Film synopsis

Director Phillip Noyce’s compelling follow-up to Newsfront, HEATWAVE is the infamous Australian political thriller inspired by the disappearance of Sydney journalist and anti-development campaigner Juanita Neilson.

Like Newsfront, HEATWAVE details the moral dilemmas of a man of conscious, an ambitious architect, Stephen West (Richard Moir), whose inner city housing project has been compromised by a corrupt property developer (Chris Haywood) and his big business cronies. With stand-over men sent in to evict demonstrating squatters, social justice campaigner Kate Dean (Judy Davis) alerts West to a looming conspiracy when her friend, an activist and journalist, disappears and is presumed murdered.

Noyce brilliantly evokes the oppressive mood of a stifling heat wave in inner Sydney in this compelling conspiracy thriller where death, deceit and corruption taint all.

Running time

86 Minutes

Year of production



Judy Davis
Richard Moir
Chris Haywood


Phillip Noyce


Hilary Linstead