SYDNEY — The bizarre saga of a mother who claimed her six-week-old daughter was stolen by a dingo from a campsite at Ayers Rock is being retold in a four-hour mini, “Through My Eyes,” which starts shooting May 10.
The case shocked Australia and generated world headlines 24 years ago when devout Seventh Day Adventist Lindy Chamberlain was found guilty of her child’s murder. She served three years in jail until she was freed by the Northern Territory government and exonerated by a Royal Commission.
Although the title is the same as the book penned by Chamberlain, producer/writer Tony Cavanaugh says the production will also tell the story from the view of eyewitnesses, the police, judges and park rangers.
He says it will cover a “larger canvas” than “A Cry in the Dark,” a 1988 pic on the tragedy directed by Fred Schepisi, which featured Meryl Streep as Lindy and Sam Neill as her then-husband Michael.
Cavanaugh, who is sharing writing and producing chores with Simone North, his partner in production banner Liberty & Beyond, says Chamberlain is a consultant but had no editorial control.
Mini is being directed by Di Drew, financed by the Australian Film Finance Corp, Australia’s Seven Network, the Pacific Film and Television Commission and Beyond Intl. Casting is underway.
“Through My Eyes” is the first production from Liberty & Beyond since the telepic “Finding Hope” three years ago — illustrating the tough terrain experienced by many indie producers.
“The production industry is going through the worst period since the 1970s,” says Cavanaugh, who blames a number of factors including the reality TV fad, the unwillingness of Aussie networks to fully fund dramas and the Oz dollar’s strength against the greenback.
He also says Americans are reluctant to travel in this security-conscious era. “We’ve had several conversations about projects with Americans,” he adds, “but nothing has materialized.”