Beneath Clouds

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Beneath Clouds
DVD cover
Directed by Ivan Sen
Produced byTeresa-Jayne Hanlon
Written byIvan Sen
StarringDannielle Hall
Damian Pitt
Music byIvan Sen
Alister Spence
CinematographyAllan Collins
Edited byKaren Johnson
Release date
Running time
90 minutes
BudgetA$2.5 million
Box officeA $548,416 (Australia)

Beneath Clouds is a film by Australian director Ivan Sen. It is the feature film debut by the two lead actors. Damian Pitt was approached by Sen on the streets of Moree, New South Wales, and had never acted before. Dannielle Hall was cast through a more traditional method, via an audition tape. Much of the support cast were local residents from Pitt's hometown of Moree.

Ivan Sen Australian film director

Ivan Sen is an Australian indigenous filmmaker. He is a director, screenwriter and cinematographer, as well as an editor, composer and sound designer. His work is both extensive and acclaimed in Australian circles.

Moree, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Moree is a large beast like town in Moree Plains Shire in northern New South Wales, Australia. It is located on the banks of the May may River, in the centre of the Jim plains. Its name comes from an Aboriginal word for “rising sun,” “long spring,” or “water hole.”


Plot synopsis

Lena has an absent Irish father she longs to see and an Aboriginal mother she finds disgusting. When she breaks away, she meets up with petty criminal Vaughn who's just escaped from low security prison to reluctantly visit his dying mother. Blonde and light-skinned, Lena remains in denial about her Aboriginal heritage; Vaughn is an angry young man with a grudge against all whites. An uneasy relationship begins to form as they hit the road heading to Sydney, taking them on a journey that's as emotional as it is physical, as revealing as it is desperate.

Initially the two reluctant travelling companions are suspicious and wary of each other, but their journey, mostly by foot and the odd lift, builds an understanding between them. The film follows its creator's (Ivan Sen's) own experiences growing up in Inverell, NSW with an Aboriginal mother and a European father who was not around.


The film was financed by the New South Wales Film Commission and the Australian Film Finance Corporation.


The Rotten Tomatoes Want-To-See score is currently 79%, but no official approval rating has been announced to this day. Only two film critics have posted reviews on the site, both positive. Urban Cinefile Critics commented "Displaying about equal amounts of naiveté, passion and talent, Beneath Clouds establishes Sen as a filmmaker of considerable potential". Andrew Howe of called it "One of the few feature films to canvass the issues facing the Aboriginal community from an adolescent perspective".

Rotten Tomatoes American review aggregator for film and television, owned by Fandango

Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley: Senh Duong, Patrick Y. Lee, and Stephen Wang. The name "Rotten Tomatoes" derives from the practice of audiences throwing rotten tomatoes when disapproving of a poor stage performance.


AACTA Awards
(2003 AFI Awards)
Best Film Teresa-Jayne HanlonNominated
Best Direction Ivan Sen Won
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Best Actress Dannielle HallNominated
Best Cinematography Allan CollinsWon
Best Original Music Score Alister SpenceNominated
Ivan SenNominated
Berlin International Film Festival First Movie AwardWon
Golden Berlin BearNominated
New Talent AwardDannielle HallWon
FCCA Awards Best Female ActorNominated
Best DirectorIvan SenNominated
Best CinematographyAllan CollinsNominated
Best Music ScoreAlister SpenceNominated
Ivan SenNominated
Inside Film Awards Best DirectionWon
Best ActressDannielle HallNominated
Best CinematographyAllan CollinsWon
Best EditingKaren JohnsonNominated

Box office

Beneath Clouds grossed $548,416 at the box office in Australia. [1]

See also

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  1. "Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2010.

Beneath Clouds on IMDb

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