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Thursday 17 September 2009

Male cast

L-R: Chris Pang has been cast as Lee, Deniz Akeniz as Homer Yannos, Andy Ryan as Chris Lang and Lincoln Lewis as Kevin Holmes.

After much speculation, Director Stuart Beattie announces his male leads in the feature film adaptation of John Marsden's best-selling book, TOMORROW: WHEN THE WAR BEGAN

Ambience Entertainment today announced that Director Stuart Beattie has cast his four young male leads in the feature film, TOMORROW: WHEN THE WAR BEGAN.

Chris Pang has been cast as Lee, Deniz Akeniz as Homer Yannos, Andy Ryan as Chris Lang and Lincoln Lewis as Kevin Holmes.

They join Caitlin Stasey as Ellie, Phoebe Tonkin as Fiona and Ashleigh Cummings as Robyn.

Chris Pang studied at The Australian Film and Television Academy for two years. He has more than 12 years of traditional Chinese martial arts training and has appeared in the feature, Film Citizen Jia Li, as well as the 2006 feature, Home Song Stories, and the Channel 10 series Real Stories. He recently moved to Hong Kong looking for more interesting roles, but returned as soon as he heard TOMORROW was casting.

Twenty-year-old Pang, who is learning piano for the role of Lee, said: "I studied TOMORROW: WHEN THE WAR BEGAN at school and have always thought John Marsden was a brilliant writer. One of my favourite themes in the book is the idea of the characters having freedom from their parents, something most teenagers want, and how the characters then deal with that freedom."

Deniz Akdeniz, 21, will play Ellie's best "boyfriend" - the loud-mouthed, crazy but brave Homer Yannos. Deniz played Raff for two years in the television production of When the Bell Rings and has appeared in the theatre production of Angels with Dirty Minds at the Melbourne Arts Centre. Deniz further honed his performance skills with short courses at TAFTA, NIDA and St Martins Youth Theatre. He is a Victorian Jiujitsu Champion.

He said: "I read the book in grade 5 and 6 and when I heard about the audition I read the book again. It was brilliant to switch off the TV and again immerse myself into the world of TOMORROW."

21 year-old Andy Ryan - who will bring the loner Chris to life in the film - was "over the moon" when he landed the role. He said: "I am really enjoying preparing for the role as the introverted and obscure character, Chris. This is an amazing opportunity". Andy is currently appearing in the television series, The Jesters.

Lincoln Lewis - who played Geoff Campbell on the Channel 7 series, Home and Away - said this is his dream role.

"I'm an enormous fan of the books," he said. "My brother and I would race each other to read all the books in the series. I have always dreamed of the books being made into a film."

Stuart Beattie added: "The talent of these four young actors is truly formidable and I feel honoured to work with them. Their energy, passion, and commitment is astonishing."

Paramount Pictures will handle distribution and marketing of the film in Australia and New Zealand. Principal investor Omnilab Media, through its production arm, Ambience Entertainment, will take the first novel in the series, TOMORROW: WHEN THE WAR BEGAN from page to screen.

With production investment from Screen Australia and assistance from the NSW Dept of State and Regional Development, the film will be produced entirely in Australia with production on the classic teen novel scheduled to commence principal photography in the Hunter Valley at the end of September.


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