Working Title will be closing the doors of its Australian office as of today, sources have confirmed.
Deborah Balderstone has been the head of the Sydney office since relocating from the UK in late 2004. It is understood that things between her and head honchos Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan are entirely amicable but she would not comment on the change and they were not returning calls.
It is the second time this decade that the London-based production company has opened, then closed, a Sydney office, with the first time being under Tim White.
Balderstone produced the UK/Australian thriller Gone, directed by UK commercials director Ringan Ledwidge, during her time at the helm. She also developed a number of projects, including an adaptation of The Weather Makers, Australian scientist Tim Flannery's book on climate change. Not surprisingly it was killed off by An Inconvenient Truth.
Although Working Title will no longer have a permanent presence in Australia, it is understood that there may be projects that go ahead under the Working Title banner, perhaps with Balderstone involved. Robert Luketic is attached to one such project.
Balderstone was previously a partner of the London-based Haystack Productions, one of the production companies behind David Caesar's Australian film Dirty Deeds, and has worked as an executive for Polygram Film International and Universal Pictures. She recently started a family.
White produced Ned Kelly, directed by Gregor Jordan and starring Health Ledger, while he was running the office. Working Title also had some involvement in Jonathan Teplitzky's Gettin' Square during White's time and, after he left, on Toa Fraser's No 2 in neighbouring New Zealand. It starred Ruby Dee and White was one of the producers.
Bec Miller also worked at the office.