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by Indiewire
May 28, 1998 2:00 AM
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Australian Filmmaker, Luketic, Discusses Miramax "Booberini" Pact

by Eugene Hernandez




"Titsiana Booberini", a short film by Australian filmmaker Robert Luketic,
will be made into a full-length musical comedy at Miramax as part of an
overall three-picture deal that the writer-director has signed with the
IndieWood studio. In a telephone conversation with indieWIRE yesterday,
the twenty-six year old Luketic discussed the deal from his apartment in
Sydney.


The eleven minute film short is a hilarious musical set in a supermarket. The title
character, an awkward acting and awkward looking check-out girl played by
actress Tania Lacy, undergoes a transformation as she sings and dances her
way down the supermarket aisles. Lacy will reprise her role in the feature
film version. The film played a handful of film festivals, including last
year's Telluride Film Festival and Sundance in January. It debuted at a fest
in Brisbane and won "Best Short" prizes at the Santa Barbara Film Festival
and the Aspen Short Fest.


Sydney-born Luketic, who has been making films since he was fifteen,
graduated from the National film school in Melbourne. The filmmaker explained
that he approached Australian cult celebrity Tania Lacy after spotting her
at a coffee house and wrote the part especially for the actress. Then, in the
fall of '97 at Telluride, the film generated immediate interest from
attending industry and Luketic met with UTA's Howard Cohen and ultimately
signed with the agency. Shortly thereafter, the filmmaker met with
Jimmy Miller of the Gold/Miller Company and the outfit as his managers;
the company will executive produce the film. Miramax west coast Director of
Acquisitions Matt Brodlie and Director of Development Robbie Brenner brought
the short to the attention of Miramax brass and will oversee production of
the project.


Luketic is excited to be working with Miramax, based on their strong
reputation down under. "Here in Australia the perception of Miramax is
that they're a very cool kind of studio that really understands the filmmaking
process," Luketic told indieWIRE. Ultimately, the filmmaker explained that
as suprpised as he is about his recent success, he is thrilled at the
opportunities before him. While he realizes that "the reality for a lot of
emerging filmmakers is that its a longer harder road", he confirmed that he
remains confident in his abilities. According to Luketic, while the feature
script is in the first draft stage, Miramax has the project on the "fast track"
for production.

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