Subject: LaPaglia's private screening with Ramos-Horta

also Son of Balibo Five cameraman tells story

The Sun Herald (Sydney, Australia)

July 19, 2009 Sunday

First Edition

LaPaglia's private screening with Ramos-Horta;

ENTERTAINMENT

CHRISTINE SAMS

ANTHONY LAPAGLIA has made another exciting return to the Australian film industry with his appearance in Balibo the film based on the real-life story of five Australian journalists who were killed in East Timor.

In the film, which is being billed as a political thriller, LaPaglia plays veteran foreign correspondent Roger East, who goes to East Timor to investigate what happened to the missing reporters.

He is invited by a young Jose Ramos-Horta (played by Oscar Isaac) who reveals the story of East Timor's struggle for independence.

LaPaglia will be in Sydney next Saturday night to attend a private screening of the film in the presence of Ramos-Horta, who is now President of the republic of East Timor.

The official world premiere of Balibo is being held the night before in Melbourne.

Apart from the Hollywood weight behind LaPaglia's involvement in the project, a number of Australian stars appear in the movie, including Gyton Grantley best known for his role as Carl Williams in Underbelly and Nathan Phillips (Wolf Creek and Australian Rules).

Grantley, Phillips and other cast members, including another Underbelly star, Damon Gameau, will also be attending both the Melbourne premiere and the private screening in Sydney.

The film, due for general release on August 13, was directed by Robert Connolly.

The director, best known for his work on The Bank and Three Dollars, was also the producer of Romulus, My Father, The Boys and the newly released Lucky Country.

Connolly led a small crew in East Timor as part of a tightly scheduled shoot for the film. Overseas distributors have already shown some interest in the film, even before it is released nationally.

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AAP Newsfeed

July 18, 2009 Saturday 11:40 AM AEST

Son of Balibo Five cameraman tells story

SYDNEY July 18

The controversial death of Channel 7 cameraman Gary Cunningham is to be re-examined in an episode of the ABC's Australian Story series.

Cunningham died alongside four other journalists during an attack by Indonesian troops on the East Timorese town of Balibo in 1975.

Introduced by actor Anthony LaPaglia, Flag of Our Father focuses on Cunningham's son, Melbourne environmental officer John Milkins.

Mr Milkins was adopted at birth and never met his father, whose death he had coincidentally studied at university.

He was 19 when he was reunited with his real mother, Heather Norman.

"Heather Norman had never told Gary Cunningham about her pregnancy," an ABC spokesman said.

"He'd been a fleeting boyfriend - a brief holiday romance, as Heather describes it.

"And so begins an extraordinary family reunion and the beginning of John Milkins' journey to understand and seek justice for his father's death."

Cunningham was covering the Indonesian war with two Australians and two Britons when Balibo came under attack.

As journalists, they believed they would not be considered targets.

Their deaths became a political flashpoint, with the Indonesian government claiming the men were East Timorese sympathisers and therefore legitimate targets.

Mr Milkins has played a major role establishing the Flag House, a community learning centre and memorial to the Balibo Five.

He has also been involved in the making of the new Robert Connolly film Balibo, in which LaPaglia plays another Australian journalist, Roger East, who went to East Timor investigate the deaths.

Balibo is due for release on August 13.

Flag of Our Father screens on ABC1 at 8pm on July 20.


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