RIS­ING ABOVE

LO­CAL DI­REC­TOR TURNS HIS PER­SONAL STORY OF BAD LUCK INTO BIG SCREEN MAGIC

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - MELISSA JENK­INS

Mack Lin­don had a one-night stand, was wrongly ac­cused of rape and spent more than 500 days in a max­i­mum­se­cu­rity prison.

He was fi­nally re­leased, ex­on­er­ated of all charges, and has made a film about his ex­pe­ri­ence, Rise, which opens on the Gold Coast this week.

“It’s a vic­tory, you know what I mean,” he says.

“You want to share that vic­tory and be­cause you are able to walk through that against all odds you want to share that story.”

Lin­don, who cur­rently lives in Kingscliff, was in Mel­bourne on a night out in Fe­bru­ary 2006 and was ac­cused of rape after hav­ing a one-night stand.

He was sentenced to six years’ jail but cleared after a lengthy le­gal bat­tle.

Rise is about Lin­don’s ex­pe­ri­ence in prison, rather than fo­cus­ing on his ac­cuser.

“I want her not to be al­ways look­ing over her shoul­der and think­ing that there is go­ing to be re­venge or any­thing like that,” he says.

“It’s im­por­tant for true for­give­ness to take place.”

De­spite writ­ing his ac­cuser a let­ter of for­give­ness from prison, he never had any con­tact from her, let alone an apol­ogy.

Lin­don lost his ca­reer as a nurse and his ap­pli­ca­tion for com­pen­sa­tion from the state was re­jected.

“I guess that’s the lu­nacy of the whole thing ... is that you’ve got a piece of pa­per that says you’ve been found guilty and you do 19 months time and then you have a piece of pa­per say­ing you are not guilty, and there is no ac­count­abil­ity,” he says.

“It’s fairly frus­trat­ing that sort of in­jus­tice.”

He said that while he formed friend­ships in prison, he wasn’t in con­tact with those peo­ple now.

“There is an un­writ­ten code that if you see each other on the street you keep walk­ing,” he says.

“It’s a com­pletely dif­fer­ent realm inside max­i­mum se­cu­rity and you ... all move on with your life”

Lin­don now has a wife, Emma, and two daugh­ters, one aged two and another three months old.

He ap­pears in sev­eral tele­vi­sion com­mer­cials and is writ­ing his next movie, which is a love story set in Aus­tralia about 80 years from now.

Rise stars Martin Sacks, Marty Rhone and Nathan Wilson. Rise opens at Kingscliff’s Cine­max Cin­e­mas to­day.

Nathan Wilson (far right) as Mack Lin­don in Rise, a film about a case of court in­jus­tice and im­pris­on­ment.

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