New ABC film will show Australia’s fight for gay rights

Screen Australia and the ABC have announced production of a new film that will chart Australia’s first steps towards gay liberation.

Riot will focus on homophobia in Australia in the 1970s and the events that led to the first Mardi Gras march in 1978.

The film will be directed by Jeffrey Walker, and focus on the real-life journey of Lance Gowland.

Actor Damon Herriman (pictured) will portray Gowland who was a significant figure in the Gay Liberation committees and the Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP) in the 1970s, and beyond.

Herriman is best known for his roles in the TV series Justified, Love My Way and Laid. in 2016 he recieved the Best Supporting Actor Award at the AACTA’s for playing transgender character Kim Gordon in the mini-series Secret City. 

Sally Riley, Head of Scripted Production at ABC, said the film would show how Australia’s gay community found its voice.

“It could never be more relevant than now to tell this story of identity, courage and love as a marginalised community finds its voice and rises up to fight oppression and injustice.

“With a cast as extraordinary as this, Riot promises to be a stirring, landmark television event in time for the 40th anniversary of the birth of Mardi Gras.”

The film will screen in 2018 ahead of Mardi Gras’ 40th Birthday celebrations.

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