Paul Cox casts David Wenham in Force of Destiny, launches doco The Dinner Party

Lord of the Rings actor David Wenham will play the lead role in director Paul Cox’s next film about a sculptor who receives a new lease of life after receiving a liver transplant.

The casting announcement came from Wenham himself at the launch of Cox’s latest documentary The Dinner Party, about eight liver transplant recipients sharing their experiences on the transplant waiting list, surgery and everyday realities over dinner at Cox’s home.

The film, carrying the working title Force of Destiny, has been influenced by Cox’s own battle with liver cancer and has received Screen Australia development support.

Cox said: “I can’t make another film before I make Force of Destiny and I’m utterly delighted to be working with David Wenham to bring this life affirming story to the screen.”

Billed as a tribute to donor awareness, The Dinner Party, produced by Illumination Films and Savage Films will be licenced for free under Creative Commons and is supported by Melbourne’s The Austin Hospital and the Organ and Tissue Authority.

Yael Cass, CEO of the Organ and Tisue Authority said: “We are honoured that Paul Cox, one of Australia’s celebrated filmmakers, has generously shared his journey of transplantation to educate Australians on the topic of organ and tissue donation. I know that ‘The Dinner Party’ will help inspire Australians to decide and discuss organ and tissue donation.”

Last week sister agencies McCann and UM put their support behind organ donation with the Don’t Bury Me campaign with Seven, Nine, Ten, SBS and Foxtel donating airtime.

Force of Destiny is scheduled to shoot in 2013.

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