As Julian Assange prepares to fight the US appeal in the UK’s high court on the 27th of October, the Sydney Film Festival has announced the World Premiere of Ithaka, a powerhouse new feature documentary about the determined public advocacy by Julian’s father, John Shipton in the face of legal battles and media glare.
The film’s premiere also comes in the wake of revelations about the US Government’s determination to kidnap or assassinate Julian.
Ithaka Writer/Director Ben Lawrence (Hearts & Bones) returns to the Sydney Film Festival where he won the Documentary Australia Foundation Award in 2018 for Ghosthunter.
The film begins on April 11th 2019, when images of Julian Assange being arrested from the Ecuadorian embassy in London are beamed across the world. Since that moment Julian has been silenced and into the void have stepped lawyers, advocates, and supporters. Standing unique among them is Julian’s fiancée, Stella Morris and 76-year-old father, John Shipton – a self-taught builder from Sydney. Using Julian’s extradition hearing as a framework, this intimate story of a family’s crisis traces moments from the trial and its aftermath, underscoring how Julian’s story is emblematic of a decade of uncertainty and volatility.
With this period of upheaval as a backdrop, the film frames John and Stella’s campaign and Julian’s motivations as an echo to the disquiet taking place across this increasingly partisan world – and explores this global cry for justice through the story of a family at the centre of the fight.
The film is produced by Gabriel Shipton who, as well as a long history in the film and television industry, is also Julian’s brother. Music is by Brian Eno.
In the lead up to the UK High Court appeal, events will be taking place around the world in support of Julian Assange. John Shipton and Gabriel Shipton will participate in several public events/rallies including, on October 23, at the Peoples Forum in New York City and, on October 26, in the press room of the Italian Parliament.
There are other events confirmed in Washington, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, London and San Francisco.
Tickets available for screenings at the Sydney Film Festival on November 7, 13 and 14 here: