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Cate Blanchett is to direct Stateless, a new TV series about German Australian Cornelia Rau.

In 2005 Rau gained widespread media attention in Australia due to being unlawfully detained for a period of 10 months by the Australian government. Rau had become mentally ill after fleeing from a cult and had disappeared later turning up in North Queensland, where Aborigines alerted the police after being concerned about her behaviour.

Rau told the police she was Anna Brotmeyer (and later Anna Schmidt) from Germany. Immigration officials assumed she was an illegal immigrant and failed to diagnose her schizophrenia, leading to her detention.

An inquiry was conducted into the circumstances surrounding Rauís detention. In February 2008, lawyers for Rau accepted an offer of compensation on her behalf of $2.6 million.

It will be the first time Blanchett has directed TV.

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