3/7/2008: BALIBO IN PRODUCTION
The fact based political thriller, Balibo, began principal photography last
week, in Darwin, before moving to East Timor, starring Anthony LaPaglia as
Australian journalist Roger East and Oscar Isaac as José Ramos-Horta. LaPaglia
has returned to Australia for his first role in an Australian film since Lantana
whilst Isaac has just completed shooting Agora opposite Rachel Weisz, directed
by director Alejandro Amenábar.
Robert Connolly, who previously worked with LaPaglia on Australian crime
thriller The Bank, will direct from a script, co-written with writer David
Williamson, that is based on the shocking true events of the Indonesian invasion
of East Timor in 1975. “I'm looking forward to returning home to work again,"
says LaPaglia. "It's such an inspiring team and an important story for Australia
and the region.”
LaPaglia plays Australian television journalist Roger East, who takes an
unofficial job as the head of the East Timor News Agency at the behest of young
idealistic revolutionary José Ramos-Horta (Oscar Isaac). While reporting on the
bloody suppression of the East Timorese at the hands of the Indonesians, East
attempts to discover the fate of five missing Australian, British and New
Zealand journalists (from Australia’s Channel Seven and Channel Nine), who
disappeared from the border village of Balibo some weeks previously.
The five journalists areplayed by Damon Gameau (The Tracker) as Australian Greg
Shackleton, Gyton Grantley as New Zealander Gary Cunningham, Nathan Phillips as
Briton Malcolm Rennie, Mark Winter as Australian Tony Stewart and Thomas Wright
as Briton Brian Peters.
John Maynard of Arenafilm and Rebecca Williamson are producers, and ContentFilm
International has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Balibo, except for
Australasia which will be through Maynard’s Footprint Films.
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