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Australian films in Sundance
Naomi Watts stars in Two Mothers. Picture: AP

There will be a heavy Australian presence at next year’s Sundance Film Festival.

The Australian-French co-production Two Mothers, which was filmed on the NSW mid-north coast and stars Naomi Watts and Robin Wright, will premiere at the festival.

The film helmed by French director Anne Fontaine sees Watts and Wright portray lifelong friends who fall in love with each other’s sons. Also starring in the film, adapted from a Doris Lessing novel, are Xavier Samuel (Twilight), Ben Mendelsohn and Sophie Lowe (Hanna).

Top of the Lake, a six-hour Australian/New Zealand co-production directed by Jane Campion and Garth Davis (Love My Way), is also one of 29 movies to make the festival’s premieres list announced on Monday.

The film begins with the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old girl, who happens to be the daughter of a local drug lord. The long film was originally designed to be a TV mini-series co-produced by the ABC but the Australian broadcaster pulled out when Campion cast American actress Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) in the lead role, according to IMDb. The movie database website says the ABC had only agreed to help fund the project if an Australian or New Zealander was cast as the lead.

Top of the Lake also stars Holly Hunter, Peter Mullan and David Wenham.

Other films on the premieres list that feature Australians include Stoker starring Mia Wasikowska, Jacki Weaver and Nicole Kidman; Big Sur with Radha Mitchell; Breathe In with Guy Pearce; and The Way, Way Back featuring Toni Collette.

The prestigious Sundance Film Festival will be held between January 17-27 in Park City, Utah.