‘The Sapphires’ Set To Premiere At Cannes
The Aussie musical comedy will make its international debut via the prestigious film festival.
Wayne Blair's film based on the true story of an indigenous girl band who were plucked from obscurity in the sixties and sent to entertain the troops in Vietnam, The Sapphires, has been chosen as part of the official selection at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival.
It's the only Australian feature film selected to play at the festival this year, and will receive a special gala screening out of competition - following in the footsteps of such Australian classics as Strictly Ballroom and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, both of which also premiered in out of competition gala screenings in 1992 and 1994 respectively.
Adapted from Tony Briggs' hit stage-play of the same name (which was largely based on events from the life of his own family), by Briggs himself and Keith Thompson, the musical comedy unravels against the social upheaval of the sixties. Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell play the members of the all-girl singing group who are discovered by an unlikely talent scout, played by Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids). Branded as Australia's answer to the Supremes, they're soon dropped into the jungles of Vietnam to entertain the troops.
The feature directorial debut for Wayne Blair, the impresario was expectedly pleased about the announcement. "It's a beautiful position to be in," he said. "Getting into Cannes is a great reward for our team's hard toil."
Twelve other Australian feature films will also be on show this year at Cannes, screening in the marketplace.
The short film, Yardbird, will also screen in Official Competition. Directed by Michael Spiccia and written by Julius Avery (who won the Cannes Jury Prize for his short film, Jerrycan, in 2008), the short follows a young girl who takes on the local bullies that torment her father.
The 2012 Cannes Film Festival will run May 16 to 27. To see the full line-up of films, head here.