'Jose Ramos Horta, twenty-five years old in 1975, and a member of the Fretilin Government, lures Darwin-based Australian journalist Roger East to East Timor to investigate the disappearance of the 'Balibo Five' - journalists Greg Shackleton, Gary Cunningham and Tony Stewart (Ch9) and from their rival network Brian Peters and Malcolm Rennie (Ch7).
On the morning of October 16, all five men, though identifying themselves as journalists from Australia, are killed in cold blood by the invading Indonesian troops, and their bodies burnt. East does not accept the official story that soon emerges, that the men were killed in cross-fire. Horta and East travel from Dili to Balibo, now occupied during the daytime by Indonesian forces, to try and uncover the truth of the journalists' death.
Back in Dili, East decides to stay on while other journalists are evacuated, in the knowledge that Indonesian forces will soon land in the capital. The very next day Indonesian paratroopers and commandos land from the sea and immediately capture East who is reporting the invasion. Defiant to the end, East is executed the next day on the Dili wharf by an Indonesian execution squad.' Source: http://film.vic.gov.au (Sighted 12/08/2008).
This article discusses the problems that Australian films face in the big distribution model, and ways that producers have rethought how their films are funded and distributed. To do this it uses the case study of Robert Connolly's Cinema Plus exhibition company. Although there is a historical precedence set for Connolly's self distribution venture, this shift to rethink how Australian films are being distributed and exhibited is certainly representative of a changing reassessment of the porous relationship between production and exhibition, which for some time Screen Australia demarcated in by two separate pools. What Cinema Plus represents is a recognition that conventional big distribution is not always the most effective way to reach the widest possible audience.