A story with Riverina roots is well on the way to becoming a national treasure.
The Dressmaker, based on the novel by Jerilderie author Rosalie Ham and produced by former Scots School Albury student Sue Maslin, took out a swag of awards including Favourite Australian Film at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTV) Awards on Wednesday night.
Maslin said the awards capped an extraordinary run for the comedic revenge drama since its premiere in October.
“When we began this journey seven years ago, we always believed they’d be an audience for this film,” she said.
“It’s about bringing family and friends together for a film experience … but what we didn’t expect was that everyone would keep going back to see it again!”
The Dressmaker won three awards for performance as well as the AACTA People’s Choice Award for Favourite Australian Film. Kate Winslet was awarded the AACTA Award for Best Lead Actress for her performance as Tilly Dunnage, Hugo Weaving won the AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actor and Judy Davis won the AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actress. The Dressmaker won Best Costume Design at the Industry Dinner last week.
Maslin, who grew up on the Jerilderie plains like Ham, said they had high hopes for The Dressmaker.
“One of the dreams was that The Dressmaker would become a classic Australian film,” she said.
“As of today, the film is now the 13th highest box office Australian feature earner ever and it’s well on its way to becoming an Australian classic.”
Maslin said she hoped The Dressmaker would be released in the US mid-2016.
The film has been sold to 40 countries with Maslin and Ham hooking up to travel the world.
“It all started for us together back in Jerilderie all those years ago,” Maslin said.
Ham said she was thrilled the novel remained on Top 20 sellers’ lists and on literature lists in schools.
“People like it because they understand the themes of hypocrisy, vanity, truth, secrecy and hierarchy and they respond to it on an emotional level,” she said.
“The text gets them excited because they have found something they can connect with.”
The Dressmaker Costume Exhibition runs at Barwon Park National Trust from December 11 until March 11.