The Palace’s Anthony Maras to direct one of the most coveted Hollywood scripts of 2012

An Australian film-maker has signed on to direct and produce one of the most highly regarded unmade scripts in Hollywood.

South Australian-based Anthony Maras will direct A Country of Strangers, which was number two on last year’s Black List of 2012.

The script was written by Sean Armstrong, an American, but is based on the true events of the disappearance of three siblings, the Beaumont children from an Australian beach in January 1966. Detective Geoff Harper’s search lasted 40 years.

Maras’ Anthouse Films will also produce the picture.

Maras told Mumbrella: “It’s interesting with A Country of Strangers – it’s an Australian true story but with the world we live in, Sean Armstrong first read of the case on the internet and started developing it from there. However, it will be a full Australian production, shooting here, with 99.9 per cent Australian crew.”

“We’ve had offers from sales agents and distributors from overseas but this is so early on. We need to make sure the script is where we want it. The black List has increased interest exponentially but we’re neck deep in story,” Maras added.

According to Deadline, A Country of Strangers was optioned by Christos V Konstantakopoulos’ Faliro House Productions and packaged by Verve which represents both Armstrong and Maras. Maras is managed by Kaplan/Perrone.

Maras’ short film The Palace won a slew of awards last year. It received two Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, Best Short and Best Short Screenplay.  a best Australian short Film at both FlickerFest and the Melbourne International Film Festival  and the Audience Award at the Adelaide film Festival.

The Palace is one of the few Australian short films to get a theatrical release in recent years. It preceded Kieran Darcy-Smith’s Wish You Were Here throughout Palace Cinemas.

The film was also selected to open The Sundance Film Festival in 2012.

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