Baz Luhrmann will present his inspiring epic adventure, Faraway Downs on Oct. 21, 2023, at the closing night of the inaugural SXSW Sydney® Screen Festival. The filmmaker reimagined and extended his 2008 film Australia, presenting it in six chapters for this new version. It will simultaneously premiere on Nov. 26, 2023, on Hulu in the United States, Star+ in Latin America, and Disney+ in all other territories.

“I was inspired to re-approach my film “Australia” to create “Faraway Downs” because of the way episodic storytelling has been reinvigorated by the streaming world. With over 2 million feet of film from the original piece, my team and I were able to revisit anew the central themes of the work. I am honored to world premiere “Faraway Downs” in Australia. [It’s] the place that has inspired me and my work my entire life, and with a partner like SXSW who deeply recognizes the intersection of film, television and music with storytelling.” 

– Baz Luhrmann


Faraway Downs stars Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Bryan Brown, Brandon Walters, and Ben Mendelsohn. Kidman, known for her role in Big Little Lies, portrays Lady Sarah Ashley, an English aristocrat who ventures to the Australian outback to confront her husband and sell her vast cattle ranch. After her husband’s death, ruthless cattle baron King Carney (Bryan Brown) schemes to seize her land.

Reluctantly, Lady Ashley teams up with a rugged cattle drover (Hugh Jackman) to protect her ranch. Young Nullah (Brandon Walters) narrates the story, affected by the government’s oppressive racial policies called the Stolen Generations. Lady Ashley and the drover experience a passionate romance amidst the impact of World War II on Northern Australia.

Colin Daniels, SXSW Sydney Managing Director, said, “We are so happy to be sharing the creative work of Baz Luhrmann and the entire “Faraway Downs” team at Australia’s first ever SXSW Sydney.” 

Baz Luhrmann directed and co-wrote Australia alongside Stuart Beattie, Ronald Harwood, and Richard Flanagan. Catherine Knapman and G. Mac Brown produced the film, with Catherine Martin overseeing production and costume design. Faraway Downs is currently in production, with Luhrmann, Martin, Knapman, and Schuyler Weiss as executive producers.

The SXSW Sydney 2023 Screen Festival celebrates the moving image and its future, uniting creatives worldwide, with a focus on Asia-Pacific talent. From Oct. 15-21, join us in Sydney for an immersive experience of global screen culture.