The Venice International Film Festival announced their 2017 program confirming the selection of four Australian films, including Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country which will make its world premiere in official competition. West of Sunshine will also make its world premiere competing in the Orizzonti section and The Knife Salesman will screen in competition in Orizzonti – Short Films. In a first for an Australian film, Strange Colours will screen as part of the Biennale College.

Penny Smallacombe, Head of Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department said it was a landmark moment in Australian screen history with Sweet Country being the first Australian Indigenous feature to be selected in official competition in Venice.

Sweet Country is an outstanding Indigenous collaboration, from the incredibly talented writers Steven McGregor and David Tranter and the extraordinary vision of director Warwick Thornton. This is a vital and rich Indigenous perspective of how Aboriginal people have been treated historically and we’re proud the film will premiere at one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals,” said Ms Smallacombe.