Production and Executive Team – Swindle: The Art of the Steal

Director Gil Scrine

Director – Gil Scrine

East Timor ‘s history is laden with stories of trauma and courage. I knew from my earlier (1989) film, BURIED ALIVE that the genocide of (estimated) 1/3 of the population by Indonesia with the tacit permission of Australia was the backdrop to this spy story. Timor’s oil and gas resources are one of the keys to a deeper understanding of these shocking events.

The truth, the law and freedom are deeply embedded in my approach. Many interviews with key players are already in the can. Collaery is our point man. Our 4-hour interview with him offers departures into history and the voices of those who made it…from Timorese freedom fighters who become Prime Ministers and Presidents, to the journalists who risked everything to tell the world what was happening.

Collaery remains gagged even after his trial is abandoned. The often-quoted rule of law is flouted; spies are expected to break the law but not be caught. The revolving door between the boardrooms of fossil fuel corporations and powerful government ministries is threatened by a spy and his lawyer who are ruined and gagged. Follow the money. SWINDLE is a story for our times.


Executive Producer – Peter Cronau

“I showed the clip to a couple of younger journos and they had forgotten the slaughter of ’99 and the terror at the UN compound. Suddenly they ‘got’ the importance of the Collaery/WitnessK story.”

Peter Cronau is a Gold Walkley award-winning investigative journalist most recently as producer for ABC TV’s investigative documentary program, Four Corners. Peter has reported for ABC Radio’s Background Briefing, including a report on Australia’s hitherto secret involvement in the US drone wars in the Middle East, titled ‘Pine Gap’s role in US warfighting’. He is the co-editor of the current bestseller A Secret Australia: Revealed by the WikiLeaks Exposés.

Australia is supposedly a democratic state but when it comes to ‘national Interest’ we are ruled by an executive – an unelected, unaccountable few who stand above parliamentary politics, whose close ties to the fossil fuel industry are corrupting Australia’s democracy. SWINDLE explores this secretive arrangement through the prosecutions of an ASIS spy and his lawyer who blew the whistle on an epic swindle that stole oil and gas from Timor-Leste, the poorest nation in SE Asia.

Peter Cronau Executive Producer
Judith Ehrlich Executive Producer

Executive Producer – Judith Ehrlich

Director, Co-Producer, co-produced and co-directed Oscar, Emmy, IDA Award- nominated and Peabody Award winner, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. That film won over a dozen film festival awards, sold to 20 international broadcasters and made over $½ million at the box office.

Her film, The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It, was also an ITVS documentary and broadcast on PBS.

She is the only person to twice win the major history film awards in the US.

Executive Producer – Trish Lake

“SWINDLE gives recent events historical context. For older audiences the film’s appeal goes deep into the Australian psyche and has the potential to attract many thousands of Australians whose lives have been touched by Timor Leste’s past and the recent prosecutions of Witness K & Bernard Collaery. For younger audiences Timor Leste is exotic ”

Trish Lake is an Australian producer of feature films and documentaries and former ABC TV journalist. Among her works are Gettin’ Square (2003), The Burning Season (2008) and Frackman (2015). She is the CEO of Freshwater Pictures, based in Brisbane, Queensland, which she founded in 2001. Lake was National President of the Screen Producer’s Association of Australia – SPAA from 2005 – 2008 and is a former recipient of the SPAA Feature Film Producer of the Year award. Lake is an Adjunct Fellow at Griffith University, Brisbane where she leads a mentoring program for emerging producers at the Griffith Film School. Lake has been an advisor to the Breath of Fresh Air Film Festival (BOFA) in Tasmania since its inception, and has been the event’s artistic director since 2012.

Peter Cronau Executive Producer
Editor Scott Walton

Editor – Scott Walton

“SWINDLE will be told using archives, animation, graphics, headlines, cartoons, excerpts from drama films, book readings, public talks, news footage and stunning B roll footage shot in Timor Leste  by DOP Randall Wood. Interviews drive the narrative. Narration fills in the gaps. “

Screen Editor, was twice awarded the Australian Screen Editors’ Guild’s “Ellie” for Best Editing in a Documentary Feature, for The Curse of the Gothic Symphony and Show Me the Magic, and received a prior Australian Film Institute nomination for Best Editing in a Documentary for Rare Chicken Rescue.

He is also a seven-time awardwinning music video artist.

Director of Photography – Randall Wood

“Our framing and storytelling are for cinema. Drone footage soars above the story and lets it breathe. Music conveys the mood: the sadness and joy at the UN reunion in Dili 20 years after liberation and the plight of Witness K and Bernard Collaery. ”

Randall Wood is an Australian film Director, and an ACS award-winning cinematographer. He studied scriptwriting and feature film directing at the Binger Film Lab in Amsterdam and has a degree in music composition and performance from the Queensland Conservatorium.

Peter Cronau Executive Producer
Emma Sargent Associate Producer

Associate Producer/Research – Emma Sargent

“Personal direct experience and knowledge is valued over stale official narratives that contradict the facts on the ground.”

Brisbane-based world rights holder and distributor, Antidote Films’ in-house marketing specialist, Emma Sargent has experience across all our cinema releases in the past 5 years and is well-known by all our targeted cinemas’ marketing staff and well respected within the exhibitor community in general.

Emma runs all aspects of the projects external communication and social channels. She also maintains the existing shoot archive and rushes, along with sourcing external media, footage, publications, images and articles.


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