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When Indigenous detective Jay Swan arrives in the remote town of Patterson to investigate a mysterious disappearance from an outback cattle station, he thinks it will be an easy three day job. But it soon becomes clear that this is not a simple case. Not only does the missing local Indigenous teenager Marley know the country, but he would have stayed with his vehicle and not wandered off.  It also appears there may have been force.  But by who?  And why?

Jay – always a loner – now has to work with smart, tough local cop Emma James.  Born to a wealthy pastoral family and proud of her pioneering history, Emma’s life is embedded in the town.  But Emma has her own secrets – bound up in the history of the town.  Jay is also saddled by the arrival of his daughter Crystal, who’s run away from her own trouble at home, and his wife Mary – who comes after her daughter but really wants to save her marriage.

As Jay and Emma investigate the case, they unpeel the layers of the town revealing deep secrets, a previous crime and a major miscarriage of justice perpetrated a hundred years earlier.

Photo credit John Platt

Watch the trailer

Production Information


Michaeley O’Brien

Steven McGregor

Kodie Bedford

Tim Lee


Rachel Perkins


Greer Simpkin

David Jowsey

Script Producer

Michaeley O’Brien

Line Producer

Louisa Kors

Executive Producers

Sally Riley

Ivan Sen

Key Cast

Aaron Pederson

Judy Davis

Deborah Mailman

Wayne Blair

Colin Friels

Ernie Dingo

Anthony Hayes

Madeleine Madden

Aaron McGrath

Key Locations


Key WA Crew

Director of Photography

Mark Wareham


Deborah Peart

Production Designer

Herbert Pinter

Costume Designer

Heather Wallace

Makeup and Hair Designer

John Logue


Antony Partos

Matteo Zingales

First Assistant Director

Greg Spiller

Sound Recordist

Trevor Hope

About the Production Company

Bunya has produced and collaborated on a slate of award winning feature films

all of which have premiered at a top international film festival: Goldstone (Toronto), Mystery Road (Toronto), Toomelah (Cannes), Mad Bastards (Sundance), Satellite Boy (Berlin and Toronto), Dreamland (Busan), Jasper Jones (Shanghai) and most recently Sweet Country (Venice).

Photo credit Jack Friels
Aaron Pederson as Detective Jay Swan

From the big to the small screen

Mystery Road opened the 2013 Sydney Film Festival

…and garnered many awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor at both the 2014 Australian Film Critics Association and the 2014 FCCA Awards for Australian Film.

The show serves as a continuation of the characters and world established in the feature film.

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Acknowledgement of Country



We acknowledge Whadjuk Noongar people as the original custodians of the land on which the Screenwest office is located.


Screenwest acknowledges and pays respect to all Traditional Owners of Country across the State of Western Australia and their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, spiritual beliefs and relationship to land and waters and acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the people living today. We extend this respect to all Indigenous language groups.