Australian Feature Film The Furnace to Strike Filmmaking Gold

Director Roderick MacKay will make his feature film debut with The Furnace with TIFF rising star, Ahmed Malek (Pictured) and Australia’s David Wenham to headline the cast.

Set in Western Australia’s 1890s gold rush, The Furnace is an unlikely hero’s tale, navigating greed and the search for identity in a new land.   The Furnace illuminates the forgotten history of Australia’s ‘Ghan' cameleers, predominantly Muslim and Sikh men from India, Afghanistan and Persia, who opened up the Nation’s desert interior, and formed unique bonds with local Aboriginal people. 

The project is the debut feature film for Writer/Director Roderick MacKay, and will be produced by Timothy White (I Am Mother) and Tenille Kennedy (H Is For Happiness).

Leading a diverse ensemble cast will be one of Toronto International Film Festival’s 2018 Rising Stars, Ahmed Malek, who will play Hanif, a young cameleer who forms a partnership with a bushman on the run with Crown gold. The bushman, Mal, will be played by long-time supporter of the project and celebrated Australian actor, David Wenham. Together, they must outwit zealous troopers in a race to reset the gold bars at a secret furnace. 

The film will also star Venice Film Festival’s 2018 Best New Talent winner, Baykali Ganambarr(The Nightingale ), Trevor Jamieson (Storm Boy, Cleverman), Erik Thomson (Storm Boy, The Luminaries), Mahesh Jadu (Marco Polo) and Osamah Sami (Ali’s Wedding).

The film, set to go into production in Western Australia next month, has received principal production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Screenwest and Lotterywest and the Western Australian Regional Film Fund. 

The Furnace will shoot in Mount Magnet and Kalbarri, in Western Australia’s spectacular Mid West region and distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Umbrella Films.