My background is that of Corporate Finance …. but with a creative twist. Every morning come rain, shine (or hangovers) over the past 12 years, I have been writing – usually in cafes close to my previous places of employment – usually from 6.45am – 8.30am every morning. This discipline means I have now now written 7 full feature screenplays, have written and produced 3 shorts, NURSERY CRY’MES, EASY MONEY, and 54 DAYS and written 10 short 10 minute plays, most of which have been performed to audiences.
In general term, my creative writing voice is that of healthily controversial thrillers – thrillers that seek to challenge the status quo, to make an audience think – and that is what I have sought to do with 54 Days- make you think about the very primal issue that affect us all – survival and what we will actually do to survive – just ask the gunman who held me up with a gun on my first visit Sydney to Sydney in 1991….
This passion for healthily controversial thrillers has resulted in one of my earlier thrillers, Murder By Proxy being granted development funding by the South Australia Film Commission. This is the next movie on the slate to be produced. In terms of film school study – I have undertaken two production courses both at MetroScreen in Sydney, and have also undertaken the year long Story Series twice with Karel Segers at the Story Department – to develop, deepen and fine tune the writing craft.
In order to expand my directorial skills I have spent the last two years working closely with theatre actors within the Sydney theatre scene and have written and directed 10 short plays that have been performed, and received well – ranging from a 5 year old girls monologue about Nursery Rhymes (with a very dark twist) through to a comedy about a transvestite door bitch that takes over the gates of heaven from St Peter – oh those Kings Cross clubs have a lot of inspiration to offer!!
This amalgam of writing and directorial experience has given me the confidence to take on my first feature film; to share the passion for film making with the whole cast and crew alike involved with 54 Days – they are a class act and deserved and earned the creative freedom to express their creative visions. Each and every one of them has been instrumental in suggesting and working with ideas that enhanced the overall quality of the movie. At the end of the day the responsibility of the movie is mine and I will do everything with the resources we have to make it the best we can make it.
– Tim Lea
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Sue Maslin is an award winning screen producer with credits including the feature films Road to Nhill and Japanese Story, winner of 26 international awards including Best Film at the Australian Film Institute Awards, IF Showtime Awards and Film Critics Circle of Australia. She is currently in production of the adaptation of The Dressmaker with Jocelyn Moorhouse, based on the best-selling novel written by Rosalie Ham.
Sue has served on the Board of the Adelaide Film Festival, and appointed as Adjunct Professor of the Media Program, School of Media & Communication, RMIT University. She designed the Producing for Film and Television course as part of the Masters in Media and Communications at RMIT. Sue was Artistic Director of the Australian Film Festival (2004-08) in Israel, a participant at the Prime Minister’s 2020 Summit in 2008 and became a Member of the Australia International Cultural Council in December 2008.
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Randall Wood has 25 years experience in the film and television industry. Randall’s projects are consistent award winners with more than 30 filmmaking awards including: the Grand Jury Award at Slamdance International Film Festival, the Grand Prix at World of Knowledge, Russia, a Dendy Award at Sydney Film Festival, awards at the International Wildlife Film Festival, Scinema, AFI, China Dragon Awards, Australian Film Critics Circle, Jackson Hole Science Media Award and ACS Gold and Judges Awards and an AWGIE Award for writing.
He is committed to film education and has taught documentary at AFTRS, Griffith Film School and guest lectures at universities in Russia, USA and UK.
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In December 2005, Daniel McGowan was arrested by Federal agents in a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front– a group the
FBI has called America’s “number one domestic terrorism threat.”
For years, the ELF—operating in separate anonymous cells without any central leadership—had launched spectacular arsons against dozens of businesses they accused of destroying the environment: timber companies, SUV dealerships, wild horse slaughterhouses, and a $12 million ski lodge at Vail, Colorado.
With the arrest of Daniel and thirteen others, the government had cracked what was probably the largest ELF cell in America and brought down the group responsible for the very first ELF arsons in this country.
IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT tells the
remarkable story of the rise and fall of this ELF cell, by focusing on the transformation
and radicalization of one of its members.
Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thrilller, the film interweaves a verite chronicle of Daniel on house arrest as he faces life in prison, with a dramatic recounting of the events that led to his involvement with the group. And along the way it asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism.
Drawing from striking archival footage — much of it never before seen — and intimate interviews with ELF members, and with the prosecutor and detective who were chasing them, IF A TREE FALLS explores the tumultuous period from 1995 until early 2001 when environmentalists were clashing with timber companies and law enforcement, and the word “terrorism” had not yet been altered by 9/11.
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Kasimir’s interest in other cultures has lead him to PNG to direct a documentary on children affected by AIDS, to remote indigenous communities to teach filmmaking and to the Torres Straight Islands to record important cultural songs that might otherwise be forgotten. These films, along with his collaborative work with artists have been screened and collected by The National Gallery of Victoria, Heidi Centre for Contemporary Art, The Melbourne Arts Centre and The Australian Centre for The Moving Image.
Kasimir’s films explore universal themes that seem to resonate with people from many cultures and walks of life and have screened in over thirty countries at festivals including Locarno, Stockholm and Hamburg. His films have won twenty-five awards – including the Crystal Bear for best short film at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival for Lily. In 2005 a jury made up of Lou Reed, Dame Judy Dench and Anton Corbijn awarded Booth Story the Film of The Festival at Raindance Film Festival (UK). In 2008 George Lucas awarded Directions Best Short at the Tiburon Int’l Film Festival (US). In 2009 the Sapporo Film Festival, (Japan’s leading short film festival), held a retrospective of Kasimirs’ films, an indicator as to his reach and dedication to the form. His latest film, featuring Geoffrey Rush, premiered at the 2012 Melbourne Int’l Film Festival.
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Since beginning her career in public television broadcasting and the Visual Arts, Julie Byrne has been a maker of short film and documentary (her award-winning drama The Sweeper screened in 2000 at Berlinale, Palm Springs Shorts Intl, New Zealand Intl, Brisbane and Canberra Intl festivals, with AFI distribution). She has also worked extensively across a variety of roles in the film and television industry; as a Production Manager she worked on films such as Paul Cox’s Innocence and Human Touch as well as on the long running television drama series McLeod’s Daughters for several years.
Her work as a Line Producer includes the period thriller Lucky Country (2009, Dir Kriv Stenders), the recently acclaimed The Babadook (Dir Jennifer Kent, World Premiere Sundance 2014) and Rolf de Heer’s latest film with David Gulpilil, Charlie’s Country.
Julie has been involved as a producer on a number of FilmLab feature films (The South Australian Film Corporation’s initiative 2009-10) co-producing, with Closer Productions, Matt Bate’s feature documentary Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure (launched Sundance 2011, US release) and Ursula Dabrowsky’s horror Inner Demon (release due 2014). She produced the micro budget surrealist mystery The Dead Speak Back (screened AFF 2013), written and directed by the interdisciplinary artist Jason Sweeney, and is about to complete Touch, a mystery drama starring celebrated Australian actors Leeanna Walsmann and Matt Day, written & directed by Christopher Houghton.
She is currently developing another film with Sweeney, Corporeal, a cross platform project 700,000 Hours and the comedy drama feature Lost Cat with Kristian Moliere, based on the best selling San Fransiscan novel of the same name.
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Crystal, a young Indonesian girl, is in an Immigration office being questioned about her false papers and illegal refugee application. About to be sent to a Detention Centre and deported, her allegations of multiple rape and appalling captive conditions seem to make little difference to the Immigration Officer.
Brought in by human trafficking syndicates to work as prostitutes, she is one of the many modern sex slaves in Australia that are conveniently deported when they hit their ‘used by date’. Meanwhile a young Melbourne woman, Ashley Hudson, reluctantly agrees to help a Chinese mother search for her missing daughter.
As the story unravels the sinister workings of illegal prostitution and governmental deportation and is filled with twists and surprises. Inspired by actual events and Australian court transcripts.
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