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Unknown Australian

girl to be film star

SHF is sweet 17 and

Australian, a mod ern "with-it" girl yet refreshingly natural - and although she doesn't know it yet, she is going to be a

movie star.

Who is she? That no

body knows says an AAP report from Hollywood.

A search will start in Australia soon to find "Miss X" for a role opposite James Mason in a film version of Norman Lindsay's novel The Age of Consent for which the screenplay has been writ ten by Australian actor Michael Pate, now of Hollywood.

Pate, who has become one of the most familiar

faccs in American film and television productions since he came here in 1950, will return to Aus tralia for the first time in eight years to be assistant producer to Britain's Michael Powell on The Age of Consent.

Pate said he had been interested in The Age of Consent, which Lindsay wrote in the 1930s and which was once banned for eight years.

After several times being delayed by a lack of fin ancial backing, the project started moving last Nov ember after Mason and Powell agreed to make it. Filming should start in about six months.

The locale will be the Great Barrier Reef, Pate said, and the story is of a moderately successful painter who suddenly hits the big time with studies of a 17-year-old girl whom he meets and persuades to become his model.

They become romanti cally involved, but the bachelor artist has doubts about becoming tied down

to a "child bride".

Apart from Mason, the rest of the cast will be mostly Australian, includ ing the young girl.

"We need a natural young 'hep' Australian girl with some show busi ness experience who is both modern and knowing but is a gamin type", Pate

said.

Powell would be on the lookout for such a girl when in Australia in Sept ember to make an Arthur Upfield Napoleon Bona parte film in the outback.

Pate said he hoped his picture would help give world filmgoers an up-to date image of Australia.

"So much has happened in Australia over the last few years yet it's made to

look so old-fashioned by shows with kangaroos,

koalas and horses , Pate

said.

"Films should reflect the

new generation in Aus

tralia.

"But it's up to Austra lians to make these films.

But Pate went on, Aus tralians with capital to in vest preferred to put their money into blue chip stocks with a guaranteed return, rather than risk it on the chancier production

of films. ' .

A solution - ' there should be a government subsidy for the Australian Film Industry, backing Australian p r o d u c e rs, directors and f,clors

ing films to sell on the in ternational market .

Any film could be

in Australia, Pate said.

"There is going to be a great demand in America for two-hour films for tele vision and Australia could

compete in this market ,

he said.

Hollywood

fixture

Pate himself is a HoUy" wood fixture now, 17 years after he left rojes on

stage and in radio serials to Zkc the film Thunder on

the Hill there. .

One of the town's busiest actors, he has made 60 Hollywood based films and appeared in about 200 tele vision shows, often as guest

in such western series

aS Gunsmoke,-Big Valley and Road West and also in Tarzan features, in Batman

and Get Smart.

His roles have been var ied, ranging from an Arab sheik in The Rat Patrol to innumerable Indian chiefs.

"If I'd just kept playing myself, I'd have been back in Australia long before this running a fish and chip

shop in Narrabeen , the swarthily handsome actor said with 3- chucklc.

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