Mystery Road 2

A headless corpse is found drifting in the mangroves. The trail leads Detective Swan (a man of few words in a big cowboy hat), who has just arrived in the middle of nowhere, and his young colleague Fran, into the world of narcotics. In addition, the pair has to contend with protests led by Fran’s sister against the excavation of an Indigenous sacred site. Then another body appears. Is this the same case, a new one or a very old one?
The second season of the Australian series continues – independently of season 1 – the story of the Indigenous policeman Swan and brings director and cameraman Warwick Thornton to the Berlinale for the fifth time since 2005. Like his co-director Wayne Blair, who won the Crystal Bear in 2005 with his short film The Djarn Djarns, Thornton is a stalwart of Indigenous Australian cinema. In Mystery Road, the pair skilfully depict the Australian outback as a place of otherworldly beauty and disturbing brutality, where family secrets and old colonial conflicts are inexorably intertwined. The festival is screening two episodes of this Western Noir series.
by Ivan Sen, Warwick Thornton (Ep. 1), Wayne Blair (Ep. 2)
with Aaron Pedersen, Jada Alberts, Sofia Helin, Callan Mulvey, Tasma Walton, Tasia Zalar, Ngaire Pigram, Mark Mitchinson, Rhimi Johnson, Rob Collins, Gary Sweet, Ursula Yovich
Australia 2020 English 110’ Colour


  • Aaron Pedersen (Jay Swan)
  • Jada Alberts (Fran Davis)
  • Sofia Helin (Sandra Elmquist)
  • Callan Mulvey (Simon Rowland)
  • Tasma Walton (Mary Swan)
  • Tasia Zalar (Shevorne Shields)
  • Ngaire Pigram (Leonie Davis)
  • Mark Mitchinson (Owen)
  • Rhimi Johnson (Philip)
  • Rob Collins (Amos)
  • Gary Sweet (Alkemi )
  • Ursula Yovich (Pansy)


Creator Ivan Sen
Director Warwick Thornton (Ep. 1), Wayne Blair (Ep. 2)
Screenplay Steven McGregor (Ep. 1), Blake Ayshford (Ep. 2)
Producers David Jowsey, Greer Simpkin
Executive Producers Sally Riley, Ivan Sen, Rebecca Anderson
Cinematography Warwick Thornton
Editing Nicholas Holmes
Music Antony Partos, Matteo Zingales
Sound Trevor Hope, Wes Chew, Luke Mynott
Art Director Herbert Pinter
Broadcaster Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Produced by

Bunya Productions

Wayne Blair

Born in Taree, Australia in 1971. His most recent works include the feature film Top End Wedding which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. He also works as an actor; he won a 2018 AACTA Award for his performance in the first season of Mystery Road.


2005 The Djarn Djarns; short film, Crystal Bear award 2012 The Sapphires 2013 Septembers of Shiraz 2015 Cleverman 1; series 2016 Cleverman 2; series 2019 Top End Wedding 2020 Mystery Road 2; series

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020

Warwick Thornton

Born in Alice Springs, Australia in 1970. The director, screenwriter and cinematographer has already had several of his films screened at the Berlinale, most recently The Darkside which premiered in the 2014 Forum. His latest feature film, Sweet Country, won the Special Jury Prize at Venice in 2017 and went on to receive over 30 international awards. Mystery Road is the first time he has worked as cinematographer and director on a series.


1996 Payback; short film 2000 Willigan's Fitzroy; short film 2002 Mimi; short film 2004 Green Bush; short film 2005 The Old Man and the Inland Sea; short film 2007 Burning Daylight; short film · Dark Science · Nana; short film 2009 Samson and Delilah 2010 Art + Soul 2013 The Darkside 2017 We Don’t Need a Map · Sweet Country 2020 The Beach · Mystery Road 2; series

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020