The Waiting City

The Waiting City

Radha Mitchell and Joel Edgerton star in THE WAITING CITY, a film by Claire McCarthy. Picture courtesy Screen Australia. All rights reserved.

The Waiting City

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The Waiting City (2009/2010)

Opened: 08/28/2010 Limited

Limited08/28/2010
Sunset 5/LA08/28/2010 - 08/29/20102 days
Playhouse 708/28/2010 - 08/29/20102 days
Town Center 508/28/2010 - 08/29/20102 days
DVD05/31/2011

Trailer: Click for trailer

Genre: Australian Romantic Drama

Rated: R for brief sexuality and language.

Synopsis

An outwardly happy Australian couple, Ben & Fiona, journey to Calcutta, India to collect their adopted baby, but on arrival find that the arrangements at the agency have yet to be finalised.

They have no option but to wait in this chaotic, foreign place. But as the intoxicating mystic powers of the Indian city pulls them in each separate and unexpected directions, the vulnerability of their marriage begins to reveal itself.

Forced to confront their differences and the concealed deep secrets that they've both been long avoiding, Ben and Fiona ultimately rediscover themselves and a belief in life's possibilities, their marriage and the invigorating power and joy of the human spirit.

THE WAITING CITY is written and directed by rising talent Claire McCarthy and produced by Jamie Hilton and brings together an incredible Australian cast including Radha Mitchell (Finding Neverland, Pitch Black). Joel Edgerton (The Square, Star Wars: Episode II & III) and Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen).

THE WAITING CITY is due out for cinema release in early 2010.

Cast Biographies

Radha Mitchell (Fiona)

Radha Mitchell recently starred in Sony Pictures Classics' THE CHILDREN OF HUANG SHI (also known as THE CHILDREN OF THE SILK ROAD) opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Chow Yun Fat as well as HENRY POOLE IS HERE for director Mark Pellington. Prior to this she starred in the Lakeshore Entertainment romantic comedy FEAST OF LOVE alongside Morgan Freeman and Greg Kinnear. Mitchell has also been seen in numerous films such as the lead role in SILENT HILL, with Sean Bean, FINDING NEVERLAND starring opoosite Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet and Dustin Hoffman, MAN ON FIRE with Denzel Washington, the innovative PHONE BOOTH, opposite Colin Farrell, and PITCH BLACK starring Vin Diesel. Mitchell will next be seen in SURROGATES opposite Bruce Willis and the THE CRAZIES.

Other recent film credits include WHEN STRANGERS APPEAR with Josh Lucas, the independent feature DEAD HEAT opposite Keifer Sutherland and Anthony LaPaglia, Woody Allen's MELINDA AND MELINDA, NOBODY'S BABY with Gary Oldman and Skeet Ulrich, Rodrigo Garcia's TEN TINY LOVE STORIES and MOZART AND THE WHALE opposite Josh Hartnett. On television, she starred with Hank Azaria and Donald Sutherland in NBC's critically acclaimed mini-series, UPRISING for director Jon Avnet. Mitchell gave a memorable performance as Syd, the young editorial assistant who falls in love with Ally Sheedy's heroin-addicted photographer character in Lisa Cholodenko's critically acclaimed drama HIGH ART. Her role in Emma-Kate Croghan's romantic comedy LOVE AND OTHER CATASTROPHES was highly praised at both the Cannes and Sundance film festivals.

Originally hailing from Australia, Radha currently resides in Santa Monica, CA.

Joel Edgerton (Ben)

Joel Edgerton became a household name through the internationally successful television series THE SECRET LIFE OF US, for which he won he AFI Award for best actor in a Leading Role in a Television Drama in 2002. Since then he has garnered over 40 film credits as an actor, including prominent roles in KING ARTHUR, STAR WARS II & III, NED KELLY, THE NIGHT WE CALLED IT A DAY and $9.99. Joel also starred in the film SEPARATION CITY which is currently in theatrical release in New Zealand and receiving rave reviews. Joel also filmed the Lions Gate picture for 2010 - WARRIOR, where he stars alongside Nick Nolte and Tom Hardy. Recently, Joel has been seen in A STREETCARE NAMED DESIRE where he plays the role of Stanley opposite Cate Blanchett. Helmed by Liv Ullmann, the production has travelled from Sydney to the US and is currently showing in New York.

Isabel Lucas (Scarlett)

Isabel Lucas became well known for her starring role in the hit series HOME AND AWAY and then in 2004 received the Australian TV Week Logie Award for Best New Female Talent. Possessing a captivating on-screen presence, Isabel Lucas is now at the forefront of the next generation of young Hollywood actors. Lucas has already been seen in director Michael Bay's TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, the HBO mini series THE PACIFIC, and will soon be seen starring in the film DAYBREAKERS opposite Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe.

Samrat Chakrabarti (Krishna)

Samrat Chakrabarti has guest starred on several American TV shows such as LAW AND ORDER, THE SOPRANOS, ALL MY CHILDREN and DAMAGES. He's also seen in films ranging from Spike Lee's SHE HATES ME to Amyn Kaderali's KISSING COUSINS to Joseph Castelo's THE WAR WITHIN (nominated for an Independent Spirit Award). In the last few years Chakrabarti has starred in international projects including Manish Acharya's LIONS OF PUNJAB PRESENTS opposite Shabana Azmi, Kabir Khan's NEW YORK and Joseph Matthew's BOMBAY SUMMER.

Tilotamma Shome (Sister Tessila)

Tillotama Shome is best known for her acclaimed portrayal of Alice in Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding. She played a pivotal role as Deepa in director Florian Gallenberger's epic SHADOWS OF TIME, Meneka Das's LITTLE BOX OF SWEETS, Tanuj Chopra's BUTTERFLY and Abhishek Pathak's BOOND. She is currently shooting BEHIND THE BODICE with director Italo Spinelli and other upcoming projects include THE SUNRISE and JOY OF THE CITY.

Tanusree Shankar (Didi Chatergee)

Internationally reputed dancer and choreographer Tanusree Shankar has acted in several films and TV serials, including SATYAJIT RAY PRESENTS and resumed her film career with the film, HEMANTER PAKHI which received the National Award for the Best Regional Film 2004. She also acted in Mira Nair's latest film THE NAMESAKE.

Director's Statement

On an earthly level, THE WAITING CITY is a tale of Ben and Fiona, a childless couple, who travel from Australia to India to adopt a little girl, Lakshmi. On a mythological level, Fiona and Ben's "soul awakening"; their dreams, fantasies and hero's journey, take the audience into a parallel narrative universe. Ben and Fiona are forced to delve both into the shadow lands of self and into a realm of mystery, dreams and spirits in order to achieve their hearts desire.

What they discover on their rollercoaster ride to parenthood scares them, shocks them, liberates them and forces them into a state of true catharsis -- independently and as a couple. This is hopefully what distinguishes this film from a nice, polite, realist drama about a middle-class couple from Australia who try to adopt a third world baby and come up against insurmountable odds. In a brief pinpoint in time, we see a portrait of a marriage and a love story that has epic, mystic and psychological dimensions.

My personal experiences working in orphanages and within some of the poorest parts of India and also my experiences of making other films within this context, have offered me access into this rarely seen and unique world. Increasingly globalisation, the accessibility of travel, the high proportion of infertility of women in Australia in their late thirties and our fascination as a culture with exoticism have all been motivating factors to inspire this story.

THE WAITING CITY is an emotional, visually compelling and timely story that also has broad audience appeal. Radha Mitchell and Joel Edgerton, both wonderful actors, have brought an incredible authenticity, fearlessness and humanity to their roles. I am very proud of the many and varied contributions to the film from all of the wonderful cast.

On a personal and professional level, THE WAITING CITY augments my fascination with the alchemy of poetic, humanist, psychological drama. My on-going collaboration with producer Jamie Hilton, the strength of our top class assembled creative and technical team and the generous commitments from our investors hopefully has ensured that THE WAITING CITY is a startling and original project that will launch careers and offer a dynamic new direction for Australian cinema.

Crew Biographies

Claire McCarthy (Director)

Sydney based writer, director, producer and visual artist, Claire McCarthy has been making internationally acclaimed short films and documentaries for over a decade.

A directing graduate of the Australian Film TV and Radio School (2001) Claire also holds a Bachelor of Design / Communications (Hons) from the University of Technology, Sydney (1994-1997).

Claire has written, directed and produced a number of documentaries, films and music videos in Australia, India, Germany and Mexico including LITTLE HANDS (2009), SKIN (2006), THE FIND (2006), CITY EDGE (2005), STARBABY (2002), PANOPTICON (2001), SQUARE SPACE (2000) and TINSEL (1999) and her films have screened at many international festivals including Montreal, New York, Palm Springs, Flickerfest, St Kilda and London.

Her first feature film CROSS LIFE premiered at the Sydney Film Festival (2007) and the Pusan International Film Festival in Korea (2007) and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award at the 2007 IF Awards. Her Young Filmmakers Fund (NSW Film TV Office) documentary film Sisters in Calcutta was broadcast on ABC television in February 2008.

Her feature film, THE WAITING CITY, is expected for national Australian release in early 2010.

Jamie Hilton (Producer)

Jamie Hilton and producing partner Michael Petroni head the slate at See Pictures, fast becoming one of Australia's most innovative development and production companies. With co-production projects in Canada and China for 2010 Jamie is among the busiest Australian producers.

See Pictures theatrical debut is The Waiting City shot in India in 2009 with director Claire McCarthy starring Radha Mitchell (Finding Neverland, Pitch Black), Joel Edgerton (Star Wars: Episode II & III) and Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen).

Jamie has produced work for directors Michael Petroni, Keir McFarlane, Joseph Kahn, Claire McCarthy, Michael Spiccia andJames Hackett as well as many more emerging filmmakers. Hisfilms have screened and won awards at festivals all over the world including Toronto IFF, New York IIFF, Rome IFF, Paris IFF, London IFF and Palm Springs IFF.

This year Jamie and See Pictures are developing HOLY COW - the best-selling novel by Sarah McDonald; an animated musical with Ben Lee; and Shudder, a thriller with Julius Avery attached to direct. Currently slated is an UNTITLED PETRONI PROJECT with Petroni set to direct and RAZOR, from the highly successful comic of the same name, alongside executive producer Jeff Most (The Crow).

Denson Baker, ACS (Director of Photography)

Denson Baker ACS is a graduate of the Australian Film Television & Radio School where he was the Cinematographer of the year in 1999. In 2002 Denson won the AFI Award for Best Cinematography in a Non-Feature and has worked internationally shooting in Europe, India, Korea, New Zealand, The Pacific and throughout Australia. He has shot films that have won awards and screened in most major international film festival including Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca, Clermont-Ferrand, Flickerfest, Berlin, LA, among others. Denson's recent cinematography credits include THE BLACK BALLOON, winner of the Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, Steve Pasvolsky's feature film DECK DOGZ and Daniel Askil's internationally acclaimed short film We Have Decided Not to Die as well as recent music videos for Old Man River, Jimmy Barnes, The Presets, Cut Copy and Paul Mac.

Veronika Jenet (Editor)

Veronika Jenet is an Academy and BAFTA nominated editor and is one of Australia's most respected and senior editors. Her screen credits include: THE PIANO, RABIT PROOF FENCE, THE BLACK BALLOON, HOLY SMOKE, LOVES BROTHER, VACANT POSSESSION, PAPERBACK HERO and THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY. Before becoming a film editor, Veronika Jenet worked as a civil engineer in her native Germany. She went to Australia in 1975 and spent the rest of the decade touring and filming the fascinating sights of the small continent. Using Super-8 film, she also began experimenting with editing techniques. In 1983, she teamed up with director Jane Campion to work as a sound editor on A GIRL'S OWN STORY (1983) and, the following year, Jenet edited Campion's PASSIONLESS MOMENT (1984). In the mid-'80s, Jenet joined the Australian Broadcasting System as an assistant editor. She remained with them through 1989, then left to resume editing feature films. Jenet lives in Sydney, Australia.

Michael Yezerski (Music Composer)

Michael Yezerski is one of Australia's premier young composers. His screen credits include THE BLACK BALLOON, NEWCASTLE, KENNY, SUBURBAN MAYHEM and CROSS LIFE. Michael received The Barbara Blackman Commission from the Australian Chamber Orchestra to write a forty-minute work which will be the centrepiece for their 2008 concert season. He has written for some of Australia's finest musicians including violinist Richard Tognetti, Oud virtuoso Joseph Tawadros and Synergy Percussion. His many awards include gold at the 2006 Park City International Film Music Festivals (USA), the Inaugural APRA Professional Development Award, Best Classical Artist at the 2004 MusicOz Awards, APRA-AGSC Australian Screen Music Awards and the inaugural AFTRS Critics Circle Music Prize.