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Author Craig Silvey with Lily LaTorre and Squid the grey dog.

Photo: Author Craig Silvey (left) with Lily LaTorre (Annie) right, and Squid (Runt) middle. Photo credit: Court McAllister @Mac1Photo

The See Pictures production will be directed by John Sheedy (H is for Happiness), produced by Jamie Hilton (Breath, June Again) with Silvey writing the screenplay.

Filming will take place in WA's Perth and Wheatbelt regions with support from the State Government's Western Australian Regional Screen Fund (WARSF). The family adventure follows 11-year-old Annie Shearer's quest to save her family's sheep farm with the help of an adopted stray, Runt, who becomes her best friend.

Production of the feature film is set to commence this year with a big-ticket cast including international star Jai Courtney (Jack Reacher, Divergent, Suicide Squad) as Father Bryan Shearer, Australia's Celeste Barber (Wellmania, The Letdown) as Susie Shearer, Beloved screen legend Deborah Mailman (Sapphires, Total Control) as mentor Bernadette Box and stalwart Jack Thompson (Breaker Morant, The Man from Snowy River, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones) as the villainous Earl Robert Barron.

Matt Day (Sweet Country, Muriel's Wedding, Tangle) is the cunning Fergus Fink and Tom Budge (Candy, Tracks, The Proposition) is his sidekick Simpkins, with Genevieve Lemon (Power of the Dog, The Piano) playing Grandmother, Dolly Shearer.

Lily La Torre (Run Rabbit Run) will play protagonist Annie, alongside her real brother - newcomer Jack La Torre - as her on-screen sibling, daredevil Max.

The WARSF aims to build Western Australian regional capacity and contribute to the liveability and vibrancy of Western Australian regional communities and has supported many high-profile productions such as multi-award-winning feature film Sweet As, critically acclaimed series Mystery Road: Origin, plus popular documentaries Ningaloo Nyinggulu for the ABC, Aussie Gold Hunters for Discovery, and Shipwreck Hunters Australia for Disney+.

The Western Australian Regional Screen Fund is funded by the State Government through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, and managed by Screenwest.

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Page reviewed 27 February 2023