A still from Ivan Sen's 'Mystery Road'.  Close up of actor Aaron Pedersen clutching a shot gun.  Back drop features a dry Australian outback. Still from AFTRS alumnus Ivan Sen's feature film 'Mystery Road'

Jul 24 2013

Ivan Sen’s ‘Mystery Road’ in cinemas October 17

AFTRS alumnus Ivan Sen’s (Directing, 1998) latest cinematic gem Mystery Road has already attracted a lot of positive attention. The film recently screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and opened the Sydney Film Festival in June to warm reviews.

This is Ivan’s third feature film dealing with the tensions in black and white Australia. Both Beneath Clouds (2002) and Toomelah (2011) also depict life, conflict and struggle in small town Australia.

Mystery Road

Indigenous cowboy detective Jay Swan returns to his outback hometown, to solve the murder of a teenage girl, whose body is found under the highway-trucking route out of town.

Alienated from both the white dominated police force and his own community, including his teenage daughter, who he discovers is connected with the murdered girl, Jay stands alone in his determination to fight back for his town and his people.

Ivan recently took a trip back to his hometown, Tamworth. Read about his journey as he reminisces about life, growing up in his own ‘outback’ town and how it’s influenced his filmmaking here >

Mystery Road opens in cinemas across Australia on October 17.


The Australian Film Television and Radio School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.