‘Kangaroo’ Hops Into Action for Studiocanal’s Cultivator Films Australia


Cultivator Films Australia, the local subsidiary of France’s Studiocanal, has begun production of “Kangaroo,” its first movie. It tells the story of Chris Barns, aka ‘Brolga,’ founder of the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs.

Previously announced in December, the film is directed by Kate Woods (“The Umbrella Academy,” “The Good Lord Bird,” “Looking for Alibrandi”) and is written by Harry Cripps (“The Dry,” “Penguin Bloom”) with Melina Marchetta and additional material from Danielle MacLean & Peta-Lee Cole-Manolis.

An ex-TV personality becomes stranded in an Outback town after a car accident. There, he teams up with 11-year-old Indigenous girl. The pair form an unlikely friendship and work together to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned baby kangaroos, known as joeys. It is an endeavour that proves to be life-changing for them both.

The main cast is headed by Ryan Corr (“House of the Dragon,” “Catching Dust”) and newcomer Lily Whiteley. In co-starring roles is a mob of kangaroo joeys, currently in the care of the Alice Springs Kangaroo Sanctuary.

Producers are David Jowsey, Greer Simpkin and Angela Littlejohn for Bunya Productions (“Sweet Country,” “Limbo,” “Mystery Road”), and Rachel Clements and Trisha Morton-Thomas for Brindle Films (“MaveriX,” “Finke: There and Back,”) with Louise Smith and Marian McGowan serving as executive producers alongside Studiocanal’s Anna Marsh, Ron Halpern, Elizabeth Trotman and Marcus Gillezeau.

“Kangaroo” is set and filmed on location in Alice Springs, where the real Kangaroo Sanctuary is located. It will also shoot at Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach.

The picture has major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen Territory, and support from Screen NSW’s Made in NSW Fund. Studiocanal will handle local distribution and overseas sales.

“The commencement of production for ‘Kangaroo’ marks a monumental moment for Cultivator Films and Studiocanal Australia’s local production arm. The culmination of years of behind the scenes work by many and the beginning of an exciting chapter for the company with its first feature film being made at home,” said Studiocanal’s Australia and New Zealand CEO Elizabeth Trotman.

From Variety US