The “children overboard” controversy of 2001 will be re-enacted in the film Dark Victory, which Matthew Saville will direct for Goalpost Pictures.

The screenplay is based on the 2003 book Dark Victory: How a Government Lied its Way to Political Triumph by David Marr and Marian Wilkinson.

The book chronicles the Howard government’s refusal to allow the Norwegian freighter Tampa, which had rescued 438 mainly Afghan refugees from a stricken Indonesian vessel, to enter Christmas Island in Australian waters.

The refugees were taken to the island of Nauru, prompting accusations that the government was evading its human rights responsibilities.

The issue was widely regarded a key factor in the government’s 2001 re-election, with Howard asserting that, "We decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come."

“It’s sort of like The Insider on the high seas,” Blight told Variety just before she headed to the Toronto International Film Festival for the world premiere next Tuesday of the Saville-directed Felony.

The plan is to shoot Dark Victory next year, presumably using the producer offset and with Screen Australia support. There’s no word yet on the screenwriter, potential cast or distributor/sales agent.

Felony stars Joel Edgerton as a decorated cop whose attempt to hide his complicity in a traffic accident makes him the target of a dogged investigator (Jai Courtney). Roadshow Films is the Australian distributor.

Join the Conversation


  1. Sounds like the hottest thing going!
    M Saville is easily the strongest directing talent out of Oz since Andrew Dominik and the story is multi-layered dynamite.

    Absolute best wishes to the entire team… this is a project worth getting excited about.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.