Following on from films shot in the area over the last several years, Backyard Ashes, Stakes, The Merger and the short Inside Water, another production is once again making its way to country NSW, this time in Narrandera.
The feature film, “When The House Is Empty” directed by Timothy Hills, is being shot in Sydney and Brisbane as well as the Narrandera area.
Principal photography dates for Narrandera are from July 1 to 9. With cast and crew coming from near and far there is also to be quite a local contingent of personnel and services.
About the film: Grace’s life is turned upside down when she becomes pregnant and loses everything in Sydney. She inherits a dilapidated house in the country from her father Henry, who she hasn’t seen since childhood. She plans to sell it quickly, but soon realises that the house is more than it seems. It contains clues about Henry’s involvement in the Hungarian revolution and a hidden power source in the wild. With Baden, a charming clerk who loves her, she embarks on a journey to uncover Henry’s secrets and find her true home.
The film’s director is hoping that this is an incentive to build upon the wave already started in the Riverina. The motto, “It’s time Riverina to see our own landscapes, hear our own stories and dream our dreams”.
The possibility that it might lead to a Riverina Film school sounds like a good idea. A school that gives people resources, networks and teaching.
Producers are anticipating release in July 2024 in local cinemas and moving on to possibly free to air TV such as SBS and streaming services.
Currently the cast and crew stands at 47 however the film makers are still after some help in certain areas.
Associate producer Kenneth G Hammond BA (Charles Sturt) said it should be an exciting event for the local community that may showcase this wonderful area to a wide audience.
“The project is the brainchild of director Tim Hills and a group of his friends who have long wanted to create a high quality feature film with all the works. The filming will be set in Sydney, Brisbane and Narrandera with the first scenes to be shot in Narrandera,” he said.
Director Tim Hills re-iterated that they are keen to start and are aiming to sell it to big streaming services and TV channels.
“We wanted to do the real deal and we wanted to try and do a feature film, feature length and move a whole step forward in quality and the script, shooting and the technical stuff,” Mr Hills said.
“We’re really trying to aim for selling a movie off to SBS or Netflix type situation where we have a really quality movie.
“We’re still down to the final last act of the film on scriptwriting and are all really busy trying to get everything together.”
The creation of the film first began when Mr Hills had a week of time off in Narrandera and was stuck inside due to some wet weather.
The week was spent sitting at home, reading and meditating and from there came the idea for ‘When The House Is Empty’. The film is based on the script of a earlier film that was made ten years earlier with his friends which they took and rewrote.
A year on and the film is about to come to life with a cast and crew of 47 people sourced from all over Australia including locally in Narrandera and Leeton.
Despite issues arising over the past few months, the group look forward to just getting started.
“A few weeks ago, I was feeling majorly sick and anxious but… we just have to start,”
Mr Hills said. Mr Hills said he himself was investing $25,000 just to get the movie started.
The film is anticipated to be release in July 2024 in local cinemas with a possibility of moving onto other streaming services.
This article appeared in the Narrandera Argus, 29 June 2023.
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