Ten unveils first look at Assange telemovie

Network Ten has released the first trailer for its upcoming telemovie Underground: The Julian Assange Story, about the early life of the WikiLeaks founder.

Underground has already generated enormous interest overseas and will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, which begins tomorrow.

It is a rare honour for an Australian made-for-television film to feature in an international festival.

The telemovie explores Assange's life as a teenage hacker and stars West Australian Academy of Performing Arts graduate Alex Williams in the pivotal role. It also stars Rachel Griffiths and Anthony LaPaglia.

The trailer features contemporary news footage, including coverage of Assange's bid for sanctuary in Ecuador.

It also emphasises his family relationships, particularly with his mother, Christine (Griffiths).

"My son sees the world differently to most people," she says in one scene.

Though many will expect the telemovie to portray Assange in a sympathetic light, the teaser trailer asks the audience to decide.

"Criminal, crusader, anarchist, patriot? Make up your own mind," it says.

Underground was written and directed by Robert Connolly (Balibo) and based on the book of the same name by Suelette Dreyfus.

LaPaglia spoke in support of Assange while promoting another film last month.

"I am a little dismayed by the [Australian] government's lack of effort here. He's an Australian citizen and you are innocent until proven guilty," he said.

"I'm all for free speech and old-school journalism; it's telling it like it is. This is others suppressing the truth and suppressing information to the public."

Underground: The Julian Assange Story will air on Ten later this year.

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