Still from 'Moulin Rouge' featuring Satine and the Duke. Satine has her back to the Duke, she looks upset. Still from 'Moulin Rouge'

Apr 19 2012

With more Australian screenwriters and filmmakers tackling adaptations of literary classics, what are the dangers and rewards of re-interpreting the classics?

Australian screenwriter Craig Peace, co-writer with Baz Luhrmann of the adaptations of The Great Gatsby and Romeo + Juliet, joins Michael Petroni, adaptor of the third installment of the Narnia Chronciles: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and the current head of screenwriting at AFTRS and producer of Fight Club, Ross Grayson Bell, will discuss honouring literary classics in a screen medium.

  • Sunday May 20 (4:00pm-5:30 pm)
  • Pier 2/3 Club Stage, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay

For more information go the SWF website >

More about the panelists:

Craig Pearce co-wrote with Baz Luhrmann Strictly Ballroom, William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, and Moulin Rouge. These films have won countless accolades including an AFI Award for Best Screenplay (Strictly Ballroom), a BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (Romeo + Juliet) and eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Film (Moulin Rouge). In 2010 Universal Studios released Craig's adaptation of Charlie St. Cloud starring Zac Efron. Craig's latest collaboration with Baz Luhrmann is The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan.

Michael Petroni is a graduate of the American Film Institute. While at the AFI he wrote his award-winning directorial debut, Till Human Voices Wake Us. Michaelʼs recently produced work includes the supernatural horror/thriller The Rite and the third installment in The Chronicles of Narnia franchise, Voyage of the Dawn Treader. His current studio projects include Afterlife and The Book Thief. Most recently Michael wrote the sequel to 20th Century Fox's Master and Commander.

Ross Grayson Bell spent 20 years in Los Angeles where he produced Fight Club and executive produced Under Suspicion. As a screenwriter, his adaptation of Tom Spanbauer's novel, The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, landed him on the British list of Best Unproduced Screenplays. He adapted Mark Leech's autobiography, A Product of the System and the story of Barry Cox, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing in Perfect Cantonese. He is currently adapting Susan Duncan's national bestseller, Salvation Creek, as well as heading up the screenwriting department at AFTRS.


The Australian Film Television and Radio School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.