Runt: first look at Craig Silvey’s heartfelt adaptation

Australian family film Runt features an adorable real-life rescue dog who might just save the farm.
Runt movie

The first look at Runt, an Australian family film based on Craig Silvey’s best-selling 2022 novel, has been released by distributor StudioCanal ahead of its national release in cinemas on 19 September this year.

The story revolves around 11-year-old Annie Shearer and her best friend, Runt, an adopted stray dog, as they attempt to win the Agility Course Championship at the Krumpets Dog Show in London, in order to save their family’s drought-ridden farm.

Promising a blend of heartfelt moments and humour, the live action film is adapted for the screen by Silvey, the West Australian author, playwright and screenwriter whose other novels include modern classic Jasper Jones (2009) and Honeybee (2020).

The source novel has already won several major Australian literary awards including the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year for Young Readers and the overall Book of the Year at the Australian Indie Book Awards.

The film is directed by multi award winning theatre and film director John Sheedy whose debut feature H is for Happiness won the $100,000 CinefestOZ film prize in 2019 and opened Generation KPlus at the 2020 Berlinale, where it received a special mention from the jury.

Read: Film Review: H is for Happiness is delightful

Runt is produced by See Pictures’ Jamie Hilton (June Again, Breath) and is filmed in Western Australia and London, where part of the story is set.

Announcing the first look at the film, Craig Silvey said: ‘I am so proud of this beautiful, uplifting film. Our stellar cast and talented team have perfectly captured the heart and humour of the book, and I can’t wait to share Runt with audiences of all ages throughout Australia.’

Runt: the cast

Leading the cast are newcomers nine-year-old Lily LaTorre, who plays the story’s hero Annie Shearer and rescue dog Squid in the title role of Runt (pictured).

The cast also includes Jai Courtney, Celeste Barber, Deborah Mailman, Matt Day, Jack Thompson, Genevieve Lemon, Sarah Roberts and Joel Jackson. 

Runt: the trailer

Speaking of Runt, Producer Jamie Hilton told ScreenDaily last year, ‘The See Pictures team, our investors and many of our cast and crew, are Aussie parents who are making this joyful movie for our kids and grandkids… We’re trying to channel timeless characters like Babe and Paddington, to create an Australian legend we can all cherish.’

Runt is financed by Screen Australia, Screenwest, Lotterywest, the WA Regional Screen Fund, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, a collective of private investors under the Birdbath banner, state agency Screen NSW, and Spectrum Entertainment.

Studiocanal is handling international sales and will distribute Runt directly in Australia and New Zealand, releasing in cinemas on 19 September 2024.

Rochelle Siemienowicz is the ArtsHub Group's Education and Career Editor. She is a journalist for Screenhub and is a writer, film critic and cultural commentator with a PhD in Australian cinema. She was the co-host of Australia's longest-running film podcast 'Hell is for Hyphenates' and has written a memoir, Fallen, published by Affirm Press. Her second book, Double Happiness, a novel, will be published by Midnight Sun in 2024. Instagram: @Rochelle_Rochelle Twitter: @Milan2Pinsk