: Narrative Feature
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Pre-Production


Based on the true story of one courageous woman’s journey, which sets an epic love story against a backdrop of terror, espionage, revolution and the birth of a new nation: East Timor.


Based on the story behind the critically acclaimed, award-winning IFP documentary Alias: Ruby Blade: a Story of Love and Revolution, A Palace of Ashes is at its core, a love story. For Kirsty, a young Australian student, there was no turning back after joining a group of journalists to make a documentary film in East Timor. It was 1991 and  after witnessing the horrific massacre of her friend at Santa Cruz, Kirsty moved to Indonesia to be closer to the struggle, immersing herself in the shadowy world of Timorese resistance fighters. It was then she was recruited by exiled foreign minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner, José Ramos-Horta, to become a clandestine courier for the resistance.

Her code name: Ruby Blade. Her task: to be a conduit of information for Xanana Gusmão, who was serving life in prison after his capture in the jungles of East Timor. Through their written correspondence, they fall in love.

This is their incredible love story, from unlikely beginnings, against unimaginable adversity, to the ultimate triumph of freedom in East Timor; irrefutable proof of the astonishing power of ordinary individuals to change the course of history and of the human capacity for love.



RISE tells the story of one courageous woman who got involved despite chilling warnings, who risked everything and who had the power to make a difference by following her heart.  This film is dedicated to the strength and courage of over 250,000 innocent lives lost in East Timor during the Indonesian occupation and the over 500,000 Timorese who surved by resisting and never losing hope; evidence of the irrefutible fact that love is more powerful than fear.




Milena CANONERO - Executive Producer, Visual Consultant

 Born in Turin Italy, Canonero studied art, design history and costume design in Genoa. She then moved to England, where she began working in small theatre and film productions. While designing for commercials in London, she met many film directors.
Her first major film work as a costume designer was in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. She worked with Kubrick again on Barry Lyndon (1975), for which she won her first Oscar, and The Shining (1980). Her second Oscar win was for Chariots of Fire (1981), directed by Hugh Hudson.
Canonero has also designed the costumes for several stagings directed by Otto Schenk, such as Il trittico (Puccini Vienna State Opera 1979), As You Like It (Shakespeare, Salzburg Festival 1980), Die Fledermaus (Strauss, Vienna State Opera 1980), Andrea Chénier (Giordano, Vienna State Opera 1981), and Arabella (Strauss, Metropolitan Opera 1983). For director Luc Bondy she created the costumes for new productions of Puccini's Tosca (Metropolitan Opera, 2009), and of Euripides' Helena.
In 2001, Canonero received the Career Achievement Award in Film from the Costume Designers Guild. In 2005, Canonero won the guild's award for excellence in contemporary film for her work on Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. She won her third Oscar for Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.
Canonero reteamed with Anderson in 2014 on The Grand Budapest Hotel, for which she received her ninth nomination and fourth win at the 87th Academy Awards. She also won a BAFTA award for her work on the film.


Jason DUBIN - Director, Producer

Originally from Miami, Jason graduated with honors and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre. After spending his first few years out of school on the stage in New York, off-Broadway and then in London on the West End, he moved into filmmaking. First in casting  with Mali Finn (TITANIC, THE MATRIX) and then in New York with Billy Hopkins (MONSTERS BALL, GOOD WILL HUNTING).  In 2003 Jason co- founded O.D.D. Entertainment and produced THE BABYSITTERS, which premeired at Toronto International Film Festival and starred John Leguizamo and Cynthia Nixon. It opened theatrically in New York, Los Angeles, and several other U.S. cities, and is available in several territories around the world. Most recently, Jason developed and produced, THE CURSE OF DOWNERS GROVE, witten by Bret Easton Ellis (AMERICAN PSYCHO, LESS TAHN ZERO) which premiered in the U.S. August of 2015.

Gregory ALLEN HOWARD - Executive Producer, Writer

After attending college at Princeton University, graduating with a degree in American history, Howard briefly worked at Merrill Lynch on Wall Street before moving to Los Angeles in his mid twenties to pursue a writing career. Howard is best known for writing: ALI, the 2001 Biopic of of boxer Muhammad Ali; and REMEMBER THE TITANS, the unique story of the integrated high school football team that the town of Alexandria, Virginia credited for the town's positive race relations; starring Denzel Washington.


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