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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Mario Andreacchio at Cinefest-OZ 2012

Mario Andreacchio

Many refer to Mario Andreacchio as the father of international co-production. Mario has been directing and producing for almost 30 years and has overseen the co-production of Australia with most European countries; most recently he has become an expert on co-production with China and the world.

Mario regularly leads panels and discussions on co-productions with China and the world. With all eyes presently on China for its increase in wealth and opportunities to invest in cinema, there is much to learn about crossing cultures with China and the world and few are as privy to this knowledge as Mario Andreacchio.

When I asked Mario about his impression of CinefestOZ he said: "You could say it's more like a fabulous food and wine festival with a side serve of cinema. But the unique aspect is the sense of community... everyone in the region feels a part of it and seems to be connected in some way to it. There is a genuine love of screen story telling."

-Written by Vanessa McMahon




MARIO ANDREACCHIO, Director/Producer: 'TheDragon Pearl' (2012).

Australian-Chinese Co-production Dragon Pearl was the first official co-production with China which premiered at CinefestOZ in 2011. Director/ Producer Mario Andreacchio will return to CinefestOZ in 2012, not only to enjoy the gala events including the Directors Lunch, but he will also talk to students and contribute to the CinefestOZ Schools Program. Andreacchio is currently embarking on other Australian-Chinese film projects, worth over $60m in secured production funding. There have only ever been five Australian productions that have won an International Emmy Award - one was Captain Johnno, directed by Mario Andreacchio.

Mario graduated from Flinders University (South Australia) with a degree in Psychology (after
originally going to University to study Experimental Physics), and then was selected to study at the
prestigious Australian Film & Television School to train as a Film Director. He has received script
commissions to write feature length screenplays, has directed seven cinema feature films, has made
a series of television specials, two telemovies, three children's mini-series and has an impressive list
of award winning documentaries and dramatised documentaries to his credit.

His feature film, Napoleon, was inspired by his children while watching another animal film. Napoleon
pulls together Mario's diverse skills and experiences to produce "a visual feast of images, cleverly
crafted together into an ingenious piece of storytelling" (Bill Conti, 1995). Napoleon is a joint venture
with Japanese company, Herald Ace, and was released worldwide throughout 1996 and 1997.

The Real Macaw, a family adventure story of a talking parrot, was released to strong reviews in 1998
and moderate box-office. It is due for US release through Paramount. Sally Marshall Is Not An Alien,
a Canadian-Australian co-production, has successfully premiered in Australia to strong reviews and
excellent box-office, making it the second highest grossing Australian film of the year.

Young Blades, a US-French production is about the the Three Musketeers when they were teenagers
and still at Musketeer school. The success of the movie has created the first French series to be sold
to an American network.

Paradise Found, an Australian-French-UK-German co-production, is a story based on the life of
French painter Paul Gauguin. Starring Kiefer Sutherland as Paul Gauguin with Nastassja Kinski as his
wife, the movie is due for release during the centenary of Paul Gauguin, 2003. Mario was a ministerial
appointment to the board of the Australian Film Finance Corporation and to the board of the South
Australian Film Corporation.

Mario is also a member of the Australian Screen Directors' Association (ASDA), the Australian Writers' Guild (AWG).


Film still from 'Dragon Pearl' (2012)

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