The Furnace

Director: Roderick MacKay
Highlights Highlights Highlights
Landed its world premiere at Venice International Film Festival
As part of its tour across the Arab world, the film was successfully released in Egypt, UAE, and KSA
Received production support from a number of institutes, including Screen Australia, in association with ScreenWest, LotteryWest, and the Western Australian Regional Film Fund
Written and directed by the renowned Roderick MacKay
Stars Ahmed Malek along with some well-known Australian actors
The Furnace Poster
2020/ Australia116 min/ Western, Drama
Available on:
1897 Western Australia. To escape a harsh existence and return home, a young Afghan cameleer partners with a mysterious bushman on the run with two 400oz Crown-marked gold bars. Together the unlikely pair must outwit a zealous police sergeant and his troopers in a race to reach a secret furnace - the one place where they can safely reset the bars to remove the mark of the Crown.
Ahmed Malek
David Wenham
Jay Ryan


Screenwriter: Roderick MacKay
DOP: Mick McDermott
Editor: Merlin Eden

play icon
Production Company(ies)
Southern Light Films

Timothy White

film festivals
Venice International Film Festival, Italy
El Gouna Film Festival, Egypt
Australian Screen Industry Network Awards, Australia
Australian Writers' Guild
Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards
Australian Screen Sound Guild
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
film awards
Best Editor at Australian Screen Industry Network Awards, Australia
SA & WA Gold Award at The Australian Cinematographers Society
"An enjoyably absorbing experience"
Jay Weissberg — Variety

"Brutish western is tough as old leather and good as gold"
Xan Brooks — The Guardian

"The strength of MacKay's film is in its meticulously researched depiction of the mix of cultures and religions which helped to shape Western Australia during this time of unfettered expansion."
Nikki Baughan — Screen Daily

"The Furnace is a handsomely mounted film of an ambitious scale for a first feature, and there's much to admire in its measured approach, echoed in the brooding strings of Mark Bradshaw's score."
David Rooney — The Hollywood Reporter

"The Furnace marks the latest compelling entry to this emerging subgenre, and while writer-director Roderick MacKay's first feature hews to plenty of formulaic twists, it brings new faces to the traditional Outback survival tale, giving it fresh urgency in the process."
Eric Kohn — Indiewire

"The Furnace is an impressive, engrossing, and compelling tale. An ambitious undertaking, yes, with many players and conflicting angles."
Jane Freebury — Canberratimes