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Access granted to Oz as Tribeca All Access announces selection

Selected from over 475 submissions, two Australian feature film projects, Mei Mei (working title) and Binawee, have been selected to participate in the 2009 Tribeca Film Institute program - Tribeca All Access.

Mei Mei, to be directed by Pauline Chan who has also written the film with Martin Edmond, is a story exploring courage and love. It charts the course of a Chinese orphan who comes to Australia with the orphanage choir, and finds her sponsor is nothing like she imagined.

The Mei Mei producers, Penny Carl, Pauline Chan and Lesley Stevens, have welcomed their inclusion. “This is an incredible opportunity for us and we are fortunate to be selected,” said Chan. Stevens adds, “We are going to pitch hard but we’re also going to listen and learn everything we can in a few hectic days. These people know the US and world markets inside out.”

Binawee tells the story of a young Aboriginal girl who enters domestic service in a white household where the lines between master and servant dissipate and a new form of respect takes place. The film is to be directed by Samantha Saunders who also wrote the script.

Binawee is Saunders’ first feature and her selection into All Access is an amazing opportunity. “I hope to gain valuable insight into the American market, make good contacts and hopefully obtain real interest in my screenplay.”

Mei Mei and Binawee are two of only six international projects selected for All Access – a forum where high-level film industry executives can meet with a diverse and exceptionally talented group of filmmakers. The program serves as an unrivalled platform for emerging and established filmmakers from traditionally under-represented communities in the film industry to advance their careers and potentially find funding and exposure for their feature-length screenplay or documentary work in progress.

Tribeca All Access 2009 will take place 20 – 25 April.