Sam Worthington, Anthony LaPaglia and Ed Oxenbould are starring in writer-director Robert Connolly’s Paper Planes, a family film about an Australian boy’s passion for flight.
Connolly’s Arenamedia is producing the 3D film, which did second unit shooting in Tokyo last week and is now shooting in Perth. Korea’s EMIG is providing some 3D services.
Inspired by true events, the screenplay is by Connolly and author Steve Worland. The plot follows 11-year old Dylan (Oxenbould), who is brought up by his father (Worthington) in a remote town in country Australia.
Dylan’s life changes when he wins a place in the regional Paper Plane Championships in Sydney. Battling nerves and his nemesis, private schoolboy Jason (Nicholas Bakopoulos), for a spot at the World Championships in Japan, his greatest challenge seems himself. Wisdom arrives from a most unlikely source when he meets Kimi (Ena Imai), the junior Japanese champion. LaPaglia has the comedic role of Jason’s father, a former FA Cup star.
Oxenbould, 12, had a recurring role in Puberty Blues and appeared in the shorts Julian, The Amber Amulet and All God's Creatures. He plays the title character in Disney’s upcoming Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, alongside Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. Miguel Arteta directed the adaptation of the Judith Viorst book.
Connolly is producing with Maggie Miles (Tim Winton’s The Turning) and Liz Kearney (These Final Hours). The financiers are Screen Australia, ScreenWest, the ACTF, MIFF Premiere Fund, EMIG, Deluxe's DDP Studios, Soundfirm and Cameraquip.
The executive producers are Eric Bana, Gary Hamilton, Ying Ye, Jonathan Chissick, Andrew Myer and Bernadette O'Mahony. It will be released in Australia by Connolly and John Maynard's Footprint Films, probably in league with a larger distributor.
Bana is teaming up with Connolly’s CinemaPlus to jointly distribute Closed Circuit, a London-set conspiracy thriller that stars Bana and Rebecca Hall, which opens on December 5 and will have event screenings around Australia.
Nick Meyers (also the film’s editor) directed the Japanese second unit sequences with DOP Bonnie Elliott (These Final Hours). The DOP is Tristan Milani, Connolly’s regular collaborator. Denson Baker, who shot Aquifer, the Connolly-directed segment of The Turning, is the second unit director.
Arclight Films, which is handling international sales, announced the casting at the American Film Market.