Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.
Patricia (Pat) Lovell, who produced Peter Weir’s 1975 breakthrough Picnic At Hanging Rock and his 1981 WW1 epic Gallipoli, died Saturday in Sydney. She was 83. The producer and former actress had been in declining health for some years, suffering liver cancer. Lovell started out as an actress in radio programs for the Australian Broadcasting Commission in the 1950s and from 1960-1975 hosted the ABC-TV children’s show Mr Squiggle And Friends, partnered with a puppet. During her time as a presenter on a Channel 7 current affairs show, she met Weir. As a producer she was mentored by legendary Australian filmmaker Ken G. Hall. Her other film credits included Ken Hannam’s Break Of Day and Summerfield, Ken Cameron’s Monkey Grip and Chris Thomson’s The Perfectionist. Her final screen credit was Tosca – A Tale Of Love And Torture, a 2000 documentary which was a behind-the-scenes look at an Australian Opera production. Lovell was a member of the Australian Film Commission board from 1977-1983 and from 1996-2003 was head of producing at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. She was awarded an MBE for her services to film and television, an AM (Member of the Order of Australia) and in 2004 received the Australian Film Institute’s Raymond Longford Award for lifetime achievement. In 2010 she got the National Film and Sound Archive’s Ken G Hall Film Preservation Award.