Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Internationally published refugee memoir to be adapted for film

Behrouz Boochani’s multi-award-winning memoir No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (trans by Omid Tofighian, Picador)—an account of the Iranian refugee’s incarceration on Manus Island by the Australian government—will be adapted into a feature film by Australian production companies Sweetshop & Green, Aurora Films and Hoodlum Entertainment. Aurora Film’s Antony Waddington said: ‘Mountains is a defining tale for our time: not just of Australia, but how the world deals with refugees. Funny at times, it’s overwhelmingly a story of triumph over despair.’ International rights to the book have now sold to 19 countries.

TV adaptions of two Australian short story collections by local production companies have received funding from Screen Australia. Melanie Cheng’s Australia Day (Text), which is being produced by Revlover Films, follows a group of strangers who experience a connection after coming to the aid of a stabbing victim; and Maxine Beneba Clarke’s Foreign Soil (Hachette Australia), produced by Film Camp, explores six thematically linked stories ‘in which the marginalised and othered collide with their environment, as they search for empowerment and belonging’.

Newly established Australian production company Wooden Horse has announced screen adaptations of two Australian novels: J P Pomare’s thriller In the Clearing (Hachette Australia) and Emily Maguire’s literary crime novel An Isolated Incident (Picador).


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