Pete (Cameron Wallaby) lives with his grandfather (David Gulpilil) on the site of an abandoned outdoor cinema in a remote area of Western Australia. His grandfather tries to teach him skills – hunting, tracking but Pete just wants his Mother to return.

Though he misses her terribly, Pete manages to make the most of his situation, putting up with his grandfather’s stories and tearing around the countryside on his homemade bike with his best friend, the energetic smart-mouth Kalmain (Joseph Pedley).

This happy existence is suddenly shattered when news arrives that the cinema has been purchased by a mining company, and is slated for demolition. Panicked that his mother will not be able to find him when she returns, Pete convinces Kalmain that they can persuade the new owners to keep the cinema intact if they can just get a face-to-face meeting with them in the city. Kalmain has his own rather urgent reasons for wanting to leave town, so the two friends set out.

When Pete and Kalmain get lost in the desert starving, thirsty, and miles from anywhere, Pete discovers that the skills and knowledge imparted in his grandfather’s stories take on real meaning.

Pete is forced to look at the decision he’s made and decide who he wants to be.


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Catriona McKenzie – Writer/Director

Catriona McKenzie graduated with Honors from the prestigious Australian Film, Television and Radio School (whose alumni include Jane Campion, Gillian Armstrong) in 2001. Since graduating she has an directed a number of outstanding television series including the Emmy nominated Dance Academy; Logie and AFI award-winner My Place (series 1 and 2) for ABC TV; as well as Satisfaction for Showtime. Catriona was lead director on the award-winning SBS series’ The Circuit and RAN: Remote Area Nurse, as well as The Alice (Nine) and Fireflies (ABC TV).

Most recently, Catriona was lead director on the highly anticipated series Redfern Now, which was developed in collaboration with the internationally acclaimed creator Jimmy McGovern (The Street, Cracker, The Lakes). She is currently in production on the television drama series, The Gods of Wheat Street, for Every Cloud Productions and the ABC.

With critically acclaimed and award-winning short films including Box, The Third Note, Road and Redfern Beach, Catriona also wrote and directed the multi-award winning documentary Mr Patterns (ABC TV) and directed the half hour drama Grange (ABC TV). In 2007, Catriona spent time as a director’s attachment on the television series Prison Break (Fox).

In 2006, her script for Satellite Boy was accepted into the coveted Aurora Script Development Program which had previously developed Animal Kingdom, The Black Balloon, Somersault and Little Fish.

A highly experienced television drama director, Satellite Boy is Catriona McKenzie’s first feature film, which screened at Toronto International Film Festival 2012 as part of the Discovery Program and is selected for the 2013 Berlinale – Generation Kplus Programme.

Click here to view Catriona’s Portfolio

Toronto International Film Festival

63rd Berlin International Film Festival


‘Satellite Boy: Toronto Review’ – The Hollywood Reporter
TORONTO — Setting a modestly scaled but archetypal quest story against the vast terrain of Western Australia, Catriona McKenzie’s Satellite Boy radiates respect for traditional folkways and the Aborigines who manage to maintain them despite the encroachment of modern life. Combining the credibility factor of veteran Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil with a cute-kid story and some stunning vistas, the picture has solid potential at arthouses. Read More


‘Satellite Boy’ – Variety Magazine
Straddling the worlds of Aboriginal tradition and Western law with graceful wisdom, generational drama “Satellite Boy” spotlights the diversity of indigenous narratives and the power of storytelling, resonating alongside the likes of recent Australian films like “10 Canoes,” “Samson & Delilah” and “The Sapphires.” Nuanced performances by noted Australian thesp David Gulpilil and 10-year-old newcomer Cameron Wallaby, as well as the extraordinary widescreen compositions of lenser Geoffrey Simpson, will ensure international attention for writer-director Catriona McKenzie’s serenely confident feature debut. Read More



Director Catriona McKenzie
Production David Jowsey
Publicist Jim Dobson
Sales Celluloid Dreams