Simon Baker, Rob Collins, Natasha Wanganeen to lead Ivan Sen’s ‘Limbo’

Simon Baker.

Production is underway in the South Australian mining town of Coober Pedy on a neo-western whodunnit from auteur Ivan Sen, starring Simon Baker, Rob Collins, Natasha Wanganeen, and Nicholas Hope.

Produced by Bunya Productions, Limbo follows Travis Hurley (Baker), a detective who arrives in a small Australian outback town to investigate a 20-year-old unsolved murder of a local Aboriginal girl.

Forming bonds with the victim’s fractured family, Travis unravels a series of hard truths, highlighting the complexities of loss and injustice experienced by First Nations Australians.

Sen is not only writer, director, editor, cinematographer and composer on the feature film, but also co-producer alongside Bunya Productions’ David Jowsey and Greer Simpkin, and Rachel Higgins. The project also sees First Nations actor and singer Elaine Crombie move behind the camera, on board as an associate producer.

The South Australian crew for the production includes costume designer Theo Benton, location manager Scott McCarten, armourer Piers Hunt, and unit manager Josh Jaeger.

The title is backed the ABC and Screen Queensland — which is providing support via its Screen Finance program— in association with Windalong Films and the South Australian Film Corporation, with distribution to be handled by Dark Matter Distribution.

It will be the seventh feature from Sen and follows on from 2022 sci-fi Loveland, as well as outback mysteries Goldstone and Mystery Road.

He described Limbo as a desert noir or neo-western whodunnit set against the backdrop of the rugged Australian desert.

Limbo is a quest for truth — an intimate study in intergenerational trauma and its ongoing post-colonial effects on Indigenous Australia,” he said.

“The world of Limbo is both nostalgic and authentic, and Simon Baker is such a versatile and disciplined performer, who just exudes Hurley’s clashing stoicism and vulnerability that is simply electric on screen.”

Limbo is set to inject around $1 million into the Queensland economy and $500,000 into that of South Australia, while also creating 50 jobs for Queenslanders, as well as trainee attachment opportunities for emerging and First Nations practitioners.

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said that in addition to employment and economic benefits, one of the main intentions behind the Screen Finance program was to support Queensland screen producers and key creatives to make screen stories for global audiences.

“Queenslander Ivan Sen is one of the nation’s most unique and prolific film creatives,” she said.

“He is a deeply influential First Nations voice, shaping our country’s cultural landscape and achieving box office success.

“Screen Queensland proudly supported Ivan’s previous Bunya Productions films Loveland, Mystery Road, and Goldstone and we eagerly await the release of Limbo in cinemas in 2023.”

SAFC CEO Kate Croser said the organisation was pleased to see emerging filmmaking talent, such as Crombie, benefit from the production.

“Driven by SAFC’s commitment to growing and diversifying the pool of South Australian ‘Greenlighter’ talent, Bunya created an opportunity for an emerging First Nations practitioner to gain hands-on experience and a feature film credit on the production,” she said.

“We are thrilled that Elaine’s association with Limbo has provided an excellent career development opportunity to learn from experienced producers David Jowsey, Rachel Higgins, and Greer Simpkin and director Ivan Sen.”