olive sistersEXCLUSIVE: Australian director Fred Schepisi’s Simon Baker/Leslie Mann-starring romantic drama, The Olive Sisters, has added several cast members ahead of the EFM in Berlin this week. Anthony LaPaglia, Jacki Weaver, Melissa George, Gia Carides, Josh Lucas and Alexandra Schepisi have all boarded the adaptation of Amanda Hampson’s bestselling novel which was short-listed at the 2006 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

The story focuses on Adrienne Bennett (Mann), a successful businesswoman with an enviable lifestyle. But when her business goes down the tubes, her life falls apart and her self-confidence quickly crumbles. She is forced to move from her chic New York apartment to the small rural community of Duffy’s Creek, Australia and the run-down olive grove she has inherited from her grandparents. Initial culture shock give way to a personal treasure hunt through the history of a family she barely knew. As she works to restart her life, Adrienne strikes up a friendship with the ruggedly handsome and intriguing Joe which leads her down the road of startling self-discovery.

Arclight Films is handling world rights outside Oz, New Zealand and North America and will kick off sales at the EFM. Producers are Bonnie Burgess for Sorelle Productions and James M Vernon for Screen Corporation.

“I’m very excited to be working with such an amazing cast on such a rich and compelling story,” said Schepisi. “The story, made so popular by Amanda Hampson, skillfully captures the moments, emotions and thoughts that we all have in common, as we strive to discover who we really are and what our place in the world is and why belonging to family really matters.”

Ian Baker (Evan Almighty) is DP and David Hirschfelder (The Water Diviner) is handling original music.