Julian McMahon to introduce anti death penalty film

Leading Australian lawyer Julian McMahon, a board member of Jesuit Social Services, defended executed members of the Bali 9, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

With Pope Francis’ recent announcement that the death penalty was against the teachings of the gospel, a new Australian film will be released to support Australia’s international campaign to abolish it.

Guilty is a doco drama centred on the last 72 hours in the life of convicted drug smuggler Myuran Sukumaran, who in 2015 was executed by firing squad on Nusakambangan Island, Indonesia, alongside fellow Bali 9 Australian, Andrew Chan.

Leading Australian lawyer Julian McMahon AC, a board member of Jesuit Social Services, will introduce the film at the Melbourne Premiere of Guilty at the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival on Friday 4 May at ACMI Cinemas in Melbourne, alongside writer/director Matthew Sleeth and writer/impact producer Maggie Miles.

McMahon defended Sukumaran and Chan, and is president of Reprieve Australia, which arranges for volunteer lawyers and interns to provide legal and humanitarian assistance to activists, lawyers and prisoners overseas. It is a member of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, and the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network.

Sleeth said in making the movie he drew on personal experience after working alongside the artist and social commentator Ben Quilty, running art classes with Sukumaran and being involved in the campaign to try to stop the executions.

Miles said this is the most unique film she has been involved in making, and that contact with Sukumaran’s family brought incredible sensitivity to the process.

The film will have a national two-week event-cinema run aligned with the World Day Against the Death Penalty on 10 October.

Tickets to the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival screening on 4 May can be purchased at https://2018.hraff.org.au/events/quilty/