Beatriz’s War in Australian Cinemas



IN COMPETITION: Adelaide International Film Festival, Byron Bay International Film Festival, Festroia International Film Festival of Portugal
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Big Picture Film Festival, Seoul Art Film Festival
WINNER: Australian Cinematography Awards Gold Award  (Best Cinematography) & Judges’ Choice Award

East Timor’s first feature film
(A Guerra Da Beatriz)
In limited Release in Australia

East Timor’s award-winning first feature film, Beatriz’s War (A Guerra da Beatriz), is the haunting, passionate story of one woman’s conviction to remain true to the man she loves and the country for which she fought. A bold reworking of the 16th century French ‘Martin Guerre’ story, in this adaptation the original story is transposed to Portuguese Timor during the Indonesian occupation of the small colony. Beatriz’s young husband disappears during a brutal massacre by occupying Indonesian forces, sixteen years later she is troubled by his sudden return; is this man her husband or an impostor? The mysterious stranger presents a chilling metaphor for the unresolved struggles and passions that challenge a new nation’s independence, and a woman’s heart.

This astonishing film from East Timor was made guerrilla-style by the very men and women who fought in the armed resistance and the clandestine movement during the small country’s twenty-four year long war with Indonesia.

Following a sold-out season in Dili, Beatriz’s War has already seen by over 100,000 people across Timor-Leste during the dry season travelling outdoor cinema program of Cinema Lorosaé*.

Beatriz’s War was made in a country with the smallest film industry in the world, East Timor, yet it shone in the country with the world’s biggest, winning the top prize at the prestigious International Film Festival of India!

A handmade gem” The Guardian

“a searing, soulful story told with clarity.” Filmink

“This passionate film is commendable for its great sense of narration and clear political statement” Claire Denis, Filmmaker and Judge at the International Film Festival India.

“A riveting tale, told simply and with real emotion”  Natalie Craig, The Guardian

“Beatriz’s War is more than a knockout re-imagining of Martin Guerre – it’s a great emotional truth about recent history Greg Burchall, Film Critic.

“Of such films are industries born” Eddie Cockrell, Film Critic, Variety.

Click HERE for Screening dates.

Cathy Gallagher 0416 22 72 82 cathy@cg-publicity.com

DVD and CD SOUNDTRACK now available.

Download the CD & DVD Order Form


Contact:  Stella Zammataro
Phone:  (03) 9417 1864
Email:  fairtradefilms@abrafilms.com  


Irim Tolentino as Beatriz & Augusta Soares as Teresa in 'A Guerra da Beatriz'

Screening Dates

Beatriz’s War is now screening nationally.



Cinema Nova   !!!!!!SEASON EXTENDED!!!!!!
380 Lygon St, Carlton.
Click here for bookings.
Click here for directions.
Mornington Cinema, August 5th, 7:00 pm for 7:30 pm
1 Main Street, Mornington.
Click here for bookings.
Click here for directions.
Clonard Collage, Kildare Theatre,  August 14th 7:00 pm
225 Church street, Herne Hill.
For bookings: (03) 9417 1864
Click here for directions.
Latrobe Performing Arts Centre. July 18th 8:00 pm
(Grey Street Campus)
Corner Grey and Breed Streets, Traralgon.
Bookings: (03) 5176 3333
Cinema Paradiso, Starting July 31st
164 James Street, Northbridge.
Click here for bookings.
Click here for directions.
 Avoca Beach:
Avoca Beach Picture Theatre, August 15th
69 Avoca Dr, Avoca Beach.
Click here for bookings.
Click here for directions.
The Regal Cinema, August 19th 7:00 pm
4 Moore St, Birmingham Gardens.
For bookings contact: (03) 9417 1864
Email: fairtradefilms@abrafilms.com
Click here for directions.
Dendy Cinema, August 20th 6:30 pm
261-263 King Street, Newtown.
For bookings contact: (02) 9550 5699
Click here for directions.
Palace Nova Eastend Cinema, August 5th 6:45 pm
250 Rundle St, Adelaide.
For bookings contact: (03) 9417 1864
Online: fairtradefilms@abrafilms.com
Click here for directions.

A Guerra da Beatriz Screening for Xanana Gusmao

Bety and the Dili Film Works team were recently invited to the Gusmao residence to screen Beatriz’s War. Xanana was moved by the film and by the love story between Beatriz and Tomas, spanning 24 years, the length of the Indonesian occupation of his country. He pointed out that not all the historical facts were correct, but that the film is called Beatriz’s War. The story symbolizes the life women lived under occupation: their struggles, fears, loves, and strengths. Dramatic license is necessary to tell this story in a coherent way.

Xanana appears in the film in a stunning archive sequence showing his return to Timor after nine years in an Indonesian jail. The footage is electrifying, passionate, and gives voice to the emotion felt by the Timorese people in the months after winning independence. Xanana led the resistance for many years before he was captured, and continued in this role from his Jakarta prison cell.

The film also includes military actions which Xanana Gusmao organised against the Indonesian military. He initiated the events leading up to the 1983 Kraras massacre. Xanana was determined that the world know that the resistance was still alive, contrary to Indonesian propaganda, and organised a nation wide insurrection. Beatriz, the lead character in the film, played a major role in leading the uprising in Kraras.

You can download the FairTrade Films newsletter to read the whole story and view some great photos.


Just one story from the bloodsoaked birth of free Timor

The Sydney Morning Herald have run an article about A Guerra da Beatriz. It was written by visiting journalist Wendy Frew who spent time with some of the cast and crew recently in Dili where post production is currently underway.

“Historians often say the past is a foreign country but in East Timor it’s a thread that runs through the fabric of daily life…” continue reading here

The article has recently also been re-printed in the Brisbane Times and Melbourne’s The Age newspapers.

Jose da Costa, left, who plays Tomas in “A Guerra da Beatriz (Beatriz’s War)” and who is a co-producer of the film; and Bety Reis, in their “editing” suite in Dili. Photo: Wendy Frew


Filming of “A Guerra da Beatriz” Completed

Filming has now completed on A Guerra da Beatriz (Beatriz’s War), a collaboration between FairTrade Films Australia and Dili Film Works. The films two directors Bety Reis and Luigi Aqcuisto are working closely with editor Nick Calpakdjian to complete a rough cut by the end of July.

The final stage of the film was mostly shot in the village of Kraras in the Viqueque district of East Timor. The cast and crew numbered over seventy people and on some days there were 200 extras working on the film. Most of the crew were Timorese. Ten Australians were employed on the film to fill some of the key crew roles and to train up and coming Timorese cinematographers, sound recordists and producers. David Elfick, a highly experienced Australian producer joined the shoot for the last week and mentored co-director Bety Reis and other Timorese crew. David was present at the renaissance of the Australian film industry in the 1970’s and has produced many films including Rabbit Proof Fence. David has a close association with East Timor having run a workshop for Dili Film Works in 2010. He is now working together with FairTrade Films to produce a television drama series on the Battle of Timor in 1942 when a handful of Australian commandos halted the Japanese advance through south-east Asia.

A Guerra da Beatriz has received fantastic support from many generous individuals and organisations, however we are still raising funds for the completion of the film. If you would like to contribute, you can visit the Fan Club and/or Supporters page for information on how you can help fund the completion of East Timor’s first feature film.

Included in the gallery is a selection of images taken from our time spent filming in Kraras.