Outback Australian film stars Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving.

US company Worldview Entertainment is a key financier of debut director Kim Farrant’s outback children-missing mystery drama Strangerland, an unofficial Irish/Australian co-production starring Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving.

“We had Screen Australia and the Irish Film Board and Screen NSW and (Australian distributor) Transmission and (sales agent) Wild Bunch and were looking for an international financier and executive producer,” Naomi Wenck, from Australian company Dragonfly Pictures, told Screen. She and Irish producer Macdara Kelleher of Fastnet Films are producing.

“We noticed that Worldview Entertainment was supporting such interesting directors as Atom Egoyan and Andrew Dominik and John Hillcoat – a few of them Australians making films in the US – and a slate of interesting films that were making it into the top five festivals.”

Kidman and Fiennes play the on-screen parents of two missing teenagers (Nicholas Hamilton and model Maddison Brown) and Weaving plays a police officer. Lisa Flanagan and Meyne Wyatt are also in the cast.

Kelleher got on board after meeting Farrant at an Irish film festival and getting on well with her socially. Wenck subsequently joined the project. The scriptwriters are Fiona Seres, a London-based Australian working in television, and Ireland’s Michael Kinirons.

In a statement issued today Kidman said it was a film that she “couldn’t say no to” once she’d read the script and executive producer, Transmission’s Andrew Mackie, said the “A-list cast is a testament to the film’s gripping and beautifully written script”.

He also told Screen how impressed he and business partner Richard Payten were upon meeting Farrant, whose only other feature-length work is the documentary Naked on the Inside: “We were overcome by her confidence and her vision, her understanding of what the film is and her ability to engage with every aspect of the film.”

The other executive producers are all from Worldview: Christopher Woodrow, Molly Conners, Maria Cestone and Sarah E. Johnson.