In 2016, Big Stories released a feature documentary entitled The Family which concerned the cult of the same name operated by Anne Hamilton-Byrne. In 2017, Chris Johnston and Rosie Jones, the director of the documentary, released a book of investigative journalism through Scribe Publications on the same subject, also entitled The Family. Finally, in 2019, the feature documentary was adapted by Big Stories into a three-part documentary series for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: The Cult of the Family.

These three projects were the result of years of investigation, research and consultation with survivors of the cult. Throughout the production of the documentaries, the filmmakers endeavoured to treat with the utmost sensitivity the stories entrusted to them by the survivors.

Big Stories has recently become aware that Disney+ and Wooden Horse are producing The Clearing, the television series based on JP Pomare’s novel In the Clearing, which is reportedly inspired by the story of Anne Hamilton-Byrne and The Family.

Big Stories now wishes to clarify that neither it, nor any of the filmmakers involved with the documentaries, nor the former senior police investigator, Lex de Man, nor the journalist/author Chris Johnston have any involvement, association, or agreement with the producers of The Clearing. The Clearing is not an adaptation of the documentaries or the Chris Johnston / Rosie Jones book, and neither Big Stories nor any of the filmmakers have received or are receiving any rights payments, royalties or fees from Disney+ or the producers of The Clearing. Neither Big Stories nor any of the filmmakers were approached by Disney+ or the producers of The Clearing, or by JP Pomare during the writing of the novel.

All media and other inquires as to The Clearing should accordingly be directed to Disney+ and/or Wooden Horse.


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