First time director Warwick Thornton turned heads last year with his directorial debut “Samson & Delilah,” which took home the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. While that film is only just now rolling into theaters stateside, Thornton is already looking to his next project, which surprisingly sounds like a period film in the horror/thriller genre.
“I’m writing a new script that I actually started writing before ‘Samson & Delilah’ that got put aside,” Thornton told ScreenMachine. “It’s a period film set in a monastery and freaky stuff happens. Can’t wait to make it – just need to finish writing the script. A great concept but not such a great script… for now.”
Thornton’s next film will no doubt garner significant attention, at least down under, having somewhat spearheaded the recent rejuvenation in Australian cinema (personified by the success of “Animal Kingdom“) — his success at Cannes was followed by a sweep at the local IF and AFI Awards. It also progressed as far as the January shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2010 Oscars.
Equally delicate, intimate and bleak, the coming-of-age tale follows two Aboriginal teens as they attempt to escape the harsh realities and difficulties of their lives in a remote outback community. Where Thornton’s film flourishes though is in its ability to explore the plight of the Aboriginal people within the confines of the subdued teenage romance, portrayed by amateur actors Rowan McNamara and Marissa Gibson. Of the film’s clearly evident influence, Thornton previously noted that “probably the closest would be Terrence Malick’s ‘Badlands‘ in terms of the feeling and mood. I was inspired by the colour scheme of my cowboy boots – earthy tones – greens, browns.”