The last time veteran screenwriter Keith Thompson adapted a little known slice of Australian history into a feature film it resulted in the box office busting The Sapphires, and now he’s at it again, and with music playing a crucial part to boot.
The synopsis goes something like this: “Based on actual events, VIENNA BOYS CHOIR is the story of the world-famous choir whose 1939 World Tour to the States and the Pacific saw the choir of 20 young boys aged 8 to 14, together with their choir-master and a tutor, trapped in Australia for the duration of the Second World War. What began as a PR exercise for Hitler’s Nazis became a life-changing experience for the boys all of whom except one, chose to remain in Australia after the war to forge new lives as Aussies.”
Doing a wee bit of research, we discovered that the choir in question wasn’t the world-famous Vienna Boys Choir, but an offshoot named Mozart Boys’ Choir of Vienna, but still, why let a small detail get in the way of a good story, which we are certain this is going to address in a truly joyous way.
Keith Thompson concurs: “I first heard the story of the’Vienna Boys’ almost 30 years ago, but it’s one of those stories that’s impossible to forget since it’s the stuff of a great movie drama.”
On producing duties is Goalpost’s Rosemary Blight: “This is an incredible and enduring story about resilience and hope in the face of some of the turbulent events of the last century and a timely insight into the contribution so many people from afar have made to Australia.”
This is the second film announced as part of StudioCanal Australia’s Cultivator Fund, which recently announced a Helena Rubinstein biopic to launch the initiative.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with producer Rosemary Blight of Goalpost Pictures, writer Keith Thompson and Screen Australia for the development of VIENNA BOYS CHOIR,” said StudioCanal Australia CEO Elizabeth Trotman. “This inspirational and true story will no doubt captivate audiences both here in Australia and around the world. It’s an exciting project that STUDIOCANAL is very proud to be partnering with through our Cultivator Fund.”
No announcement on a director yet, but what’s Tony Krawitz or Samantha Lang, or dare we say Scott Hicks and Peter Weir up to these days?