[Easttimorstudies] Message from a co-writer of "Answered by Fire"

Jennifer Drysdale jenster at cres10.anu.edu.au
Mon May 1 14:32:11 EST 2006

Dear Recipients of the previous email re "Answered by Fire",

Greetings to those of you who helped us in the writing of Answered By 
Fire, as well as those of you I don't know. I'm writing to you as one 
of the co-writers of Answered By Fire, just in case you are kindly 
letting other people know that the mini-series will be screened on 
the dates announced below. I believe that you are among the first 
people to be told of the screening dates (usually a heavily guarded 
secret in the tv world for obvious commercial reasons).

On behalf of my co-writer and the creative team, I'd be very grateful 
if, instead of the link to the Power TV website listed in the first 
email from Jen, you would instead use the synopsis below in any 
subsequent emails. The Power synopsis (on the link)  was written 
before the series was completed, and their promotion is quite 
particular for the Northern Hemisphere distribution, and is rather 
focused on only two of our three lead characters.

The following better represents the point of view of the creative 
team, so please use it if you are forwarding any information. I am 
sure you know how it is to want your work to be represented as 
accurately as possible. It goes without saying that I hope you enjoy 
the series and thank all of you for your interest and support.  I 
also include contact details for ABC publicity below.

Katherine Thomson
kt at triode.net.au

Inspired by true events, Answered by Fire is the story of history in 
the making - of people fighting for their country's freedom, and of 
those who vowed to protect them, but were forced to abandon them.

In 1999, after 25 years of forced occupation, East Timor won the 
right to vote for independence from Indonesia. The United Nations 
sent in a group of volunteers to supervise and protect the ballot. 
They promised the East Timorese that they would stay after the vote, 
regardless of the outcome.  It was a promise they couldn't keep.

David Wenham makes his much anticipated return to ABC TV as Mark 
Waldman, an Australian policeman who volunteers for the United 
Nations Mission in East Timor. Put in charge of the Civilian Police 
at the UN base in Nunura, he meets Julie Fortin (Isabelle Blais) a 
Canadian policewoman on her first overseas mission, and Ismenio 
Soares (Alex Tilman), the young Timorese translator assigned to work 
with the unit.

Mark and Julie are unarmed and emotionally unprepared for the brutal 
reality of Timor, while Ismenio is cynical about whether the UN can 
prevent what seems an inevitable, bloody end to the process. Against 
growing intimidation and violence from the Indonesians and East 
Timorese militia, they work to get the Timorese registered to vote.

Ismenio's fears are realised when the vote goes pro-independence, the 
country is set afire and the UN evacuates. Mark and Julie are forced to
abandon Ismenio and his family to a nightmarish fate at the hands of 
the Indonesian military and its murderous militias.

Once back home, Mark and Julie are each haunted by guilt, and driven 
to make amends to the people they tried - and failed - to protect.

Both return to the smoking ruins of East Timor, bent on seeking some 
kind of justice for the Timorese. What they find instead is their own 

A story of faith, fear and the extraordinary strength of the human 
spirit, ANSWERED BY FIRE is the first drama co-production between ABC 
TV and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Written by Barbara 
Samuels and Katherine Thomson. Produced by Roger Le Mesurier and 
Andrew Walker. Directed by AFI Award-winner, Jessica Hobbs (Love My 
Way).  ABC TV Head of Drama, Scott Meek. Produced by Beyond Simpson 
Le Mesurier, Muse Entertainment Enterprises and Terra Rossa Pictures, 
in association with the Australian Film Finance Corporation and the 
Pacific Film and Television Commission.

Part One screens Sunday 21 May, 8.30pm (repeated Saturday 27 May, 10.20pm)
Part Two screens Sunday 28 May, 8.30pm (repeated Saturday 3 June, 10.20pm)

Liz Green
Manager, ABC TV Publicity, Victoria
Ph: 03 9524 2659
M: 0409 488 998
E: green.liz at abc.net.au

Many thanks for your support,
Katherine Thomson
17a Taylor Street,
Darlinghurst, Sydney 2010
61 2 93609738
61 407881788

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