-age story that audiences are going to adore”.

“Watching it with an audience at the Melbourne International Film Festival, it earned a standing ovation and we believe audiences are simply going to fall in love with this incredible movie,” he said.

“Australian teenage audiences deserve films that are specifically made for them.”

Sweet As will be released in Australia and New Zealand in 2023.