Goldstone experiences a “star rush” as filming wraps in outback Queensland
Filming for Ivan Sen’s contemporary western thriller, Goldstone, has drawn to an end with international star, Chinese actress Cheng Pei-pei (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) joining the Australian all-star cast in the final week of filming in outback Queensland.
Ms Cheng, affectionately known as the “Queen of the Martial Arts” in Hong Kong kung fu classics has graced screens for over 50 years, appearing in as many films including Come Drink With Me and Dragon Swamp. She attained worldwide fame with her role as the villainous Jade Fox in Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning 2000 film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Ms Cheng takes her place beside an all Australian cast including Aaron Pedersen reprising his role of Indigenous detective Jay Swan from Mystery Road, Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom), Alex Russell (Unbroken), David Gulpilil (Charlies Country), David Wenham (Oranges and Sunshine) and Tom E. Lewis (The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith).
‘What a thrill for Queensland and the Australian film community as a whole to have this latest film from acclaimed writer and director Ivan Sen and producers David Jowsey and Greer Simpkin and which follows on from the award-winning and critically acclaimed Mystery Road,’ said Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira.
‘We are equally as thrilled for the opportunities our support of this production has afforded our local industry including one of the leads, Alex Russell, who grew up in Rockhampton and who also recently starred in Unbroken, plus Aaron Fa’Aoso also from Far North Queensland and who has been an attachment on Goldstone.’
Goldstone has been shot exclusively in Middleton, two hours west of Winton.
‘The film is about the quintessential Queensland outback and has a direct impact in providing employment and skill development opportunities for Queensland’s technicians and creative talent,’ said Ms Vieira.
‘The producers have built an entire township of ‘Goldstone’ and tourists and locals alike can be forgiven for thinking that the motels, police stations and old buildings and town icons have been there for years.’
Goldstone has played a big role in giving an economic boost to the local outback community, positively impacting local regions in areas of transportation, construction, accommodation, retail and hospitality.
‘We estimate the production has already spent over $500,000 in the small townships of Middleton, Winton, Boulia, Longreach, Barcaldine, Townsville and Cairns,’ said producer David Jowsey.
‘This figure also includes fuel and meals in other small towns including Dalby, Roma, Charleville, Blackall and Mt Isa. And then there is the incidental spend by our cast and crew in the local butchers, bakers, pharmacies and pubs.
‘We have called upon these local communities to get involved and all of our Indigenous and Chinese extras have come from Boulia, Mt Isa, Winton and Longreach.’
The tough conditions of the outback are not only felt on screen but off screen as well. All sets are within 10 kilometer radius and there are no mobile phones on this production, only two-way radio communication.
‘We expect Goldstone to entice domestic and international inbound tourism to the region which will be an added benefit of this production,’ said Ms Vieira.
The overall Queensland spend will be over $2 million.
Goldstone is written and directed by Indigenous filmmaker Ivan Sen (Mystery Road, Toomelah) and is produced by David Jowsey (Mystery Road, Toomelah) and Greer Simpkin (Executive Producer The Code, The Secret River).
Goldstone is a Bunya Productions film in association with Screen Queensland and Screen Australia and will be distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Transmission Films, with international sales by Arclight Films.
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Photo by Ivan Sen: Cheng Pei-pei on the set of Goldstone