Beresford to direct Zebras
By Brendan Swift
Bruce Beresford is set to direct the inspirational South African-set feature Zebras early next year.
The Australian-Canadian co-production – written by local playwright David Williamson – tells the story of a local soccer coach who led one of the first multi-racial soccer teams in the country to ultimate success in the early 80s.
“The story, marrying the soccer and the apartheid, is so exciting and uplifting. It’s a story about winning against all odds,” co-producer Marta McElroy said.
Pre-production is set to begin in January next year with the nine-week shoot beginning in March – seven weeks in South Africa and two weeks in Australia.
Beresford’s latest big screen epic, Mao’s Last Dancer, will have its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) later this month and be released in Australia on October 1. Australian thriller Balibo – David Williamson’s last film project – will also screen at the festival.
“It will be marvellous to put David’s writing on the screen via the deft direction of Bruce Beresford,” co-producer James McElroy said.
The film has been in development for several years, receiving draft funding from the Australian Film Commission between 2003 and 2005, when director Chris Noonan (Miss Potter, Babe) was attached to the project.
James McElroy has produced several classic Australian films including Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Year of Living Dangerously.
The producers are currently in negotiations with potential cast members. Exclusive Entertainment is handling sales of the film.