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Film legend, Robert Connolly (soon to be released Balibo) shares his expert advice on how to create short films.



Tony Maniaty talks about his book 'Shooting Balibo' available 1st June 2009 from Penguin Australia.

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See the documentary:

youtube: Who Killed The Balibo Five?

:: Balibo

Based on a remarkable true story, BALIBO is a tense piece of bravado film-making, an engaging thriller in the vein of Costa Gavras’s ‘Missing’ and ‘The Constant Gardener’.

1975 – With the eyes of the world distracted by the recent conclusion to the war in Vietnam, five Australian television correspondents go missing when the Indonesian Army crosses the border to occupy neighbouring East Timor. Their last known location is a Christian mission near the village of Balibo…

Back in Australia, veteran journalist Roger East (Emmy Award-winner Anthony La Paglia) hears the news of his colleagues’ disappearance. Shocked by the general apathy towards the plight of his missing friends, he leaps at the chance to join the young idealistic East Timorese, José Ramos-Horta and head up the unofficial independent East Timor News Agency. It’s a risky job, and Horta makes it clear that he can’t guarantee Roger’s safety…

Arriving in East Timor, Roger is shocked by the destitution and the fear of the East Timorese population, and quickly discovers that his job is going to be harder than he ever expected. Striking up a strong relationship with the gutsy Horta, the two friends begin to follow the trail of the missing ‘Balibo Five’, and piece together the puzzle that might reveal their fate. But locating the journalists is only part of the struggle once the Indonesian military discover their presence and their intentions to report the horrors being perpetrated by them.

Pursued by hostile helicopter gun-ships, Horta and Roger press on through the jungle towards Balibo, in fear of their lives, but in search of the truth. On reaching the missionary school, now inside Indonesian territory, they discover traces of the vanished journalists – cans of old film of reports meant for broadcast, but never seen by anyone before. These last testimonies of the brave journalists reveal their bloody and violent fate, and present Roger East with a choice – does he save his own skin, or stay to fight for justice?

Punctuated throughout by archival newsreel footage taken by the actual ‘Balibo Five’, BALIBO is an original, intelligent and provocative film examining the true events of a horrific and violent invasion. From a creative team responsible for some of the best Australian films in recent years, BALIBO is a slickly-written thriller about the struggle for the truth.



'A brave and complex achievement. Racy and wryly reflective, one man's very moving version of history.'

In 1975, journalist Tony Maniaty flew to the Portuguese colony of East Timor looking for a war to film.  He found it at a dusty outpost called Balibo.

Maniaty and his ABC News crew were shelled and five other television newsmen who followed were murdered by Indonesian troops.  Maniaty reported the Balibo Five story, faced death threats and fled before the Indonesian forces invaded.  The only foreign journalist left in the country was executed in cold blood.  The generation-long nightmare of the East Timorese had begun.

In Shooting Balibo he teams up with the cast and crew of the feature film Balibo, retraces his days of danger, and dines with Jose Ramos-Horta as the independence fighter-turned-President recovers from an assassination attempt.

But Maniaty's real purpose is to visit Balibo for the first time since 1975.  When he steps into the burned-out house where his colleagues were slaughtered thirty-three years ago, past and present collide before his eyes.

Shooting Balibo: Blood and Memory in East Timor'An exquisitely drawn memoir of a time of tragic innocence.'
PAUL HAM, author of Vietnam: The Australian War

For more info on this book go to This book inspired the movie.


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