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Award winning Pilbara film Sweet As premieres in Port Hedland

Alexander ScottNorth West Telegraph
Director Jub Clerc and Jenna Dodge.
Camera IconDirector Jub Clerc and Jenna Dodge. Credit: Supplied/Pilbara Development Commission

Port Hedland rolled out the red carp for the premiere of an award-winning movie described as The Breakfast Club meets the outback which was filmed in the Pilbara.

The film, Sweet As, follows 16-year-old Murra who is on the verge of lashing out, until her policeman uncle curbs her self-destructive behaviour with a lifeline: a “photo-safari for at-risk kids”.

Written and directed by Nyul Nyul and Yawuru woman Jub Clerc, Sweet As is based on her life growing up in the Pilbara and Kimberley.

The film held its Port Hedland premiere at the Matt Dann Theatre on November 3.

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It is the first Australian film to win the Toronto International Film Festival’s Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema award, and has been nominated for an Asia Pacific Screen Award in the Best Youth Film category.

Elise Bachelor, Scarlett Black and Melanie Attwood members of the Sweet As cast filmed in Port Hedland
Camera IconElise Bachelor, Scarlett Black and Melanie Attwood, members of the Sweet As cast filmed in Port Hedland. Credit: Danielle Raffaele/North West Telegraph

Filming took place in Hedland and the Pilbara with locals being cast as extras and the movie will be released in cinemas across Australia on April 13.

Pilbara Development Commission chief executive Terry Hill congratulated all the people who worked on the project.

“The Pilbara is a special place, and I’m thrilled that it is showcased as a backdrop for this project,” he said.

“I’d especially like to acknowledge and congratulate Ms Clerc. Sweet As is the first Western Australian feature film to be written and directed by a female Indigenous person.

“To have such a powerful and talented Aboriginal woman tell her story through a feature film will have a significant impact on other Australian Indigenous filmmakers.”

Sweet As main promotional image.
Camera IconSweet As main promotional image. Credit: Nic Duncan/RegionalHUB

Speaking to North West Telegraph in June 2021, Clerk was excited to be given the opportunity to tell this story to the nation.

“As a Nyul Nyul (and) Yawuru woman from the Kimberley my liyan (wellbeing) is bursting,” she said.

“I am so humbled to pay homage to the Pilbara region where I grew up and to the people who raised me. I hope I do them all proud.”

The movie secured funds through Screen Australia’s First Nations Department, Melbourne International Film Festival Premiere Fund, Vicscreen, Soundfirm, Screenwest, Lotterywest and the Western Australian Screen Fund, administered by Screenwest in partnership with the Regional Development Commissions.

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