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February 28, 2012, 9:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


Outside the Box [Office] and IFC Midnight invite you and a guest to a special preview screening of

The Snowtown Murders

Directed by Justin Kerzel
Written by Shaun Grant
Produced by Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw

9:00 P.M. on Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

The Ray Stark Family Theatre

George Lucas Building, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


Opens in select theaters on Friday, March 2nd

About The Snowtown Murders

Based on the horrifying crimes discovered in Snowtown, Australia in 1999, where police found dismembered bodies rotting in barrels, Snowtown, which marks Justin Kurzel's directorial debut is a stark journey into the feral subculture of welfare dependence, addiction, domestic violence, brutality and sexual abuse.

Elizabeth Harvey (Louise Harris) is raising her three boys in Adelaide's poor northern suburbs. After her latest boyfriend displays pedophilic tendencies she takes up with a new man, hoping for security but instead winds up welcoming an even more vicious predator into her home.   

John Bunting (Daniel Henshall) is the moral compass among a circle of friends who hold self-appointed neighborhood watch meetings at the kitchen table. Fueled by cigarettes and beer they cast judgments on those living around them. Bunting enlists his crew in acts of sadistic vigilantism on those he considers deviants and takes Elizabeth's son Jamie (Lucas Pittaway) under his wing. In a mix of misdirected hero worship and terror, Jamie becomes an accomplice to a spree of torture and murder.   

The Snowtown Murders is an uncompromising film, focused on the relationship between vulnerable teenager and a father figure who is revealed to be the worst kind of bully.

Provided courtesy of IFC Midnight. Not Rated. Running time: 120 minutes.

To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, click here.


Director's Statement

When WARP FILMS AUSTRALIA first approached me to direct the film Snowtown, I felt a great sense of trepidation about being involved in such a dark story. However after reading Shaun Grant's screenplay, and the books that inspired the film, I soon found myself becoming drawn to the story and, in particular, the community in which it is set.
While I found the subject matter to be both overwhelming and deeply disturbing within this nightmare, Shaun’s script had managed to capture an extraordinary humanity which transcended horror and embraced a story that was tragic, moving and utterly compelling. It brought to life a very complex father and son relationship between John Bunting and Jamie Vlassakis. With its raw brutality and surprising tenderness the script revealed a corruption of innocence unlike anything I had read before.
In making the film, I wanted to try and understand how Jamie’s search for something better led him to find the answers in a person like John Bunting. I continually asked myself, what would I have done if I had the same upbringing and was involved in similar situations to Jamie? Would I have had the maturity, moral judgment and strength to make different choices? I never wished to examine this question as a way of excusing Jamie's actions but rather to better understand how a young person could be complicit in such crimes.
Having grown up near the area, it was important to me that this film was told from the inside out. For The Snowtown Murders to be produced with a level of authenticity, it was vital for the northern suburbs communities to have some kind of ownership and involvement in the telling of this story. As a result, real locations and a predominately local cast were employed.
To those actors who trusted me with their stories and committed emotionally and physically to the telling of the film, I am truly indebted. I would also like to thank the communities we worked in for welcoming us and assisting in telling a very dark and painful chapter of the area's recent history. The locals involved helped enormously in the creation of an interpretation of the events that we hope feels genuine, as opposed to something that is a reproduction.
I understand and respect that the making of this film will bring up pain and anguish for many people, especially those directly related to the events. My hope is that the film offers an engaging observation and gets an audience to ask why, in contemporary Australia, a crime so immense took place and devastatingly went undetected for so many years.

-- Justin Kerzel

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain. The weekly screenings will be on Wednesday and Sunday nights (and other select dates, as they arise) in the School of Cinematic Arts Complex, George Lucas Building.

To view the calendar of screenings, click here.

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 8:50 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago