Gem of an Aussie film set to shine overseas
singer and actor Jessica Mauboy (pictured) says she was excited to find ‘‘our baby’’, Aussie film The Sapphires, making some serious waves on a recent trip to the US. The film’s success even led to a one-on-one meeting with USUK music industry svengali Simon Cowell. ‘‘He had heard about it and he was so excited,’’ Mauboy says. ‘‘(He’s) such a genuine and brilliant, I guess powerful man in the industry. People like that can make anything happen.’’
Mauboy says Cowell was watching the trailer and she could see him tapping his foot out of the corner of her eye. ‘‘I’m like YES he’s into it!’’ she says. ‘‘Big people like that, you want to give all you can and he definitely took it in.’’
Mauboy stars alongside Deborah Mailman (TV’s Offspring) and newcomers Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell as The Sapphires – four Aboriginal women who travel to Vietnam in 1968 to perform soul music for US troops, helped out by an out-ofwork Irish musician ( Bridesmaids’ Chris O’Dowd). The film, which got a 10-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, was also backed by Oscar magnets the Weinstein Company, who bought the distribution rights for the US and other territories.
Mauboy says she visited Los Angeles for auditions and also because labels are ‘‘biting at the soundtrack’’ for The Sapphires. ‘‘It was cool that an Australian film, indigenous film . . . people are embracing it and really respecting this wonderful story.’’