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In 2002 protests at the infamous Woomera Detention Centre for refuges erupted. In the midst of the turmoil, a bare-chested young man climbed on to the perimeter fence. Below him were coils of deadly razor wire. Suddenly without warning….he jumped. Captured by television news cameras, this image shocked the nation, made headlines around the world and came to define one of the darkest chapters of Australian history. Ten years on, The Man Who Jumped asks the questions who was he, why did he jump and what happened to him? In seeking answers this powerful new film reveals the true story behind Australia’s treatment of refugees

Photo credit Prospero Productions

Production Information


Russell Vines

Lawrie Silvestrin


Russell Vines


Julia Redwood

Ed Punchard

Field Producer

Rhian Skirving

Assistant Producer

Eliot Buchan


Lawrie Silvestrin

Additional and Online Editor

David Langlands


Nathan Hayter

Simon Smith


Colin Friels

Production Manager

Jules Fortune

Key WA Crew

Sound Recordists

Christopher Macgregor

Peter Graham

Stevan Bae


Keith Van Geyzel

Tim Count

Sound Post Production

Ric Curtin

First Assistant Director

Nigel Davenport

Second Assistant Director

Freya Brueschke

Production Designer

Jess Tran

Costume Designer

Gail Pether

Make Up Artist

Liddy Reynolds


Andrew Portwine

Drama Cast

Abdul Ali Yawari

Ashraf Rizza

Brendan Kerkvliet

Hamideh Heidari

Masoumeh Gholami

Piero Di Giovanni

Timothy Bowles

Ahmad R Khawari

Asif Bakhshi

Daniel Rezaie

Jasky Singh

Miguel A. Ortin

Richard Hall

Wayne Kavanagh

Ismat Akbarzada

Key Locations


Photo credit Prospero Productions
Dramatic reconstruction: As detainee stitches his lips closed as part of protest

The Director's Statement

The Man Who Jumped: who was he, why did he jump, what happened to him? These are the driving questions of the film.

While providing a clear structural and thematic direction they have been confronting to explore and challenging to answer. The man who jumped, Mazhar Ali, provides an everyman story of what an asylum seeker faces when coming to Australia by boat: High security imprisonment in remote locations and a system designed to make their plea for asylum as difficult and as protracted as possible. This then leading to physical and emotional trauma and in turn acts of suicidal desperation.

– Russell Vines, Director

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