Australian filmmaker Jon Bell's psychological horror film, The Moogai, is set to have its world premiere at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.
This groundbreaking film will be the first Australian First Nations title to be featured in the midnight section of the festival.
A First Nations writer and director, Mr Bell, known for his involvement in Cleverman, RedFern Now and Black Comedy, said he was in complete shock over being accepted in the prestigious festival Sundance.
"What a truly great honour it is for The Moogai to premiere at Sundance Film Festival. I still can't really accept that it's true," he said.
"Sundance has had such a long history with First Nations peoples that getting to put this film alongside all of the others is something that just feels like it's not real.
"Nothing is made in a vacuum and I have such a great team to share this with. I'm over the moon."
The plot of the movie revolves around a young mother who experiences a growing sense of instability as she is terrorised by an evil spirit that she believes is attempting to harm her children.
The critically acclaimed short film written by Mr Bell originally premiered in 2020 and received recognition at various film festivals including Cinefest, Sydney Film Festivals SXSW, and Melbourne International Film Festival.
Now, The Moogai is making its debut at Sundance as a full-length feature film, with Shari Sebbens taking on the lead role, supported by Meyne Wyatt as her husband, along with Tessa Rose, Clarence Ryan, and Jahdeana Mary.
Screen Australia's Head of First Nations, Angela Bates, expressed immense pride to have supported production of The Moogai.
"Its selection for Sundance Film Festival as the first Australian First Nations title in the Midnight Section heralds a significant moment for First Nations storytelling, continuing the momentum in showcasing our talents on a global stage," Ms Bates said.
"Congratulations to writer/director Jon Bell, co-producers Mitchell Stanley from No Coincidence Media, Causeway Films' Kristina Ceyton and Samantha Jennings.
"The cast for their incredible performances including Shari Sebbens, Meyne Wyatt and rising star Jahdeana Mary, and the entire team for bringing this authentic and powerful narrative to life.
"It's a tremendous achievement for everyone involved."
Sundance Film Festival is the largest independent film festival in the United States.