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Media Centre

15 08 2012 - Media release

Assange story to screen at major international film festival

Underground, which follows the early life of Julian Assange, has been selected for one of the world’s premium film events, the Toronto International Film Festival.

Underground was written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Robert Connolly (Balibo) and produced by Helen Bowden (The Slap) for Matchbox Pictures. Produced with financial assistance from Network Ten and Screen Australia, the film will debut later this year on Network Ten.

Underground is a riveting thriller that focuses on the formative teenage years of one of the most controversial figures of modern times – Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (newcomer Alex Williams in his first major role). It follows Assange and his gang of close friends in Melbourne as they wage a battle from their bedrooms, trying to break into the computer systems of the world’s most powerful organisations.

The film also stars Anthony LaPaglia, Rachel Griffiths and rising star Callan McAuliffe, who plays the younger Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming film, The Great Gatsby.

In selecting Underground for the Festival, Toronto has bestowed a rare accolade, as only a handful of films produced for television have ever been programmed by the event, which is considered the pre-eminent platform into the North American market place.

“Australian drama continues to move from strength to strength. It is exciting to see Underground recognised by a major international festival like Toronto. This compelling, high-quality thriller will provide audiences with an engaging and iconic Australian story,” said Screen Australia CEO Ruth Harley.

“This is not only great recognition for the film itself, but for the Australian television industry full stop. Ten is immensely proud of this acknowledgement,” said Rick Maier, Executive Producer Drama and Production, Network Ten.

Underground was shot in and around Melbourne in April and May 2012 and draws from the book of the same name written by Suelette Dreyfus.

The Toronto International Film Festival takes place 6–16 September 2012. Underground will screen in Toronto’s Contemporary World Cinema program, which presents compelling stories from a global perspective. The film will have its festival premiere on Saturday 8 September.   

Underground is one of five Australian films announced so far by the festival. Further announcements are expected.

UNDERGROUND
Production company Matchbox Pictures Pty Ltd
Producer Helen Bowden
Executive Producers Tony Ayres, Rick Maier
Writer/Director Robert Connolly
Australian Broadcaster Network Ten
International Sales NBC Universal  
International Publicity Strategy PR 
Synopsis Set in 1980s Melbourne, Underground is a riveting drama that focuses on the teenage years of one of the most controversial figures of modern times – Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (newcomer Alex Williams in his first major role). The film follows Assange and his gang of close friends – the ‘International Subversives’ as they call themselves – as they wage a battle from their bedrooms, trying to break into the computer systems of the world’s most powerful organisations. In the process, they are forced to battle the authorities and eventually one another. Written and directed by Robert Connolly, the film also stars Anthony LaPaglia, Academy Award® nominee Rachel Griffiths (Hilary and Jackie) and rising star Callan McAuliffe (who plays the younger Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby).

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