Schepisi returns home for 'Storm'

Director's first Aussie production in 22 years

SYDNEY -- Aussie director Fred Schepisi is returning home for the first time in 22 years to helm his latest feature, “The Eye of the Storm,” which starts shooting in Melbourne this week, producers said Monday. 

The privately-financed feature is based on acclaimed Australian author Patrick White’s Nobel-prize winning novel of the same name. 
Billed as a savage exploration of family relationships, “The Eye of The Storm” will star Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis, alongside British actress Charlotte Rampling. 

Supporting cast includes Alexandra Schepisi, Robyn Nevin, Colin Friels, John Gaden, and Helen Morse.
 “It has been a while since I’ve filmed in Australia – but it’s been a matter of waiting for the right story to tell, with the right people. The script for ‘The Eye of The Storm’ and the cast and crew are absolutely world class, so this is an incredibly exciting project to be making in this country and well worth the wait to work at home again,” Schepisi, who last made “Evil Angels” here in 1988, said. 

“The Eye Of The Storm” is set in the Sydney suburb of Centennial Park, where two nurses, a housekeeper and a solicitor attend to Elizabeth Hunter (Rampling) as her expatriate son (Geoffrey Rush) and daughter (Davis) convene at her deathbed. But, in dying, as in living, Mrs. Hunter remains a powerful force on those who surround her. 

It has been adapted from White’s novel by Judy Morris, a co-writer on “Babe: Pig In The City” and co-director of “Happy Feet”. 
 The film is produced by Antony Waddington, Gregory Read and Fred Schepisi and executive producers are Jonathan Shteinman, Edward Simpson, Bob Marcs and James Vernon. Sally Ayre-Smith is co-producer.
 Vernon’s financing group, Media Funds Management is co-financing the feature with support from Film Victoria.

“The Eye Of The Storm” will be distributed by Transmission Films, while Los Angeles-based The Little Film Company will handle worldwide sales, excluding Australasia.

It will be representing the film to buyers in Cannes next month.
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