Announcing a new Australian film The Secret River

Leading Australian independent distributor Palace Films and Production Company, Ruby Entertainment, are pleased to announce development of a new Australian film, The Secret River, set for Australian and New Zealand release in 2010.
An adaptation of Kate Grenville’s best selling novel of the same name, The Secret River will be brought to the screen by acclaimed Australian director Fred Schepisi (Six Degrees Of Separation, Evil Angels, The Russia House) from a script penned by Oscar nominated screenwriter Jan Sardi. It will be produced by Ruby’s Stephen Luby and Mark Ruse with Fred Schepisi.
Antonio Zeccola, Managing Director of Palace Films, said, ‘We are excited to be part of an Australian film that boasts such strong creative direction and are eager to help share this original, compelling story’.
In 1806 William Thornhill, an impoverished Thames boatman, is sentenced to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. He arrives with his wife Sal and their children to a harsh land he does not understand.
When he wins emancipation, Thornhill rows up the Hawkesbury River to claim one hundred acres of land. But Aboriginal people already live on the river, and there are tensions with the new arrivals. Despite the joy of being a free man, Thornhill now finds himself engaged in both a physical struggle with an untamed land, and a clash of cultures that will demand the most difficult choices he has ever had to face.
Set in a beautiful pristine riverside wilderness, The Secret River is a compelling, colourful and sympathetic story of one man’s life on the frontier.
Ruby’s Stephen Luby said, ‘Kate Grenville’s novel is a uniquely Australian narrative with universal themes. The power of the story has brought together this strong creative team, each of whom is excited by the prospect of bringing it to cinema audiences here and around the world.’
The masterfully composed novel that ‘describes an Australia so overwhelmingly beautiful that readers will lust after its sunbaked soul’ (Telegraph on Saturday) was shortlisted for the MAN Booker Prize in 2006, and has received rave reviews across Australia and Europe; accolades which are sure to continue with its cinematic counterpart.
Bound to become a favourite of Australian audiences, and with the potential for immense international appeal, The Secret River certainly possesses the qualities from which landmark feature films are made.
[release from TM Publicity / Palace Films]

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