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Al Clark lines up trio including Stephan Elliott comedy

Producer Al Clark is working on an untitled comedy with director Stephan Elliott, a pairing that previously created The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, one of the best-known Australian films ever made.

The spotlight turned on Clark this month following the announcement by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) that he was the latest recipient of the Raymond Longford Award for lifetime achievement, described by the AACTA as “the nation’s highest screen accolade”.

Clark is generally very reluctant to talk of projects that are not yet financed because “the film business is overly fuelled by delusional chatter” but was coaxed into revealing three projects on which he is working.

Pinball, a Cain-and-Abel story set against a background of crime and sport, will be a first feature for writer/director Matt Holcomb, who has directed short films and commercials.

“With my wife and colleague Andrena Finlay, I am also executive producing Sentido, a film set in the world of bullfighting to be shot in Australia and Mexico, written and to be directed by Andrew Lawrence,” he told Screendaily.

Clark has produced, co-produced or executive produced 13 films in Australia including John Polson’s feature debut Siam Sunset, a second Stephan Elliott title being Eye Of The Beholder, Andrew Dominik’s debut film Chopper, starring Eric Bana, and Mark Lamprell’s upcoming musical Goddess, which stars Lara Michelle Kelly and Ronan Keating and is being released in Australian cinemas by Roadshow in March.

Clark’s Australian career commenced on The Crossing, the first film to star Russell Crowe and the film on which he met the mother of his children, Danielle Spencer. He was co-producer or executive producer on six films before moving to Australia from the UK in the late 1980s.

The official presentation of the Raymond Longford Award will be held as part of the AACTA Award luncheon on January 28 in Sydney but an informal ceremony was held recently.

“Over the last three decades your work has demonstrated your finesse and creativity as an outstanding producer,” actor Roy Billing said at that time. “You have encouraged us to acknowledge and celebrate Australian stories, cultures and subcultures through films which have become international cult classics, resonating with audiences around the world.”

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