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click for contents THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA | The Voyage of the Dawn Treader JAckie weaver | Best support actress

THEBOOMERANG AUSTRALIANS IN FILM

DECEMBER 2010

Pics | The king’s speech rabbit hole


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AiF EVENTS | December 11 The Chronicles of Narnia The Voyage of the Dawn Treader at Fox Studios HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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The Boomerang

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Editors Susie Dobson Sophie Scarf editor@australiansinfilm.org Designer Sam Kramer Board of Directors Paula Paizes Susie Dobson Rob Marsala Andrew Warne Tracey Vieira Michelle Day Ian Sutherland Executive Director Sophie Scarf Cover | The Chronicles of Narnia Photographs from 20th Century Fox News Submissions Please email the Editor with any Australian or member film-related news or announcements. Australians in Film | 2800 28th St, Suite 320, Santa Monica CA 90405 Tel: 310 452-5939 | Fax: 323 446-8724

CONTENTS From the President

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News

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The Chronicles of Narnia | The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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Do you know Oz?

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Australians at Sundance

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Heath Ledger Scholarship

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Member Profile

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Pics | The King’s Speech

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Pics | Rabbit Hole

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www.australiansinfilm.org | administrator@australiansinfilm.org

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THEPRESIDENT Dear Members and Friends, Hard to believe that another year is almost over!

AiF Volunteers | We would like thank the following people:

Sam Kramer, designer of the Boomerang and invitations Alin Pilkington for IT support Michael Kelleher for website design and IT support Screening Support | Courtney Prince Melissa Bickerton John & Vanessa Freemen Shorty Brown Suzanne & Gary Iselt Jenifer Sorenson Greg Cook Jacqueline Alliss

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In this past year we held 19 screenings with 15 Q&A’s bringing you a range of product from major Hollywood fare like “Alice in Wonderland” to much smaller home grown and critically acclaimed films like “Animal Kingdom” and “Red Hill”. Our Break Through Awards/ Health Ledger Scholarship event held in May was a huge success and we enjoyed Christmas in July this year, which was a real treat for those of us that prefer to party outdoors and enjoy relaxed summer afternoons! We added two new sponsors, CST International Tax Partners at Silver level, and Treasury Wine Estates/ You Don’t Know OZ.com at Gold level. Thank you to both these sponsors for becoming part of the Australians in Film family. There were also some structural changes in the management of the organization. Sophie Scarf re - upped as our Executive Director for another term. Sophie is a great asset to AIF and we are truly thrilled that she is continuing with us. David Pratt, Megan Worthy and Jenny Cooney-Carillo left the Board

of Directors and Tracey Veira and Ian Sutherland joined. Jenny CooneyCarrillo remains on our Programming Committee and is integral to program selection and wrangling talent for our Q&A’s and events. David Pratt moved to Savanna to run the Savanna Symphony Orchestra and Megan Worthy continues to live between LA and Eastern Europe. We wish them well in all endeavors and are very grateful to each of them for their extraordinary individual contributions to the growth and management of AIF. Our last screening for the year is a fun family event showing The Chronicles of Narnia – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I hope to see many of you there! Merry Christmas to Everyone and thank you to all our dedicated volunteers for all their hard work throughout the year! Finally on behalf of the Board of Australian in Film, we wish you all a wonderful holiday season, full of joy and good spirit. Warmest wishes, Paula Paizes President Australians in Film

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news

Animal Kingdom

Jackie Weaver named Best Supporting Actress by the National Board of Review for her performance in Animal Kingdom and the film was listed as one of the 10 best independent films of the year.

on screeN in DECEMBER | RIP Gus Mercurio, the gravelly voiced actor who was one of the most recognized and loved faces in Australian television, died on December 7 following complications during surgery. He was 82.His work can be seen in iconic Australian films such as Crocodile Dundee, The Man From Snowy River as well as numerous TV series.

Jackie Weaver

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, extensive Australian cast and crew. Filmed in Australia. DECEMBER 17 Rabbit Hole, Nicole Kidman acts and produces.

Said Kevin Dobson who worked with him many times during his 40-year career, “Gus Mercurio was a real renaissance man. He was a person of huge standing, and had an enormous influence on my directing career. He really did walk the walk. I will miss him.�

With Alex Proyas poised to produce and potentially direct, Summit Entertainment has just closed a deal for screen rights to AMP, a near-future science fiction thriller novel by Daniel H. Wilson. The novel is set in a world where the technology designed to make the disabled whole, turns them into supermen. Aussie feature Mad Bastards has been accepted in to the World Competition at Sundance for 2011.

DECEMBER 10

Alex Proyas Gus Mercurio

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the chronicles ofnarnia The Voyage of the Dawn Treader The Title Character

“Her prow was gilded and shaped like the head of a dragon with a wideopen mouth. She had only one mast and one large, square sail, which was a rich purple. The sides of the ship, what you could see of them, where the gilded wings of the dragon ended, were green.” (From the novel, “The Voyage of The Dawn Treader” - Chapter 1- The Picture in the Bedroom) “The Dawn Treader is more than a set; it’s a character,” says producer Mark Johnson. “It’s the most impressive set I’ve ever seen.” Adds producer Andrew PRESS ESC TO EXIT

Adamson: “The Dawn Treader is such an iconic symbol. To some degree, it’s almost like Aslan. When I saw the boat fully assembled for the first time and walked onto it, the experience was how I imagined it as a boy reading the book.” Like the handsome and iconic wardrobe in the first story, The Dawn Treader makes for an impressive title character. “In my view, The Dawn Treader is Narnia,” Apted notes. “We never go to [the land of] Narnia in this story, so I always made the point that

the boat is Narnia. The boat embodies everything that Narnia is. When you’re on The Dawn Treader, you’re in Narnia.” Production designer Barry Robison began work on THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER in the spring of 2008 -- the project ultimately consumed over two years of his life -- just as production was wrapping on “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.” Robison drew inspiration from a replica of Capt. James Cook’s boat The

Endeavor, which sits in the harbor in Sydney, Australia. “We visited the ship to get a sense of what it felt like. We used The Endeavor as our blueprint for the scale of the boat.” While The Dawn Treader became much larger than Cook’s historic vessel (on which he was the first European to reach the eastern shores of Australia in 1770), Robison and his supervising art director, Ian Gracie (who served in the same capacity on “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”), were still unsure as to how big their ship should be. So, they

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the chronicles ofnarnia painted an outline of it on the side of one of the production’s sound stages to show Apted what they had in mind. “Michael said the boat in our design was too short, and wanted another

twenty feet of deck space,” Robison remembers. Robison brought on a talented group of draftsmen from Mexico City and Baja. “The draftsmen had an incredible knowledge of shipbuilding,” says Robison. “And it was at that point that The Dawn Treader began to take

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shape as a real, breathing ship. The gestation period for the boat was almost eighteen months. It was the largest prop I’ve ever built.” That period commenced with Robison’s sketches (the designer is an accomplished artist and illustrator), followed by clay models. Once the director and the studio signed off on its design, construction of the vessel began in March 2009, and took 21 weeks to complete. “The Dawn Treader was crucial because it’s the star of the movie,” Apted emphasizes. “Once Barry designed its shape and scale, you could see his love and caring in the details. The craftsmanship was brilliant and as it came together it was thrilling for all of us to see. We’re probably on The Dawn Treader for nearly half the film, so it needed to be something to look at. To experience this jewel on which no expense had been spared, and into which so much attention had gone, I think really inspired us all.” Before fabricating the vessel, which cost about US$2.7 million to build,

discussions ensued as to whether Robison, his art department and construction crew (which numbered almost 400 during the planning and production phases of the film) should

build a boat that could sail on the water. For various reasons, that idea was dismissed before hammer was put to nail and paint was put to brush. Robison says the materials used to construct the boat were primarily “steel and wood, then polystyrene and fiberglass. It’s also got brass elements, plaster and rope. It was 100% fabricated because there is no Narnian store. I would always joke to the set decorator that you can’t go out and buy something to put into this set. It had to be absolutely fabricated because this is a created world.”

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the chronicles ofnarnia The set was assembled at Warner Roadshow Studios (GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA) on Stage 8 in “sixty individual pieces of various sizes and weights,” Gracie elaborates. “Once the puzzle was complete, it had to be dismantled and moved to the exterior peninsula at Cleveland Point, about 50 km away, which we accomplished on 35 flatbed semitrailers. When filming concluded there, we had to repeat the exercise.” Robison added many unique design touches to The Dawn Treader, working from Apted’s instructions, as well as those from the C.S. Lewis estate. “Everyone really wanted to bring the magic of Narnia back into the movie,” says the designer. Robison’s most inspired and personal touches were bestowed upon the ship’s mast. He explains: “I went to the producers and Michael [Apted] and said I wanted to do something to honor the commitment of all the people who worked on designing and building The Dawn Treader. They thought it was a great idea.” Robison had a dedication etched onto the base of the ship’s towering mast, which reads: “All Narnians, with grateful hearts may we give thanks to the crew of the mighty Dawn Treader for their strong minds and artisan hands.” Below Robison’s poetic inscription are the names of each individual on the film

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crew who had a hand in bringing this kingly vessel to life. The completed set would now get to shine – and move – before the movie cameras. That trickery was conceived by the film’s mechanical special effects crew, headed by Brian Cox. Unlike other movie ships, The Dawn Treader was never positioned in the water. To replicate the ship sailing on the high seas, a motion-control mechanism called a gimbal was devised. A gimbal (six of which were built for this film) gives a pitching and rolling motion to the boat, so that the whole set moves like a ship at sea.

While there were early talks about putting the boat in the ocean, then shooting it entirely onstage in a blue screen environment, the filmmakers decided to shoot The Dawn Treader

scenes on location. Two-time Oscarnominated cinematographer Dante Spinotti, ASC, AIC (“L.A. Confidential,” “The Insider”) explains: “Michael Apted and I felt strongly that we needed a

location because most of the scenes in the boat are full day exteriors. We wanted the vision of a real environment, including wind, weather, sunshine, overcast skies, and the ocean. The best solution was to shoot the boat’s exterior scenes at Cleveland Point, where it could be positioned against a real ocean horizon. The gimbal enabled us to turn the boat to follow the sun, which was a valuable tool. That allowed us the full range of the daylight, from early morning to sunset.”

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the chronicles ofnarnia Well before construction began on the massive title character, special effects supervisor Brian Cox obtained a two-foot model of the ship from the prop department. He bolted the small replica to a table, then placed springs underneath it to simulate how the ship would be able to roll and pitch once erected atop the multi-ton steel and hydraulic gimbal. Once satisfied that he could proceed with the design and construction of the hydraulics and steel skeleton, it dawned on Cox that Apted and Spinotti could use the model to position the boat each day as dictated by the script’s specific scenes and the location of the sun overhead. Cox proceeded to create a makeshift compass on the table by attaching the model ship to a turntable. He next painted compass points on the table (N, E, S, W) along with the numbers 1-8 to serve as a guide for the filmmakers prior to actually shifting the 125-ton boat and gimbal to the desired position for a given scene. Just like the smaller device on the table, the actual Dawn Treader was attached to two sets of steel wheels situated 180 degrees apart, which allowed Cox’s team to turn the boat in any direction at any given moment as mandated by the scenes being filmed.

in a brilliant 3D experience for THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER. As the end of the journey approached for the cast and crew, producer Adamson, who helped give birth to the movie franchise, noted, “Of the three films so far, the first film for me was really about the birth of Narnia. The children brought hope into this land ravaged by cold, under siege of the White Witch. That movie was all about color and magic and brightness and this whole new world opening up. The second movie presented a darker world, which the Pevensies helped bring back to life. “THE CHRONCILES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER is more like the first film, because we are again opening up a new world. The magic is back.”

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do you know oz? For decades the perception of Australia has been characterized by Paul Hogan and the famous phrase ‘Throw a shrimp on the Barbie’ or our cuddly Koalas and Boxing Kangaroos. This is not the real Australia. The You Don’t Know Oz campaign is centered on showing America that we are more than Koalas and Kangaroos. In fact, we are home to sophisticated cities, five star restaurants, some of the most breathtaking natural beauty and world class wines. January 26th is Australia Day, a day when Australians all over the world commemorate the arrival of the first fleet to Australia back in 1788. This

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ship was captained by the wonderful Arthur Philip, who brought with him some of Australia very first grape vines! Australia has been making quality wine for nearly 200 years. We have had a long time to perfect this delightful craft. But Australia is different to many winemaking countries. Part of our success in winemaking has come from our camaraderie. Australians, especially winemakers, are known for helping out their fellow man if they are in a bind and at the end of a hard days work, sharing a glass of wine with those who may be considered competition. We like to share our knowledge and experience. This makes us very unique amongst most winemaking countries.

Visit www.youdontknowoz.com and you could win a chance to see first hand how amazing Australia really is! All we ask is that you host your very own Australia Day party, between January 22nd and January 31st 2011. On the website, Jamie Durie, host of The Outdoor Room on HGTV, will give you great tips on how to make your Australia Day party uniquely Australian. You need to take a photo of how you and your friends brought Australia Day to life, submit this photo on line – with a caption that cleverly uses one of our brand names and you could be in the chance to win your very own spectacular Australian Celebration in Australia, hosted by Jamie Durie and some of Australia’s most famous wines. The real Australia is sophisticated, intelligent, elegant and always fun. So tell your friends all about it... and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter www.youdontknowoz.com

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Australians atsundance Three films have been selected to compete at Robert Redford’s showcase for independent cinema, the Sundance Film Festival, next month and one writer has a film in Competition. Mad Bastards, set in northern Australia’s Kimberley region, has been selected in the world drama section of the competition and will have its world premiere at the festival. Director Brendan Fletcher’s film tells the story of an urban street warrior who meets his match in the form of a local police officer. The film also weaves performances and music from real people from the Kimberleys through the music of Broome musicians the Pigram Brothers. In the documentary section of the

competition the Australia/American co-production Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure has been selected and will also have its world premiere at the festival. Directed by Matthew Bate, the film follows the story of two friends living in San Francisco who created one of the world’s first viral pop sensations when they tape-recorded the fights of their violently noisy neighbours. Australian film Deeper than Yesterday has been selected for competition in the international shorts competition program at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, about men who have become savages after three months submerged underwater, is one of only 15 selected in the shorts competition.

Short at the Chicago International Film Festival; and is in the running for Best Short Fiction Film at the 2010 AFI Awards. Writer-director Ariel Kleiman also won the Best Short Film Director Dendy award at the Sydney Film Festival and last month took home the the 2010 EFilm Inside Film Award for Rising Talent.

Melbourne-based scriptwriter Dani Valent is also heading to Sundance – she is co-writer of the US feature film Here, which screens in the US Dramatic Competition program. The Sundance Film Festival will take place from January 20 – 30, 2011.

It has already won several awards including the Jury Award for Best Short Film at Critics’ Week in Cannes; Best

Compilied from AAP and If Magazine

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heath ledgerscholarship application deadlineextended AUSTRALIANS IN FILM HEATH LEDGER SCHOLARSHIP 2011 3rd Annual Scholarship For Emerging Australian Actors Adds One Year Full-time Scholarship to Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre-Los Angeles to Winners Package and Extend Application Deadline. Los Angeles, Calif. (December 8, 2010) - Los Angeles-based Australians in Film (AiF), the preeminent organization for expatriate Australians in the entertainment industry, announced today that applications and guidelines for the prestigious third annual Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship (HLS) are available and entry deadline will be extended until December 22nd, 2010

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at www.australiansinfilm.org. The scholarship has expanded, and has added a one-year full-time scholarship to Stella Adler Acting & Theatre – Los Angeles to the winners package, in addition to two runner-up scholarship packages. The annual Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship is named in honor of Ledger who was an Ambassador for AiF before his untimely death in January 2008 and has the support of the Ledger family and many of Heath’s friends and colleague in the entertainment industry. Speaking on behalf of his family, Ledger’s sister Kate Ledger states, “We are so proud and honored to support the Heath Ledger scholarship through Australians In Film. With the help of our incredible sponsors we continue to offer recipients an opportunity to showcase their talents internationally.” The primary scholarship will be awarded to an emerging Australian actor, for up to USD$10,000 cash, a one year, full time scholarship to Stella Adler Acting & Theatre – Los Angeles, a roundtrip airfare from Australia, and a SHOWCAST VIP Package to pursue their career in the United States. Two runners up will each

receive a roundtrip ticket from Australia plus a SHOWCAST VIP Package. Applications will be accepted until December 22nd, 2010. The twelve month acting scholarship will give the winner the opportunity to further their craft with one of the most respected acting schools in the world who students include Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, Mark Ruffalo to name a few. The VIP Package from SHOWCAST, Australia’s leading and most respected casting service, and their partner Breakdown Services, LA will give incredible visibility to the winners to key casting agents, actors agents and entertainment industry decision makers in Australia and the US. Benefactors to date include Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman, Deborra-Lee Furness, Michelle Williams, Phil Noyce, Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin and Colin Farrell. Judges have included actors Jude Law and Rachel Griffiths, film director Gregor Jordan and casting agents John Pasidera and Anne Fay. Judges and benefactors for 2011 will be announced in January 2011.

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heath ledgerscholarship You and a guest are invited to a special screening of

MAO’s LASTDANCER

Applications and complete scholarship guidelines are available on www. australiansinfilm.org.

Directed by Bruce Beresford and produced by Jane Scott, Starring Bruce Greenwood, Chi Cao, Kyle MacLachlan.

About Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre –Los Angeles

Thursday, December 16th, 2010 Screening begins at 7:30pm Followed by a brief Q&A

The Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre-Los Angeles is a non-profit organization.  The Adler-LA, founded by Miss Adler in 1985, is a world renowned producing organization and acting school located in the heart of Hollywood.  The Adler-LA offers extensive training for the serious actor in theatre, film, and television.

Linwood Dunn Theater at the Pickford Center for Motion Study, 1313 North Vine Street – Hollywood 90028 Immediately after the Q&A you and your guest are invited to join Bruce Beresford, composer Christopher Gordon and cast members from the film for a cocktail reception at the theater. Please RSVP by December 13th saying “GUEST OF AUSTRALIANS IN FILM” in subject line to maoslastdancerLA@gmail.com We do hope you can make it!

The Stella Adler Technique grew out of Miss Adler’s personal work with Konstantin Stanislavski, the father of modern acting. This technique (or method of acting) has been studied by many of the world’s most notable actors, directors, and writers including Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro, Holland Taylor, Gary Ross, Eric Stoltz, Charlene Amoia, Rick Peters, Mark Ruffalo, among many others. www.stellaadlerla.com About Australians in Film Founded in May 2001, to celebrate and support Australian film and TV makers and their work, Los Angeles based non-profit Australians in Film has

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held over 100 screenings, premieres and special events and currently has over 500 members. Australians in Film Ambassadors include Australian Oscar-winning actors Cate Blanchett (The Aviator 2005), Nicole Kidman (The Hours, 2002), Russell Crowe (Gladiator, 2000) and Geoffrey Rush (Shine, 1996), Oscar-winning director Mel Gibson (Braveheart 1995, The Passion of the Christ, 2004) and 30 other internationally known stars and film-makers including Hugh Jackman, Fred Schepisi and Naomi Watts. In 2008 Australians in Film established the annual Heath Ledger Scholarship in honor of the late actor who was an ambassador of the group. Australians in Film is grateful for the support of Gold sponsors Protea Group, Qantas, Stacey Testro International and YouDontKnowOz. com, Silver sponsors Ausfilm, CST Tax Advisors, and Loeb and Loeb and our Media partner Getty Images. For further information please visit www.australiansinfilm.org Media contact: Susie Dobson Tel: 310 486 2939 Email: susiedobson@labridge.com Website: www.australiansinfilm.org

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membersprofile johnFreeman AiF Volunteer

It was in my final year at Univ of Hawaii whilst on a 5 year ‘full ride’ sports (US Football) scholarship. I was about to graduate in finance but still had to satisfy 3 credits within the arts and sciences dept. Thought I’d do Drama101 for an easy class! I completed the class, don’t know about how easy it was!

no matter how lost you might feel, you always know where home is...”You got to stay the course, Man!” Oh, and have fun too. If you’re in a relationship, be sure to spell out your intentions in life to her/him (I love you Vanessa, ha ha!).

If you weren’t in your current career what would you be doing?

I’m currently auditioning and new to the acting carousel here in LA. When I’m not doing that I ‘m cracking the whip as a personal trainer! I’m enjoying that immensely, especially the track and field drills. My clients thank me as they crawl out of the gym here in West Hollywood.

Prior to that last semester, Ihad planned to get my Masters in New York, do the internship thing over summer with a trading house and then deal in mergers and acquisitions...I love math and numbers! Who do you most admire?

Where were you born and raised? Born in Cambridge, England and raised in Auckland New Zealand. My Dad’s from Ghana and I was raised within my Mum’s caucasian family...talk about the quintessential black sheep! How did you get involved in your current career?

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I really admire first time directors and producers who, against ridiculous odds, somehow manage to get their ‘baby’ completed..their tenacity is amazing. Volunteers are pretty special too!

What are you working on at the moment?

I also attend a weekly drama class- an educated person will always say ‘I don’t have all the answers’! I’m working at being ready...

What advice would you give someone who wants to follow in your footsteps? Never lose your passion for what you want to do- see it through... An old African American actor told me to view my passion as ‘going home’ ;

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pics | the king’sspeech Tom Hooper

Jim Newman, Greg Cook, Carlos Chavez & Richard Barrett

Oliver Ackland Lisa Robertson, Joe Foster, Paula Paizes & Melissa Bickerton

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pics | rabbithole Nicole Kidman

Thomas Castaneda, Jenny Cooney-Carillo, Nic Kidman & Elizabeth Serada

Aaron Eckhart & Nicole Kidman

Paloma Felisberto & David Bilson

Bella Heathcote & Nicole Kidman

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Joe Foster & Kate McClure

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backpAGE AiF Ambassadors

Don’t be left out in the cold...

Gillian Armstrong Simon Baker Eric Bana Cate Blanchett Bryan Brown Rose Byrne Toni Collette Abbie Cornish Russell Crowe Roger Donaldson Deborra Lee Furness Melissa George Mel Gibson Rachel Griffiths Scott Hicks Barry Humphries Hugh Jackman Nicole Kidman Anthony Lapaglia Baz Luhrmann Robert Luketic Jacqueline McKenzie Julian McMahon George Miller Kylie Minogue Radha Mitchell Poppy Montgomery Olivia Newton-John Phillip Noyce Frances O’Connor Miranda Otto Guy Pearce Richard Roxburgh Geoffrey Rush Fred Schepisi Naomi Watts Hugo Weaving David Wenham Sarah Wynter

ADVERTISE IN BOOMERANG

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AiF Board of Advisors Kym Barrett Stuart Beattie Greg Coote Bruce Davey Richard FrancisBruce Dean Semler

AiF Sponsors We greatly appreciate the involvement and support of our sponsors. You or your organization can become a sponsor of Australians in Film. We’d be happy to talk to you to see we can tailor AiF to best benefit your company. Contact Executive Director Sophie Scarf for more information. email | sscarf@australiansinfilm.org

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phone | 310 452 5939.

THEBOOMERANG | december 2010


The December Boomerang