Australian Film of the Year

Last Cab to Darwin

named 'Australian Film of the Year'
by the Catholic Film Office

The jury of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting has awarded its annual prize to Jeremy Sims' Last Cab to Darwin (ICON Films. Released August 6th 2015).

Based on the true story of Max Bell, a taxi driver from Broken Hill, who died in 1996, age 66, Last Cab to Darwin charts Max's journey from being diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer to Darwin where he finds a doctor who will euthanize him.

"Most people who didn't see this film assumed it was part of the pro-euthanasia lobby," says jury chair Fr Richard Leonard SJ, "It might start out presenting that way, but ends up a deeply humane story of love and the dignity of life. It puts on the big screen some of the arguments against euthanasia."

A moving story of a dying man searching for the meaning of life in the face of death, it shows how Max finds love and friendship through facing mortality. By journey's end Max discovers how to love, rather than how to die. The enormity of the emotional narrative is played out against the enormity of the Australian outback where disintegration, recreation and transformation are all on offer in regard a range of complex issues like race, masculinity, and fear. This film is not about euthanasia.

"Part road film, part drama, part black comedy, Last Cab to Darwin wears its Australian vernacular and laconic heart on its sleeve, but the journey upon which it embarks with the audience is unexpected and deeply humane," Fr Leonard concluded.

The jury also commended Robert Connolly's Paper Planes.

Fr Richard Leonard SJ, the Director of the Australian Catholic Film Office is available for interviews or comment on 0409 120 928.

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