Vertigo Releasing have announced the acquisition of HIGH GROUND, to be released across digital platforms on 12th July 2021. HIGH GROUND stars Simon Baker (The Mentalist, LA Confidential, The Devil Wears Prada) and Jacob Junior Nayinggul as the two leads, Travis and Gutjuk, respectively. HIGH GROUND is a gripping thriller set just after World War One during Australia’s resistance wars, in a glorious primordial landscape, driven by a narrative where the hunter becomes hunted. It takes us inside a remote world at a time of transition between the ancient and the new.
The film is directed by Stephen Maxwell Johnson. Johnson said of his film, “My aim has been to entertain and immerse an audience in an environment teeming with unexpected threats, and to take them on a ride through an aspect of Australia’s history that is under-represented, hopefully encouraging them to rethink the Australian story.”
Many local Aboriginal people worked on the film in front of and behind the camera, including producer and actor Witiyana Marika, who is a respected Rirratjingu (Yolngu) ceremonial leader. Witiyana was also Senior Cultural Advisor on the film, negotiating the nuanced and complex cultural elements and relationships between the different Indigenous clans who came together to work on different lands.
The production received support from many Indigenous organisations including the Gunbalanya community, Kakadu Board of Management, Djabulukgu Association, Northern Land Council, Indigenous Land & Sea Corporation, Rirratjingu Association, Gumatj Association, Miwatj Employment and Participation, Yolngu Business Enterprises and the town of Jabiru where our crew and cast stayed during production.
High Ground was financed by investments from Screen Australia, Film Victoria, the Northern Territory Government via Screen Territory, Fulcrum Media Finance and private investment.