Image Upload

File size must be less than 2Mb

You must have online publishing permission or full ownership of this image

File types (jpg, png, gif)

  • Hero image
    The Dry gala premiere in Horsham, starring Eric Bana.
  • Hero image
  • Hero image
    Minyip residents Janelle, Dave and Jarvis Mitchell. Jarvis and his school mates featured in a scene of The Dry filmed in the town.
  • Hero image
    MixxFm promoter Kaycee Bould and The Weekly Advertiser journalist Sarah Matthews intertview The Dry director Robert Conolly at a special screening event at Horsham Event Cinema late last week.
  • Hero image
    Sarah Mattews and Kaycee Bould interview The Dry extras Minyip's Ryder Hudson, centre, Harrison Williams and Jarvis Mitchell, left.
  • Hero image
    The Dry extras Minyip's Jarvis Mitchell, Harrison Williams and Ryder Hudson at a special screening of the event in Horsham late last week.
  • Hero image
    The Dry gala premiere in Horsham, starring Eric Bana.
  • Hero image
    The Dry gala premiere in Horsham, starring Eric Bana. Kaycee Bould and Sarah Matthews interview the star.
  • Hero image
    The Dry gala premiere in Horsham, starring Eric Bana.
  • Hero image
    The Dry gala premiere in Horsham, starring Eric Bana. Andrea Weidemann with her copy of the book.
  • Hero image
    The Dry director Robert Conolly, left, with Audrey Moore, centre, who played an extra role in the film. Also pictured, Father Jeremy Moore at a screening of the movie at Horsham Event Cinema last Thursday.

PHOTOS: The Dry star Eric Bana and director Robert Connolly – ‘We’re beside ourselves’ to be back


Internationally renowned actor Eric Bana would return to film in the Wimmera ‘in a heartbeat’ – provided he found the right project.

Bana, who plays the lead role of Aaron Falk in upcoming Australian film release The Dry, and the movie’s director Robert Connolly were full of praise for the Wimmera-Mallee’s landscape and people at the world premiere on Thursday night.

While world premieres are usually reserved for capital cities, the pair – who also helped produce the film – was determined to screen the movie in the Wimmera’s capital as a thank you to the many regional people involved.

Article continues below

Horsham Centre Cinema hosted three closed screenings of the movie on Thursday, including a gala ‘red carpet’ event in the evening. 

Bana and Connolly addressed the audience at each screening, introducing the movie and thanking the community for welcoming them with open arms.

Bana said he and Connolly were thrilled to film in the Wimmera-Mallee.

“There could have been a version filmed closer to Melbourne, to save a bit of money and logistics, but selfishly, from a visual perspective, we knew we had to be out here,” he said.

“I think the film really benefits from it. The visuals are stunning and it’s a part of Australia we haven’t seen a lot of. 

“We see a lot of outback, we don’t see a lot of wheatbelt and flat, dry land, so I hope the film provides a good visual reference for the future.

“Also, there’s something that happens to a crew when you’re on remote location and you’re all in together, and it feels like a real team and a real family.”

Connolly said he was delighted to return to the region after filming at various locations including Beulah, Minyip, Hopetoun and Jeparit in March, 2019. 

He said he was also excited to showcase the film in the ‘beautiful’ Horsham cinema.

“We always promised that we’d bring the film back for the world premiere,” he said.

“Eric and I had the most extraordinary experiences of our career out here, so to bring the film back here today has been wonderful.

“The first impression we had out here was how welcoming everybody was. It was pretty amazing. 

“That welcoming nature of people here, I would say, was critical in us making the film in the region. Without that, I don’t know how we could have done it.

“We actually used a lot of locals as actors and there’s a few of them here tonight.”

Bana echoed Connolly’s statements.

“When someone comes up with the idea we might be able to screen it in Horsham first, before anywhere else, you think, ‘Well that’s not going to happen. Something is going to get in the way and they’re going to make us have it in the city first’,” he said.

“But we’re beside ourselves that the area we filmed in – these are the first people to see it anywhere in the world, outside of us as film-makers. It doesn’t always happen, so we’re rapt.” 

The movie is based on Jane Harper’s award-winning crime novel, based in fictional drought-stricken community Kiewarra. 

Bana said feedback about the film on Thursday had been ‘really fantastic’. 

“I think for people who are fans of Jane’s book, they’re really happy and excited that the adaptation is so close,” he said.

“We were huge fans of the book and it was a case of wanting to really bring that to life and make it as big as possible and not use it as a starting point to go and make something else. 

“So hopefully the locals are as thrilled with it as we are. I really hope people take it under their wing and feel proud of the film and the way things look in the film and recognise a lot of the locations.

“A lot of the towns were cherry-picked to create our own Kiewarra, so there’s a lot for people to recognise.”

Bana said he would ‘love to’ return for future projects, perhaps in other parts of the diverse Wimmera-Mallee-
Grampians region. 

“It is hard finding great material though,” he said. 

“Rob and I first worked together on Romulus, My Father, which I couldn’t believe was 12 or 13 years ago. It’s taken us that long to find the next thing to make together.

“I’d be here again in a heartbeat, but stories set in this area aren’t that easy to find.”

RELATED: The Dry gives Wimmera actors a taste of the film industry

RELATED: Movie presents region stimulus

The entire December 16, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!