TJ is a hard-edged Aboriginal man who's sick of scraping out an existence in the city. He travels to the tiny frontier town of Five Rivers in search of his son. Upon his arrival, TJ is confronted by the equally tough local cop Texas... and so begins a story about hard men battling to do the right thing by their family.
The movie is steeped in the distinctive music of the Pigram Brothers in collaboration with multi-ARIA Award winner Alex Lloyd. Their lilting ukulele and mandolin melodies weave like a dream through the central story.
REAL PEOPLE with no acting experience play the lead roles. This brings a tremendous intimacy and freshness to the movie. Developed in close collaboration over many years with director Brendan Fletcher, the actors play characters based on their own lives. The stories are etched on their faces.
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At the time Dean was cast as TJ, he was working in the building industry in Broome as a labourer and roofer. He moved to Broome in The Kimberley to escape the chaos of city life. He had worked on film sets, but principally as a grip, and he approached Mad Bastards in the hope of being hired again as a grip. Eventually the creative team realized that a leading man was under their noses.
He recalled difficult times in his own life in order to deliver an authentic performance. It made the film mentally draining and emotionally challenging. But it was an enormously positive experience too: "The film also made me want to be a true father to my own son. At times it was tedious being on set but then I would tell myself that this was the greatest thing I have ever done because I am representing my people."
"Texas, the person in the movie is pretty much me," says Greg Tait. "He realized he didn't have to be a mad bastard, didn't have to be part of the violence, but could start to believe in himself and become a role model for his family. I'm still a mad bastard to a point. How I control it has changed."
Greg has never acted but has toured as a musician and says this helped give him confidence when he was on the set of Mad Bastards. "I always dreamt of being an actor and always hoped I would have the opportunity."
Lucas was 14 years old when he made Mad Bastards. He lives with his father in the remote town of Wyndham and has been into a cinema only a few times in his life.
He has never acted before but thrived on the improvisational process that enhanced the film's authenticity.
Ngaire Pigram grew up in Broome for most of her childhood and has experienced many of the same issues of Nella first and second hand.
After having her two children she studied Acting at WAAPA, Ngaire has since made several short films, danced in the Bran Nue Dae Movie and is currently rehearsing for Tony Briggs play 'The Sapphires'. Being apart of Mad Bastards was both a professional and personal achievement which she hopes will help bring the Kimberley peoples lives into millions of hearts around the globe.
Dougie Macale is from the Turkey Creek community and is one of the foremost dancers in the East Kimberley. Just like his character, Uncle Black, he loves bumming cigarettes but does it with dignity and timing.
Featuring Stephen Pigram, Alan Pigram and Alex Lloyd.
Stephen and Alan Pigram are legends of the Australian music scene. Hailing from remote Broome - a tiny town in the far northwest of Australia - their calypso sound is widely regarded as "the sound of the Kimberley". They've won several DEADLY Awards and were the first indigenous artists to be inducted into the West Australian Music Hall of Fame in 2006. They were nominated for an ARIA Award in 2008 for their third album "Under The Mango Tree".
Alex Lloyd is one of Australia's most popular rock artists, having released four records with major record companies EMI and Sony. Alex's voice is often regarded as one of the best in the country and Alex has sold more than half a million records. Alex is a three-time ARIA Award winner.
"Music for Mad Bastards" is a stunning collaboration between two of Australia's finest musical talents.
“Richly informed by the real struggles of Western Australians to overcome legacies of male violence, alcoholism and parental neglect, the visually panoramic yet dramatically intimate Mad Bastards manages to wallop and warm at once.” Variety (USA) Rob NelsonRead more...
“A stirring sense of a place and its people ripples through this moving story of men trying to take responsibility for their damaged and damaging lives. At its center a father and son story, the film deals in universal themes of social dysfunction and constricting codes of masculinity that could apply to any marginalized community. If the basic ingredients seem familiar, the handling of them is distinctive thanks to a gaze that’s both clear-eyed and forgiving.” The Hollywood Reporter. David RooneyRead more...
“a beautifully measured take on violence and redemption … irresistible … a sublime soundtrack… a triumph in every sense.”
“Mad Bastards looks at the darkside of Aussie machismo culture. But there’s nothing preachy about Fletcher’s film. It’s an engaging yarn about father and son, told with good humour and humility, beautifully filmed against the rugged Kimberley landscape.” THE AUSTRALIAN, Evan WilliamsRead more...
"Brendan Fletcher's Mad Bastards is a tough-minded and compassionate drama that not only feels authentic but brings to life the maverick characters of that remote corner of Western Australia..."Read more...
“The performances are superb – subtely controlled, heartbreaking and yet alight with bravery and an unexpected gentleness. Mad Bastards is a work of serious maturity and grace. It reminded me of something that Plato said about art – that it should be “like a wind from excellent places, bringing health”. The Monthly Helen GarnerRead more...
“The cinematography is a revelation – filmed on location, the parched Australian landscape has never looked like this. It leaves you at once moved and uplifted. The key performances are amazing.” FILMINK Annette BasileRead more...
“You will never get a more authentic Australian narrative than Mad Bastards. Using a cast of non-actors, and music of local boys the Pigram Brothers, director Fletcher creates an air of authenticity not previously seen in a fictional feature film of this kind. For that is what Mad Bastards is at its core: a journey that irrevocably changes your outlook on life.” THEREELPLACE.COMRead more...
I saw more than 30 films at the Sundance Film Festival, and my favorite feature was Mad Bastards, a small independent gem from Australia. The filmmakers decided to tell the story of a troubled man in search of the son he'd abandoned long ago. To achieve authenticity, they drew elements of the story directly from the lives of the key actors in the film, most of whom had never acted before. The result is fantastic — it looks good, the acting feels utterly fresh and convincing, and the music is refreshing and upbeat. Creative Loafing – The Daily Loaf. Nathan AndersonRead more...
“Mad Bastards shines a light on the soul of our country.”
"A visually striking, morally complex, fascinating character story about redemption but which is presented in a way that is very engaging and exciting.”
“An incredible raw-energy score, emotionally powerful acting, and the breathtaking Australian landscape make this family tale both endearing and unforgettable. The barren outback provides the perfect backdrop in this compelling story of three generations coping with a crisis of identity and change.”Read more...
“Brendan Fletcher's Mad Bastards, is a tough-minded and compassionate drama that not only feels authentic but brings to life the maverick characters of that remote corner of Western Australia.” The Sydney Morning Herald Gary MaddoxRead more...
Brendan Fletcher has been nominated for Best Direction in a Feature Film for Mad Bastards along with Justin Kurzel for Snowtown, Julia Leigh for Sleeping Beauty and Kriv Stenders for Red Dog. The ADG Award winners will be announced on May 11.
Mad Bastards Director Brendan Fletcher has been nominated for Australian Film Critics Association Awards for BEST DIRECTOR alongside Justin Kurzel for Snowtown, Julia Leigh for Sleeping Beauty, Daniel Nettheim for The Hunter and Fred Schepisi for The Eye Of The Storm...
Mad Bastards had a screening at Swanpool Cinema, which was organised by the Mansfield Indigenous Support Group to increase awareness of Indigenous issues. Brendan Fletcher and Dean Daly-Jones were at the screening where they spoke about the movie and answered questions from the audience.
The AACTA Awards have just announced the nominations and we have been nominated for 5 awards!!! We are nominated for Best Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound, the AFI Members Choice Awards and Best Young Actor.
The whole Mad Bastards clan went out in style to Luna Park for the IF Awards night. And not only did we have a great night, but we won the Independent Spirit Award!
Mad Bastards very own Claire Fletcher is nominated for the Avid Award for Best Editing in a Feature Film.
Mad Bastards recordists (husband and wife team Nick and Joanna Emond) have just won the Sennheiser Award for Best Achievement in Sound for Film Sound Recording!
We are very excited to announce that Mad Bastards has been nominated for Best Original Soundtrack Album ARIA Awards alongside Snowtown, Angry Boys, Mary Poppins, and Don John of Austria.
Mad Bastards won the Gold Award for Feature Film of the Year from the 2011 Prestige Film Awards in Las Angeles.
Mad Bastards is nominated for the National Film & Sound Archive Independent Spirit IF Awards (the peoples choice awards) along with “Breaking the News” and “I Am Eleven”. The awards ceremony is on 16th November at Luna Park in Sydney. Tickets are on sale at www.ifawards.com, come see if we win!
Mad Bastards had a great night at this year’s Deadly Awards, which was created to showcases the outstanding achievement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
We ended up walking away with Film of the Year, and congratulations to Dean Daley-Jones for getting nominated for the Deadly’s Male Actor of the Year. Thanks everyone for voting!
We have just released a 2 Disc Special Edition Mad Bastards DVD which includes Audio Commentary, Making Of, Casting - Workshop Footage, Alex Lloyd and The Pigram Brothers Show “Live at Notes”, Kulli Foot (Short Film) and heaps more… You can pick this up as well as the Soundtrack at your local JB HI FI and Sanity stores.
The annual Screen Music Awards are presented by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and the Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC).
Mad Bastard is nominated in the categories of Best Soundtrack Album as well as Feature Film Score of the Year at the 2011 Screen Music Awards Australia. In addition to this “Won't Look Back” from the Mad Bastards soundtrack has been nominated in the category of Best Original Song Composed for the Screen. Well done to the MB Trio!! Keep your fingers crossed, the winners will be announced 14th Nov.
The European Premiere of Mad Bastards is taking place this week at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, one of the oldest film festivals in the world. Mad Bastards is in the competition section ‘Forum Of Independents’.
The MB Team (Brendan Fletcher, Allan and Stephen Pigram and Dean Daley-Jones) are honoured to be invited to the official residence of the Prime Minister to discuss a men’s health initiative with Australia’s “First Man” Tim Mathieson.
The Mad Bastards Trio (Stephen and Allan Pigram and Alex Lloyd) are doing a music tour of Australia featuring songs from the film. They will play in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane as well as playing at the Byron Bay BluesFest alongside Bob Dylan, Ben Harper, The Cat Empire and many more great acts.
The Mad Bastards team all had a great time at Sundance where the film Premiered! We got great reviews (Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Park Record and Sundance Film Festival to name a few!). The MB trio played several packed gigs, and we meet some great industry leaders from all over the globe.
The film was picked up for US distribution by IFC Films, and has since sold to other territories around the world.
MB Team are all very honoured to announce that Mad Bastards has just been nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
2012 ADG Award
Nominated : Best Direction in Feature Film
2012 AFCA Film Awards
Nominated: Best Director
AACTA Awards 2012 Nominee
Best Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound, Best Young Actor and the AFI Members Choice Awards.
Deadly Award 2011
Winner: Film of the Year
ACS Awards (Australian Cinematographers Society) 2010
Gold Award -Best Cinema Feature
Winner- Milton Ingerson Award for Best Entry (All Categories)
Prestige Film Award, Los Angeles
Winner: Gold Award for Feature Film of the Year
IF Awards 2011
Winner: Independent Spirit Award
SMA (Screen Music Awards) 2011 Nominated:
Best Original Song Composed for the Screen “Won’t Look Back”
Best Soundtrack Album
Feature Film Score of the Year
Australian Screen Editors Nominated
Avid Award for Best Editing in a Feature Film
ASSG Awards (Australian Screen Sound Guild) 2011 Winner:
The Sennheiser Award for Best Achievement in Sound for Film Sound Recording
Sundance Film Festival, USA, January 2011
World Cinema Competition
Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Czech Republic, July 2011
Forum of Independents Competition
Milano Film Festival, Italy, September 2011
Feature Film Competition
Hawaii International Film Festival 2011
Shanghai International Film Festival, China, June 2011
Minneapolis Saint Paul International Film Festival April 2011
Galway Film Festival, Ireland, July 2011
Helsinki International Film Festival, Finland, September 2011
Saint Tropez Antipodes Film Festival, France, October 2011
Haifa International Film Festival, Israel, October 2011
Inverness Film Festival, UK, November 2011