PAWNO courtesy of Tothless PicturesAn uplifting journey into the underbelly of inner-suburban Melbourne, Pawno is a warm-hearted and witty narrative that examines the intersecting stories of 14 local characters and their resident pawnbroker.

In a dusty old pawnbroker’s in the heart of Footscray, world-weary owner Les Underwood watches as the lives of the people who come through his doors collide, change and unravel. From incipient love affairs to desperate last gambles to those simply worn down by all the world has thrown at them, these individuals and their stories represent the best and the worst of Melbourne’s most hopeful and giddily mixed-up suburb.

Directed by Paul Ireland from a script by Damian Hill – who also appears in the film – Pawno features a diverse and talented cast that includes veteran actors John Brumpton (Romper Stomper), Kerry Armstrong (Lantana) and Tony Rickards (Holding The Man), alongside rising talents Maeve Dermody (Griff, the Invisible); and Mark Coles Smith (Last Cab to Darwin).

“Pawno is unlike many Australian films in that it is a true example of cultural diversity on screen without kangaroos, beach or desert,” says writer Damian Hill. “It is Australia as I see it, walking down the street, albeit with a heightened sense of story.”

Combining elements of thriller, romance and gangster genres this quirky, off-kilter character study crackles with inventiveness and irreverence in equal measure, Pawno is a warm-hearted and witty cinematic narrative that is totally, unapologetically Melbourne.

“An honest and unforced gem, boasting a suite of beautifully observed performances.” – Hugo Weaving

Pawno is screening nationally at selected cinemas. For more information, visit: for details, or checkout the trailer below

Image: John Brumpton stars as Les Underwood in Pawno – production still courtesy of Toothless Pictures