Trailer: The Railway Man
Based on Eric Lomax's best-selling memoir, The Railway Man is an extraordinary and inspiring true story of heroism, humanity and the redeeming power of love.PT2M29S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2unz7 620 349 September 30, 2013
Screen Australia has denied claims that Nicole Kidman received $10,000 of taxpayer money to attend the Toronto International Film Festival last year.
Chief executive Graeme Mason said an error on the film agency's website made it appear that the actress rather than producer Chris Brown had received a travel grant to launch The Railway Man, director Jonathan Teplitzky's drama about a former soldier tracking down his Japanese torturer decades after World War II.
"Ms Kidman has never applied, she has not received [any money] and would never apply for any public money for something like this," he said. "She wouldn't even know these things exist."
The Railway Man, starring Nicole Kidman, benefited from $10,000 of tax payer funds at Toronto film festival.
Mr Mason said Brown received $15,000 in travel grants to support the film at its world premiere, which was attended by the film's two stars, Kidman and Colin Firth, four other actors, two producers, Teplitzky, who also received a travel grant of $10,000, and Patti Lomax, the widow of Eric Lomax, whose autobiography was adapted for the film.
"Because you had a couple of international stars and because it was in one of the three most important film festivals in the world, there was an application made to get some of those people together to do as much work as they could to promote the film."
Mr Mason said that the film's launch resulted in a North American sale to the Weinstein Company, which has been followed by successful box office in both Australia and the UK.
"There are hundreds of films in Toronto and a lot of them have stars. So if your stars aren't there, it can reflect badly on the film.
"We are indebted to people like Nicole and Colin Firth to travel to support our films. That can make or break a smaller project and those people aren't getting recompensed for their work in line with what they normally get.
"They normally do these independent films because they want to support them."
Mr Mason said the film's sales agent also contributed to the launch costs in Toronto.
"By generating buzz and excitement, you drive sales, which drives revenue," he said. "It drives people to buy the movies then release them; it also drives audience interest."
The Railway Man has taken $5 million in Australia since it opened on Boxing Day.