Australian-made Timor Film Debuts in NYC
Australian-made Timor film receives US commendation award - ex-Aussie soldier reveals Kiwi soldier's gruesome fate at the hands of pro-Indonesian militia raced though his mind during shoot out in East Timor.
An explosive Australian documentary film TEAM TOUR OF DUTY, which reveals the Indonesian military's secret war against Australian and New Zealand troops and international peacekeepers in East Timor, has received a special commendation award (out of competition) from the 2009 Nevada Film Festival (USA).. ..A Platinum Reel Award. (see attached note below):
TIMOR TOUR OF DUTY MADE ITS AMERICAN AND INTERNATIONAL SCREEN DEBUT AT THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL (NYIIFVF) on Sunday 25 October 2009. (Monday, New Zealand Time).
Timor Tour of Duty also briefly
touches upon the gruesome murder of New Zealand soldier
Private Leonard Manning at the hands of the militia on 24
July 2000. Pte Manning's patrol was ambushed near the border
town of Suai and he was killed instantly by militia gunfire.
His body was later found mutilated.
Scott Sherwin, an
Australian soldier serving with Alpha Company 4RAR, reveals
in the documentary film that during the shootout with the
pro-Indonesian militia on 14 June 2001, near Balibo, the
grisly fate of Manning kept racing through his mind: "the
New Zealand soldier (Manning) who did die there and his body
was later found mutilated. I knew in the back of my mind
that if we were captured then we would be cut up and then
killed, so I choices were quite limited (we had to fight
back to stay alive).
The Australian film maker believes that former US President Bill Clinton should have been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in East Timor.
"In my film TIMOR TOUR OF DUTY I reveal that the United States was the good guy in averting genocide in the tiny south-east Asian land of East Timor," Sasha Uzunov, the Director/Producer, said.
"Al Gore and Barack Obama have a Nobel Peace Prize but Clinton should have one as well," he said. "The kudos for East Timor belongs to Clinton, not ex-Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his then Foreign Minister Alexander Downer."
"To paraphrase that famous quote about Monica Lewinsky, you could say: Clinton had good diplomatic realtions with that nation--East Timor!"
Uzunov has praised the narrator of TIMOR TOUR OF DUTY, well known Australian freelance writer Hugo Kelly, formerly a reporter with The Age newspaper of Melbourne.
"Hugo has an incredible voice," Uzunov said. "He manages to pull off a number of styles from old style news reel narration to even an American accent in one segment.
"Hugo was suffering from life threatening heart problems and like a real pro kept it to himself during the making of the film and was later forced to have surgery to correct an irregular heart beat."
"I also take this opportunity to thank the two ex-soldiers Scott Sherwin and "Pete" for telling me their story about the shoot out in East Timor. It is a pity that their patrol commander Kevin Campbell has missed out on an Australian bravery medal because of politics," Uzunov said.
Prominent Australian academic Dr Damien Kingsbury of Deakin University, a leading expert and author on East Timor, has praised the film:
"Timor Tour of Duty' is as close to what it was like, without actually being there, for Australian soldiers in the troubled border region of East Timor between 1999 and 2003."