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Arts in Action proudly supports the making of East Timor’s first locally produced feature film – A Guerra Da Beatriz and invites you to attend a film fundraiser event to help raise funds for this important venture.

FairTrade Films Australia is currently working together with young East Timorese producers, writers and actors on A Guerra Da Beatriz, a powerful love story spanning the years 1975 – 2009.

FairTrade Films will produce the film with Dili Film Works, East Timor’s first film & television Production Company and NGO.  John Maynard, the producer of Balibo, has joined FairTrade Films and Dili Film Works to co-produce this historic film. The President of East Timor, and Noble laureate, Jose Ramos Horta, has pledged his support for the film. SBS Australia and The World Movie Channel have acquired the film for broadcast. The finished film will have a gala premiere screening in Dili, tour East Timor’s districts, be entered into prestigious film festivals, be presented at film and television markets and be available for sale on the Internet and as a DVD.

Film Fundraiser – A Guerra Da Beatriz

Production starts in September and they need to raise $50 000 to get this film rolling. So help make history and support Timor Leste’s first feature film. “After 300 years of foreign colonisation and occupation we are free to tell our story. Help us make history”

Fundraiser event details:

When: Saturday 23rd July 7.30pm

Where: Urban Artistry 74 Johnson St Collingwood

Time: 7.30pm-11.30pm

Tickets: $80 per person

Ticket cost covers: Your drinks for the duration of the event, canapés, short film screening and a contribution towards raising funds.

Dress Code: Cocktail

To attend please email Natalia at  for payment information. Tickets must  be purchased before Thursday 21st July 2011.

Event organised by Natalia Cikorska, Nick Calpakdjian, Arlo Picasso Enemark of FairTrade Films

Check out the Facebook Event page

Auction at the Fundraiser

East Timorese items to be auctioned off on the night include, hand-woven cloth (Tais), wooden masks, East Timorese coffee and a DVD pack of Timorese documentaries with the  short docos and drama films from the students.


The Story

A Guerra Da Beatriz is a love story inspired by a true 16th century French story about Bertrande de Rols and her husband Martin Guerre. In this adaptation the story has been transposed to East Timor on the eve of the Indonesian invasion of the Portuguese colony.

The story starts in September 1975 with the wedding of Beatriz and Tomas in a small mountain village in the heart of Timor. Several months later, following the Indonesian invasion of Timor, Beatriz and Tomas, along with hundreds of others from the village, flee to the mountains. They are captured in 1979 and resettled in the village of Kraras.

In 1983 Beatriz gives birth to a son. The child’s life is threatened when Indonesian soldiers massacre every male in the village, over two hundred children and men, in retribution for an attack by the Timorese resistance. Tomas, Beatriz’s husband, is arrested and disappears. Beatriz is unable to find Tomas’s body and desperately holds onto the hope that he has somehow escaped and will return.

Tomas returns sixteen years later, in 1999, following East Timor’s independence. He had fled to the mountains and fought with the resistance. It is a passionate and moving reunion. Beatriz discovers a different man to the boy who left her years earlier. Tomas is now wiser, gregarious and loving. He has learnt much from life and war.

But as time passes, Beatriz makes a chilling discovery. She becomes convinced that Tomas is an impostor, that she has mistaken a stranger for her husband. Who is this man? Why has he taken on a new identity? Tomas’s sisters and family accuse Beatriz of treachery, of being mad. But she is determined to discover the truth.

A Guerra Da Beatriz is the haunting, passionate story of one woman’s conviction to remain true to the man she loves and the country for which she fought.


The Team

A Guerra Da Beatriz has been written by Irim Tolentino, an award winning Timorese author, and Luigi Acquisto. Bety Reis will co-direct the film. Producers are John Maynard and Stella Zammataro. Jose Da Costa from Dili FilmWorks will co-produce the film.

The cast will feature Irim Tolentino as Beatriz. Irim is an original member of the renowned Bibi Bulak theatre company in East Timor. She worked on Balibo and has starred in many local theatre and television productions. Jose Da Costa will play Tomas. Jose is East Timor’s most experienced actor. He played major roles in Answered by Fire and Balibo.

FairTrade Films is committed, through its charter, to an equitable and ethical working relationship with its East Timorese partners. Profits from the film will go to Dili Film Works to finance training and future development and productions. Read Fair Trade Film’s Mission Statement

A Guerra Da Beatriz will be the first in a succession of exciting East Timorese films that tell the story of the nation through the eyes of Timorese writers, directors and producers. Most importantly it will contribute to a sense of nationhood by identifying themes and histories that unite rather than fragment the Timorese people.

If you would like to know more about the film, join the Beatriz Fan Club, sponsor or invest in the film,  please contact Stella Zammataro