Monthly Archives: September 2015

Chinese TV show Where Are We Going, Dad? to be filmed in WA’s Margaret River region

In a major boost for the local tourism industry, one of China’s most-watched television shows is coming to WA.

Hunan TV’s Where Are We Going, Dad? is a massive ratings hit in China, attracting more than 75 million viewers for every two-hour episode.

And those viewers will get to see the beauty of the Margaret River region when the final two episodes of the show’s third season are filmed at the end of this month.Tourism WA chief executive Stephanie Buckland said the agency’s team in China had spent more than a year negotiating the deal.

“There has been a lot of work behind the scenes to convince them to come along to WA,” she said. “It’s going to be great exposure for what we have to offer.”

Ms Buckland said about 200 cast and crew members were expected to travel to Margaret River for 10 days of filming and will not visit any other parts of Australia.

She said a confidentiality agreement prevented her from disclosing how much the deal cost, but confirmed it was “quite a good deal”.

“It’s costing substantially less than it would cost us to run an advertising campaign in China, let’s just put it that way,” she said.

Ms Buckland hoped the exposure would put WA on the radar of millions of prospective Chinese tourists who are unaware of the state’s charms.

“We’ve got the access with the airlines, we’ve got a lot of our businesses in WA ready to receive Chinese visitors and we have had a massive increase — about a doubling — of Chinese visitors over the last couple of years,” she said.

“But really, what we have got to do is get WA and what we have to offer in front of more prospective Chinese visitors.”

The reality TV show stars five celebrity fathers and their children who travel to far-flung places and attempt challenges.

Acting Tourism Minister John Day said the WA visit would be the only international location used by the show this season.

“By investing in this popular TV show, with its massive audience, we expect to raise awareness of WA as a holiday destination, and in particular, highlight its natural beauty and airline accessibility to the Chinese market,” he said.

Where Are We Going, Dad? has been one of China’s top three shows since it premiered in October 2013. The two episodes featuring WA will air in China on October 23 and 30.

Initial cast announced for Jasper Jones

The initial cast has been announced for Jasper Jones, set to commence filming in the South West of Western Australia on October 26, 2015. Porchlight Films and Bunya Productions are thrilled to announce that Levi Miller (Terra Nova, upcoming Pan, Blue Dog), Angourie Rice (These Final Hours, upcoming The Nice Guys) and Aaron McGrath  (GLITCH) will star in the film adaption of the multi-award winning coming of age mystery novel by Craig Silvey.

Principal photography is set to commence in October in the south west of Western Australia. Jasper Jones will be directed by Rachel Perkins (Bran Nue Dae, Radiance, One Night the Moon). Miller will play bookish 14 year old Charlie Bucktin, who over one eventful summer in 1965 navigates small-town racism, hypocrisy and the trials of teenage love to discover what it means be truly courageous. McGrath has been cast as the titular character Jasper Jones and Rice as the intelligent and mysterious Eliza Wishart, who is also the object of Charlie’s affections.

“With casting director Anousha Zarkesh we have searched the country and from hundreds of auditions we are thrilled to have Levi, Angourie and Aaron join Jasper Jones. The kids are the heart of the film and they are all brilliantly talented.” said director Perkins.

Miller made his international debut in the Steven Spielberg produced TV series Terra Nova. He has recently finished filming as the lead in Blue Dog, the follow up to the widely successful Red Dog. Miller will next be seen playing the title role of ‘Peter Pan’ in the Warner Bros Feature film ‘PAN’, opposite Hugh Jackman and directed by Joe Wright. Rice was the lead in These Final Hours and also in BBC/20th Century Fox feature film Walking With Dinosaurs 3D. She has recently completed filming The Nice Guys, opposite Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. McGrath has just wrapped the ABC series, Ready for This and stars in the well reviewed GLITCH TV series. His credits also include the AACTA award winning The Code, Around The Block and Redfern Now.

The bestselling novel JASPER JONES was published in 2009 and has made waves around the globe, the author Craig Silvey receiving critical acclaim and developing an ardent fan base. It has won multiple awards, including the Book of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards in 2010 and continues to captivate readers of all ages.

JASPER JONES is produced by Bunya Productions David Jowsey (Mystery Road, Mad Bastards) and Porchlight Films Vincent Sheehan (The Hunter, Animal Kingdom). Production Designer is Herbert Pinter (Mao’s Last Dancer), Margot Wilson (Bran Nue Dae) is Costume Designer and Mark Wareham (Felony) will be Director of Photography. The novel was adapted for the screen by Shaun Grant and Craig Silvey.

The announcement was at CinéfestOZ Film Festival in the south west of Western
Australia, where Jowsey and Sheehan attended various screen industry events and panels.

The film has been supported by a grant of $200,000 from the South West Development Commission and the production will be based in the town of Pemberton and filmed on location in the beautiful and haunting South West region.

South West Development Commission acting chief executive officer Patrick Warrand said the State Government agency welcomed the opportunity to support the filming of JASPER JONES in the region.

“This is a major opportunity to showcase the South West on the big screen and further position the region as a centre for the creative industries,” Mr Warrand said.
Mongrel Media is handling international sales.

Madman Entertainment is releasing Jasper Jones in Australia.