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  • Writer's pictureBundiyarra

The Furnace a red hot success

Staff of Bundiyarra-Irra Wangga Language Centre had the privilege to attend the first screening of the film “The Furnace” which was written and Directed by Roderick MacKay. “The Furnace” was filmed in Mt Magnet and Kalbarri on Badimaya and Nhanda country.

The screening was held at the Luna Cinema in Perth on Tuesday 11th of August with members of the cast and crew in attendance to see the completed film on the big screen for the first time. BIW worked with Badimaya people to translate sections of the film's script into Badimaya, using the knowledge recorded by Badimaya elders who have since passed and expertly guided by Badimaya/Wajarri man Godfrey Simpson and linguist Dr James Bednall.

MacKay’s debut film “The Furnace” is the only Australian film selected for the prestigious Venice Film Festival this year. ) Godfrey Simpson provided coaching and guidance on the correct use of the Badimaya language in the film, with guidance from community elders and members and was very complimentary of the efforts of the actors to learn and speak the language so well. And he wasn't entirely behind the scenes - he even had a small part himself as an extra!

“The Furnace”, set during the 1890s gold rush in Western Australia, tells the story of a young Afghan cameleer named Hanif (Ahmed Malek) who has formed a close bond with local Badimaya people in his years in the desert. Hanif stumbles upon a renegade bushman named Mal (David Wenham) who is in posession of gold bars with the Crown's marking, and who enlists Hanif to travel with him to a secret furnace to melt down the gold and remove the mark of the Crown. Being pursued by a determined squad of policeman, the two men race against time and the perils of the outback to reach their goal. Will they make it?? You'll just have to see the movie when it's released in 2021!

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