Award winning filmmaker Maggie Miles is the latest recruit to the ‘Just Voices’ speakers program run by Jesuit Social Services.
Maggie will talk about her film ‘Guilty,’ which highlights the final 72-hours in the life of Myuran Sukumaran, the ‘Bali Nine’ convicted criminal who was executed by Indonesian firing squad on 29 April 2015 alongside fellow Australian Andrew Chan and six others.
Producer and co-writer of the film, Miles says she was driven to work with the creative team for ‘Guilty’ believing that Myuran’s story demonstrates the immense value art can play in rehabilitation and her long-standing belief in the importance of basic human rights.
Directed and co-written by Matthew Sleeth who ran art workshops with Myuran in Kerobokan prison, ‘Guilty’ utilises dramatic and archival material to portray the final three days of Myuran Sukumaran’s extraordinary life, as he farewells his family and creates his final paintings.
“We give viewers an opportunity to walk in Myuran’s shoes,” said Maggie. “Guilty portrays Myuran’s strength, his care for others, and his drive to leave behind the paintings that now enable us to see into his character and tell this small part of his personal story.’’
In her presentation Maggie talks of working closely with those who knew Myuran including his mother Raji Sukumaran, Myuran’s lawyer, Julian McMahon AC SC, and Myuran’s spiritual advisor at the execution, Pastor Christie Buckingham. She discusses the need to balance the creativity of filmmaking with staying true to the people who have lived the real-world story.
Maggie is from Broughton Astley in the English Midlands, and she has made a name for herself in the film industry producing; ‘Paper Planes,’ ‘Van Diemen’s Land,’ ‘The Turning,’ and directing ‘Dare to Be Different’. She recently produced ‘High Ground’ shot in the Northern Territory featuring leading actors Jack Thompson, Simon Baker, Jacob Junior Nayinggul, Witiyana Marika, Caren Pistorius, Maximillian Johnson, Aaron Pedersen and Callan Mulvey.
Maggie said a real bonus on ‘Guilty’ was working closely with Myuran Sukumaran’s lawyer Julian McMahon AC SC, President of Capital Punishment Justice Project and a former board member of Jesuit Social Services.
“Julian McMahon was pivotal to our ethical stance in developing ‘Guilty,’ throughout the entire project he never lost sight of the impact that the work might have on the Sukumaran and Chan families. Although ‘Guilty’ focusses on Myuran, it’s been gratifying to understand that both families are happy that the film has been made and that courtesy of Good Pitch Australia it can lend it’s voice to the work of outstanding organisations working globally to abolish the death penalty” said Miles.
In 2018 ‘Guilty’ won the ATOM Award for Best Docudrama and the Australian Government tied the launch of its Strategy for Abolition of the Death Penalty to the ‘Guilty’ national screenings event on World Day Against the Death Penalty 2018, which saw the film’s Good Pitch campaign partners and human rights advocates Raji Sukumaran, Capital Punishment Justice Project (formerly Reprieve Australia), Human Rights Watch Australia, Amnesty International Australia, Human Rights Law Centre, Bayside Church, Virgin Unite, AGNSW Atelier and Parliamentarians Against the Death Penalty, urging audiences to take a stand on this issue.