Leah Purcell as Molly in her stage play adaptation of the classic tale (Photo: Belvoir Theatre)

June 27, 2019

Screen Australia announced more than $5.7 million in funding this week for a string of new productions, including a film adaptation of Murgon actor Leah Purcell’s award-winning play “The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson”.

Leah has been developing the project, a re-imagining of Henry Lawson’s classic short story, for several years.

Purcell will write, direct and star in the feature film.

“The Drover’s Wife” is set in the Snowy Mountains in 1893.

It follows the story of Molly Johnson as she and her children struggle to survive the elements.

She forms a bond with run-away man, Yadaka (Rob Collins), who helps her to understand her true identity.

“Leah Purcell has an impressive body of work, telling powerful stories from behind and in front of the camera, and we’re thrilled to support her first feature as director and lead,” Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said.

” ‘The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson’ is a brutal and beautiful story of identity, and there’s no one better to tell it on screen.”

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