Australia, 2015 (MIFF 2015, Australian Showcase)

Director: Kriv Stenders

Resentment, racism and murder. Heartbreak High this ain't.

When ambitious educator Matt Bashir (Alex Dimitriades) is given the principal's job at Sydney's notorious boys-only Boxdale High School, it's hard to know whether the move is a promotion or a career killer. A simmering cauldron of socioeconomic troubles and ethnic tensions, Boxdale is the kind of place that Bashir is determined to fix. But just when it seems like he's making headway, the body of one of the students is found dead on the grounds, and everything Bashir has fought for starts falling apart.

Award-winning director Kriv Stenders (Red Dog, MIFF 2010) makes his first foray into TV storytelling with the riveting drama of The Principal. A richly imagined, deeply troubling journey through the multicultural landscape of Australia, The Principal – written by Kristen Dunphy (East West 101) and Alice Addison (The Hunter) and produced by Ian Collie of Essential Media (Rake, Jack Irish, Saving Mr Banks) – is Australian television drama at its most powerful and accomplished: confident, confronting and full of style.

MIFF will premiere the first two episodes of this new SBS drama series. The Principal will then air on SBS in October.

Kriv Stenders and Alex Dimitriades are festival guests.

Find out more about the Talking Pictures panel event related to this screening.

See also...


From one of Australia's greatest filmmakers, Kriv Stenders (Boxing Day, MIFF 2007; Blacktown, MIFF 2005), comes the heartwarming tale of an Australian country town and the dog it loved. ... In Dampier... More »


Love can be difficult at the best of times, and the remarkable Blacktown is a disarmingly honest tale of love-against-the-odds. Office secretary Nikki (Niki Owen) is disillusioned with her fraught, 's... More »


Two/Out explores the intimate and emotional friendship between two prison cellmates. Their fragile bond begins to unravel when Jack falls in love with a black plastic bag. ... More »


Kriv Stenders directs a powerhouse ensemble cast in this excoriating, illuminating take on our country's most fraught debate. ... As a sweltering Australia Day dawns over Brisbane, three seemingly unc... More »


A father's struggle to reunite his family over a single afternoon, told in real-time and, effectively, shot in a single take. Living alone on home detention, Chris (Richard Green) is preparing Christm... More »


Motherland is the story of two Latvian grandmothers who have lived in Australia (since the end of WWII), and although never knowing each other in their native Latvia, have become close friends since a... More »

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