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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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