Julian Assange opens up to Far North filmmaker
ALL it took was a knock on the door and some "Far North Queensland charm" to score a rare interview with one of the world's most wanted men.
Cairns-bred documentary maker and artist Jeremy Geia filmed a 90-minute conversation with Julian Assange on September 14, becoming the first English-speaking journalist to secure an interview with him at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
The wide-ranging interview, which touched on Australia's defence operations in Darwin and Aboriginal sovereignty, will form a documentary titled Julian on the Inside that will be aired next month.
After hosting an art exhibition in Belgium, Mr Geia, who was three years behind Mr Assange at Townsville State High School, travelled to London seeking an interview with the Wikileaks founder.
"He's a trouble maker which I'm attracted to right away," he said.
After knocking on the embassy's door and calling in some help from some friends in high places, Mr Geia was given access to where Mr Assange has called home for the past three months.
"He's such a recluse and one of the world's most wanted men. We walked into the embassy and there were about 50 police officers there."
Mr Geia said Mr Assange spends his days inside one of the embassy's small rooms, using a UV light because he is unable to leave his house and is surrounded by reading material including the autobiography of former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks.
"He's very organised, he's got a lot of files and ring binders and everything is labelled," he said.
Mr Assange has been in the embassy since he sought refuge in June after being the subject of rape and sexual assault allegations.
But Mr Assange feels like he's in the "safest place in the world" and has regular visitors, including pop star Lady Gaga.
"He said 'Don’t feel sorry for me because I'm in this place', he said he's very happy and in it for the long haul," Mr Geia said.
The documentary will be shown on National Indigenous Television on November 13.
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Rare meeting: Cairns documentary maker Jeremy Geia with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy.