Underground and Dead Europe to screen at Toronto International Film Festival

15 August, 2012 by Brendan Swift

Julian Assange telemovie Underground and feature drama Dead Europe have become the latest Australian screen projects to be selected to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival.

They join feel-good local hit The Sapphires, WWI-drama Lore and documentary Storm Surfers 3D, which will also be screened at the festival between September 6–16.


Underground, written and directed by Robert Connolly (Balibo), is inspired by Suelette Dreyfus’ book of the same name. It focuses on the early teenage years of Wikileaks founder Assange (played by Alex Williams) and follows his gang of close friends in Melbourne as they explore the world of computer hacking.

The telemovie, which will screen on Network Ten in Australia, stars Anthony LaPaglia (Balibo, Mental), Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters) and Callan McAuliffe (The Great Gatsby).

Network Ten executive producer drama and production, Rick Maier, said in a statement: “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.”

Underground will screen on September 8 in Toronto’s Contemporary World Cinema program, which presents compelling stories from a global perspective.
Dead Europe will also screen in the same festival section on September 7.

Dead Europe follows young Greek-Australian Isaac (Ewen Leslie) as he spirals out of control when forced to confront his family's cursed legacy on his first trip to Europe. The film, which marks the directorial debut of Australian filmmaker Tony Krawitz, was produced by the Oscar-winners Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King's Speech, Shame), as well as Liz Watts (Animal Kingdom, Lore).

“As with Shame last year, we are looking forward to Dead Europe stirring debate and capturing the imagination of the Toronto audience,” Canning said in a statement. “Tony was able to document these turbulent times as they unfolded around him, making the film a unique and real window on contemporary Europe. We are honoured to be part of the festival program.”

Tony Krawitz’s feature documentary The Tall Man screened in Toronto’s Real to Reel section at last year’s festival. Dead Europe will screen in Australian cinemas from November 1.

Contact this reporter at bswift@if.com.au or on Twitter at @bcswift.