Samson & Delilah | A new film by Warwick Thornton | In Cinemas from May 7


Marissa Gibson - Delilah

 Marissa Gibson

Marissa has had small parts in film and television productions as an extra, but this is her first major role. She lives in Alice Springs, where she attends high school and studies her newly favourite subjects – English and Drama. She speaks three languages – Warlpiri, Luritja and English, and until this year was studying Japanese language too. She put her acting wages towards a school study tour of Japan after the completion of filming. She loves to text-message and eat spring rolls from the Alice Springs Sunday Markets.

Rowan McNamara - Samson

 Rowan Macnamara

Rowan makes his screen debut in Samson & Delilah. He lives in Hidden Valley on the outskirts of the Alice Springs township. Rowan is Eastern Arrente and is originally from Santa Teresa, an Aboriginal community 80km southeast of Alice.  He is a keen AFL footballer, a devoted fan of Essendon Football Club and has travelled Australia playing footy with his school.
Rowan’s favourite food of the moment is lasagne.

Mitjili Gibson - Nana

Mitjili’s first acting job was playing the title role in short film Nana. She has also been featured in Beck Cole’s SBS documentary Lore of Love, where she teaches her granddaughters about the traditional rules of love.

Acting is the latest of many jobs in Mitjili’s life. She has also taken up painting in the last few years and has become a very highly regarded artist. The beautiful artworks featured in the film are her own.

Scott Thornton - Gonzo


Scott studied acting at the Eora Centre in Redfern, Sydney. His first film role was in a short film called Camping Out by Lee Willis-Ardler.

Scott is Warwick’s older brother and has been bugging him for years to get a part in one of his films – finally his wish came true.

The Verandah Band

The Verandah band

The three band members are part of a real band called The Desert Mulga Band. Matthew Gibson, Steven Brown and Gregwyn Gibson, who feature in the film, are usually joined by singer Shannon Gallagher. Steven and Gregwyn forgot about continuity and decided to cut their hair after the first week of filming, which caused Carol the makeup artist much grief and amusement, but nothing that a beanie couldn’t fix.

Warwick Thornton - Writer / Director / DOP / Composer

Warwick Thornton

Warwick has been waiting patiently for about 20 years to make a feature film since he first started hanging out at CAAMA Radio in Alice Springs in his teens. Warwick was a teenage DJ at CAAMA and he used to watch the video unit vehicle drive off to exotic places and was forced to hear all the stories when they came back. When a media traineeship came up he jumped at the chance and hasn’t looked back. He learnt his trade of cinematography on the job and then went to AFTRS film school in Sydney for three years.

After graduating, he got bored of sitting around waiting for the phone to ring with work offers, so he decided to write some of his own ideas. His body of work includes short films Payback, Mimi, Green Bush and Nana. He has also directed and shot loads of documentaries including Rosalie’s Journey about the star of the film Jedda.

He lives in Alice Springs and is obsessed with collecting Gibson guitars and riding dirt bikes.

Kath Shelper - Producer

Kath Shelper - with Beck Cole

(Kath pictured here with Beck Cole (standing) who is making a documentary about Rowan and Marissa)
Kath grew up in country Victoria and then did a PR degree at RMIT in Melbourne (even though she wanted to do Media but didn’t get in). When she finished she hung out in Melbourne and worked on Emma-Kate Croghan’s film school films and did odd jobs for Circus Oz. She scored a producer attachment on Lawrence Johnston’s doco Eternity and moved to Sydney “just for six months” but fifteen years later she’s still there.

Kath has managed to eek a living out of producing more than her fair share of short films and everyone is probably relieved that she’s finally graduated to a feature. Kath and Warwick made Green Bush and Nana together, and Kath’s other films include Plains Empty, Above the Dust Level and Confessions of a Headhunter, which won the AFI Award for Best Short in 2000.

Kath’s skills include touch-typing and she doesn’t believe that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.

Peter Bartlett - Assistant Producer / Casting

Peter Bartlett and Rocket

Bartlett is a jack-of-all-trades and a master of plenty. On the film he did casting, acting, organising, animal wrangling, driving, translating, and snake-removal from the unit base amongst many other roles. He is married to Mitjili’s daughter Cinderella and they live in Alice Springs with their big extended family. Bartlett also worked with Kath and Warwick on Green Bush and Nana.

He is a sought-after expert on all things flora and fauna in Central Australia and when David Attenborough comes to town – Bartlett is the man he calls to find those rare species.

Daran Fulham - Production Designer

Daran Fulham

(Daran on set for his 40th birthday)
Daran is quite mad, which is why Warwick likes him. They fight – which is healthy, apparently. They went to film school together and Daran has designed most of Warwick’s films including Payback, Mimi and Green Bush. Daran fell in love with a French gal and now lives in Paris and works on big Hollywood films like Defiance and Blood Diamond. He has the most massive collection of music on his ipod.

Roland Gallois - Editor / Actor

Roland Gallois

Kath and Warwick had the good fortune of working with Roland on their films Green Bush and Nana, and Warwick will again team with Roland on his new documentary series Art & Soul, about Indigenous art. Roland considers Samson & Delilah a career highlight and celebrated by buying his very own 2 x 3 metre wide Mitjili Napanangka Gibson masterpiece painting. Roland has worked with lots of other people as well on some amazing projects and even won an AFI Award for his editing work. He also features on-screen as the art gallery owner in the film.

Liam Egan - Sound Designer

Liam Egan and his cat

Liam loves cats. During the sound edit on Samson & Delilah, one of his went missing, which caused major problems in his household for a few days, but the drama ended happily. He has worked with Kath and Warwick on lots of films including the Bit of Black Business series (including Nana), Green Bush, Plains Empty and many more. The sound post was completed at Philmsound because they have a great selection of chocolates, not to mention that Phil’s a nice guy. Robert Sullivan was the ace mixer once again.