$16m in movie cash to fire up filming in WA

Annelies GartnerThe West Australian
Staircase to the Moon over mudflats in Broome.
Camera IconStaircase to the Moon over mudflats in Broome. Credit: TWA

Three high-profile productions will benefit from the WA Regional Film Fund and shine the spotlight on WA this year.

The $16 million injection of cash through the Royalties for Regions program was announced in May and will help finance two feature films and a prime-time television series.

“This is an exciting time for the WA screen industry,” Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said.

“The fund has helped secure its first Hollywood-Australian feature and UK-Australian feature, as well as a major Australian television series.

“It is estimated they will contribute more than $14 million to the WA economy.”

In the feature Wonderful Unknown, trapped American housewife Annie decides to go on a road trip with her wild best friend in the Australian outback and scatter Annie’s mother’s ashes.

“The destination central to the storyline is Broome’s Staircase to the Moon phenomenon at Cable Beach, but filming is set to take place in Kununurra, the El Questro Wilderness Park including Emma Gorge, and on outback routes like the legendary Gibb River Road,” Mr Day said.

“The producers are in final talks with an A-list Hollywood star for the lead role who, together with the locations, will provide invaluable marketing opportunities.”

The fund is also supporting an adaptation of Miles Franklin award-winning and Booker Prize short-listed novel Dirt Music by Tim Winton.

“Dirt Music is the first major film to be shot in the Mid West for many years,” Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said.

“Local businesses will benefit through the production team buying locally, and local tourism businesses will be able to capitalise on spin-off marketing opportunities, with Dongara, Port Denison and surrounds showcased on the big screen.”

A six-part television drama series from Jasper Jones and Goldstone producers Greer Simpkin and David Jowsey to be filmed in the Kimberley cattle country will also receive money.

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