Press Release from ScreenWest

Mad Bastards, a gritty film set in remote Kimberley Indigenous communities, will have its international premiere at the high profile US Sundance Film Festival in January 2011.

Mad Bastards is one of only 13 films competing in the World Cinema Dramatic section, and was selected from 1073 submissions. This is the first time a Western Australian feature film has been selected In Competition at Sundance.

Mad Bastards follows TJ, a hard-edged Aboriginal man who's sick of scraping out an existence in the city. He travels to the tiny frontier town of Five Rivers in search of his son. Upon his arrival, TJ is confronted by the equally tough local cop Texas … and so begins a story about hard men battling to do the right thing by their family.

The storyline was inspired by real life stories of the three lead actors Dean Daley-Jones, Greg Tait and John Watson – none of whom had acted before – and from years of conversation with Indigenous community members throughout the Kimberley.

The movie is steeped in the distinctive music of the Pigram Brothers in collaboration with multi-ARIA Award winner Alex Lloyd. Their lilting ukulele and mandolin melodies weave throughout the central story.

Producer Alan Pigram said the film was connected in all its facets. “The music, the people, the landscape… it’s a real story in an unreal world,” he said.

On hearing they had been selected for Sundance, Alan said the feeling was one of disbelief.

“To actually get in is an unbelievable feeling. The realization, it’s just sinking in what it actually means,” he said.

“It’s a home grown film so it feels local, but it is world-class. Getting into Sundance shows that.”

Ian Booth, Chief Executive ScreenWest, said: “We are proud to have supported Mad Bastards from the first draft in 2003 through to production. It’s a confronting but beautiful film that stays with you.”

“Our congratulations to everyone involved. This is a great achievement for the filmmakers and the many people who shared their stories.”

Mad Bastards will also screen at the Sydney Festival in January 2011, with live performances by Alex Lloyd and The Pigram Brothers. It will be released in Australia in May 2011 by Transmission Films.

For more information on the movie, visit

For more information about Sundance, visit

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