Recent comments


Tim Winton movie set in WA's Mid West to be filmed in... Esperance

Tim Winton movie set in WA's Mid West to be filmed in... Esperance


Western Australia's Mid West has been denied a boost to its local economy and tourism after it was revealed producers on a major feature film had pulled the plug on shooting in the region.

ScreenWest announced Tim Winton's award-winning 2001 novel Dirt Music â€" set in White Point, south of Dongara and Wittenoom â€" would be filmed on location in Esperance, Broome and Cape Leveque by Sydney-based production company Aquarius Films.

WA author Tim Winton is renowned for showcasing the state's coastal towns in his works.

Photo: Erin Jonasson

Speaking to ABC Kimberley, ScreenWest's head of production and development Matt Horrocks said there was no doubt the film would showcase some of WA's scenery to the world.

"What's not to like? It's from our most iconic writer a nd it's an iconic WA story that takes place with great WA characters right across the state," he said.

However Shire of Irwin community capacity manager Nicole Nelson said the announcement had been disheartening for those based in Dongara and Port Denison, who had campaigned hard for filmmakers to bring production to the region.


"The Mid West has a lot to offer, but it hasn't been able to get a big film," she said.

"This was going to be our prime opportunity. We've changed our destination website, we have a film tab trying to open ourselves up to the market.

"The South West are quite developed as a tourism destination and we're really trying to enter that market, and it would have been a great opportunity for us."

Stills from the film Breath based on the Tim Winton book.

Photo: David Dare Parker

South West tourism received a signif icant boost when Tim Winton's novel Breath, featuring Simon Baker, was filmed in Denmark last year.

East Kimberley locals also benefited when film crews for ABC's Mystery Road shot in the region.

Ms Nelson worked with producers on the film and the Mid West Development Commission to develop a funding application, and secured quotes from a number of local businesses about the costs of catering to the film crew.

When it was revealed the film crew had instead chosen to feature Esperance in place of Dongara as the novel's "cray-fishing village", Ms Nelson said locals were "disappointed" with the decision.

Cliffhead â€" roughly 30 minutes south of Port Denison.

Photo: Sarah Henderson

"In the novel, it doesn't spell out Dongara but if you add it all together â€" you know, it's a few hours north of Perth, it takes three hours to travel to and it is a cray-fishing village ... it kind of does spell it out for you," she said.

"The house it's focused on where Georgie [lived], and the reef where [Jim] would swim out to and steal the crayfish from people's pots â€" we've got the Leander reef all right there.

"You read the book and you picture it here, and it really fits here. [In terms of Esperance], it's chalk and cheese from way down south to where it's set here.

"Certainly we're very disappointed and locals are disappointed."

Irwin River Estuary â€" taken from lookout over Irwin River and Nunns Pool

Photo: Tourism WA

When contacted for comment the producer advised "they were not in a position to make an announcement" as the application process with a number of financing partners was ongoing, and a unit publicist was yet to be appointed.

A literary agent for Penguin Publishing s aid Winton did not have control over the adaptation.

The film will be shot in late 2018, with ScreenWest as a significant financial partner.

License this article
  • Australian film
Hannah Barry
  • Twitter

Hannah Barry is a Fairfax Media journalist based in Western Australia, focused on breaking news.


A relationship banned under traditional law.

Our new podcast series from the team behind Phoebe's Fall

View episodes

Source: Google News Movie

No comments