‘The Nightingale,’ A Bloody Tale Set in Colonial Tasmania, Wins Awards At Venice Film Festival

Set in the 1820s, the revenge thriller tells the story of a young woman struggling with the murder of her family.

The Tasmanian thriller, The Nightingale,' picks up two awards at the recent Venice Film Festival
Nightingale Pictures

Set in the 1820s, the revenge thriller tells the story of a young woman struggling with the murder of her family.

A “revenge thriller” set in colonial Tasmania has taken out two awards at the Venice Film Festival, leading to a promising start to the movie written and directed by the Australian Jennifer Kent.

The Nightingale stars Baykali Ganambarr and Aisling Franciosi (who has previously played Lyanna Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones) and tells the story of a “young convict woman seeking revenge for the murder of her family, who takes an Aboriginal male outcast with her through the interior and gets much more than she bargained for,” according to Australia’s ABC. The Nightingale also stars Sam Claflin.

At the Venice Film Festival, The Nightingale has won two awards. The movie has won the Special Jury Prize and Baykali Ganambarr has won the Marcello Mastroianni prize for an emerging young actor.

Franciosi plays the role of Clare in The Nightingale against Ganambarr’s Billy, the Aboriginal male outcast that Clare comes in contact with while seeking revenge for her family’s murders.

IMDb lists the following synopsis for The Nightingale.

“Set in 1825, Clare, a young Irish convict woman, chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way, she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past.”

The Nightingale wins two awards at the Venice Film Festival
  Kasia Ladzcuk / Nightingale Pictures

Parts of the movie were shot on location in the Derwent Valley region of Tasmania and the film was partially funded by the Tasmanian government with a $250,000 grant.

According to a statement issued by Elise Archer, the minister for the arts, the Tasmanian government is a strong supporter of the cultural and creative industries and the jobs and investment they create in Tasmania.

Since the success of the Tasmanian-based The Kettering Incident, Screen Tasmania and the Tasmania government have created more initiatives for the film industry to choose their state as a film production destination.

“We will continue to do all we can to grow the sector to ensure it can continue to thrive and create jobs for Tasmanians,” Archer said in the statement released on August 25.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Venice Film Festival had earlier come under fire for a lack of entries containing female directors. The European Women’s Audiovisual Network along with other women’s organizations had been criticized for “leaving out women directors from the festival’s competition section.” Only one film had been included in this year’s selection that contained a female director. That movie was The Nightingale.

The Nightingale is the second movie by Jennifer Kent. Her directorial debut was made with the supernatural psychological horror The Babadook in 2014. This movie received a strong reception at the Sundance Film Festival that year and went on to be considered a viable commercial success having grossed $7.5 million against a $2 million budget.