Upcoming Film of the Moment: SATELLITE BOY

Satellite Boy – Pete (Cameron Wallaby) lives with his grandfather (David Gulpilil) on the site of an abandoned outdoor cinema in a remote area of Western Australia. His grandfather tries to teach him skills – hunting, tracking but Pete just wants his Mother to return.


Satellite Boy starring David Gulpilil
Satellite Boy starring David Gulpilil


Though he misses her terribly, Pete manages to make the most of his situation, putting up with his grandfather’s stories and tearing around the countryside on his homemade bike with his best friend, the energetic smart-mouth Kalmain (Joseph Pedley).

This happy existence is suddenly shattered when news arrives that the cinema has been purchased by a mining company, and is slated for demolition. Panicked that his mother will not be able to find him when she returns, Pete convinces Kalmain that they can persuade the new owners to keep the cinema intact if they can just get a face-to-face meeting with them in the city. Kalmain has his own rather urgent reasons for wanting to leave town, so the two friends set out.

When Pete and Kalmain get lost in the desert starving, thirsty, and miles from anywhere, Pete discovers that the skills and knowledge imparted in his grandfather’s stories take on real meaning.

Pete is forced to look at the decision he’s made and decide who he wants to be.


Satellite Boy starring David Gulpilil
Satellite Boy starring David Gulpilil


This film looks amazing – firstly David Gulpilil, when in the zone, is an amazing force of native Australia and a pleasure to watch. Secondly director Catriona McKenzie, who graduated from AFTRS with Jane Campion and Gillian Armstrong, is a force to be reckoned with. She has been a strong director in Australian Television with Dance Academy, My Place, Satisfaction and most recently Redfern Now under her belt – this is her first feature film and she also wrote it. So far it has screened at Toronto International Film Festival 2012 as part of the Discovery Program and is selected for the 2013 Berlinale – Generation Kplus Programme. This thing is going to be wrapped in AFIs. Finally the look and cinematography is out of this world – Geoffrey Simspon I bow to the beauty you have created onscreen.

This film also has a special meaning to me and the Australian Cinema people of the country – drive-ins are nearly all but gone and so are projectionists – it is a cultural travesty and quite sad but it is the future and the world cannot stop change and development – pretty much what this entire film is about.

Satellite Boy has the feel of Samson and Delilah, 10 Canoes and Australia (minus Nic and Hugh) – it looks stunning and is set to become one of the strongest native Australian films – it is releasing on June 20th in Australia and I urge you to support the local product.


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