The life and career of Joy McKean OAM, Australia’s First Lady of country music and wife of Aussie icon Slim Dusty, will be showcased on screen in the upcoming feature documentary, Slim & I.
From Gold Coast-based production company
Pictures in Paradise, the Queensland Government through Screen Queensland will
be providing financial investment support to the film, directed by Kriv
Stenders (Red Dog and Danger Close: Battle of Long Tan).
Pictures in Paradise founder and
producer Chris Brown says that the film will present a first for him in his
forty-plus year career in the screen industry.
“Obviously I’m extremely excited,
particularly because this is my first feature doc.
“It’s a very unique project
because of my producing partners – James Arenman, who is the grandson of Slim
and Joy, and also Aline Jacques who is one of the top documentary film
producers in Australia.”
& I will take the audience on a
journey, from Joy’s early career in the yodelling duo The McKean Sisters, to
her years as Dusty’s wife and manager for more than 50 years.
“Joy is a national treasure and
somebody who hasn’t really received the kind of notice and acclaim she should have
had because of her amazing abilities, not just as a lyricist and a songwriter,
but also being the rock on which the Slim legend was built upon.”
Brown emphasises that the film
will not just appeal to Slim’s enormous fan-base and country music lovers but presents
an empowering message for women.
“I call her the quiet
feminist of country music. She did so much in her life. She started at such an
incredibly early age, she was the first woman ever to present a music show on
Australian radio and she is the first woman to win a Golden Guitar. She wrote
some of the classic songs for Slim.”
In addition to featuring
interviews and performances from Australia’s biggest names in country music,
including Missy Higgins, Troy Cassar-Daley and Paul Kelly, the film contains
extracts of the family’s extensive home movies spanning 40 years.
” (The footage) gives an amazing
snapshot of what Australia was like in the 50s and how it has changed.
“It’s like holding up a mirror to
Having received SQ investment for
previous Pictures in Paradise productions Railway Man, Daybreakers, Blurred and
Bait, Brown says SQ plays an essential role in the local screen
“For us independents, Screen Queensland
is our rock because without it we wouldn’t be able to develop screenplays and finance
“There’s a whole infrastructure
there which one has used over the years and one is incredibly grateful, so it’s
been a huge support to all of us.”
& I also received
principal production investment from Screen Australia and is set for an Australia-wide release in early