Purcell takes Drover’s Wife to Hollywood

Leah Purcell’s focus is turning The Drover’s Wife: Legend of Molly Johnson into a movie.Leah Purcell is about to swap her dank Wentworth jail cell for glitzy Hollywood boardrooms.
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The award-winning actor-director-playwright will join a delegation of ‘s elite indigenous screen luminaries next month on a historic trip to Los Angeles for high-level meetings and networking opportunities.

Warwick Thornton, winner of the the Special Jury Prize at last year’s Venice Film Festival for Sweet Country, Mystery Road’s Ivan Sen and Redfern Now producer Erica Glynn are also part of the delegation.

Purcell and partner Bain Stewart will not be sightseeing or living it up on the Sunset Strip during the November 5 -10 visit. They have work to do.

“I’ll have my business hat on,” Purcell, 48, who joined the cast of hit TV prison drama Wentworth for this year’s sixth season, told AAP.

Purcell and Stewart are focused on turning their award-winning n play, The Drover’s Wife, into a feature film.

The movie, to carry the title The Drover’s Wife: Legend of Molly Johnson, is in the “very late stages of development” and they hope the LA meetings will lead to a US sales agent, distributor and add some extra funding.

Penguin Random House has also commissioned Purcell to turn The Drover’s Wife into a novel and there’s a plan to make it into a TV series.

Purcell knows there is international interest in the movie after they met with 12 international film distributors at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and received an overwhelmingly positive response.

“It feels great to be able to go to LA and do business,” Purcell said.

“It’s the kind of dream you have when you are in this industry to test the waters there.”

Purcell doesn’t rule out in the future pursuing directing and acting gigs in the US but her focus is on The Drover’s Wife: Legend of Molly Johnson movie.

The delegation is an extension of Screen ‘s Talent USA initiative and follows a grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to the LA-based ns in Film Foundation.