Culture: Pilliga movie is no tourist flick

Intense: Craig Hawley, of Agnes Banks in the Hawkesbury, plays "Inbred Jed". Picture: Paul Denham

Intense: Craig Hawley, of Agnes Banks in the Hawkesbury, plays "Inbred Jed". Picture: Paul Denham

If you’re a  fan of horror, the first screening of There’s Something in the Pilliga has got you covered for the night. Jade Aliprandi chats with the director Dane Millerd.

The film is former Windsor resident Dane Millerd's first independent effort as a director which he says has already gained a lot of attention.

"We're expecting the screening at Richmond Club to be a sell-out," Millerd said.

"I'm pretty happy with how it's all come together."

The film has been a project of Millerd’s since 2005, and is based loosely on a real life event, which he heard from his cousin after her trip with a few people out to the Pilliga Forest in north-western NSW, where two of her friends thought it would be funny to pretend to be the Pilliga Yowie — a mythical hairy man who roamed the Pilliga Forest. 

Six years later, Millerd, armed with a single camera, and a handful of cast and crew, ventured into the Pilliga Forest and camped there for a total of 16 days, where they captured the POV (Point-Of-View) ‘real-life account’ of what happens to a group that ventures into the Pilliga and is confronted with some terrifying truths.  

Is it a man, or is it a monster or maybe a little bit of both?

Filmed in 2011, the film's premiere was in Gunnedah and is now being shown around the country.

"The whole thing has been great — I can't pinpoint a particular aspect throughout this process, it's all been really good," actor Craig Hawley, who plays "Inbred Jed" in the film, said.

"We filmed for a long time and in some parts it did get a bit chilly, a bit real, and you would think 'oh wow — that's really cool'."

Hawley hasn't always been in front of the camera.

"I'm usually behind the scenes in the lighting, or just in the background working away doing something, but they needed someone to play this particular part," Hawley said.

"It was quite daunting being in front of the camera at first but I got comfortable as I settled in a bit."

He joins lead actor Brendan Byrne of Penrith who plays Jay.

Hawley will be answering questions from fans and selling merchandise after the screening along with Byrne.

The movie runs for 83 minutes and has secured worldwide distribution with US distributors ‘Black Wolf Media’. 

Tickets are available at Richmond Club reception.

Win a double pass by telling us your favourite horror film and why. Email jade.aliprandi@fairfaxmedia.com.au with all your contact details and your answer by noon on Friday, January 30. Details: 7pm, with a 6pm arrival time. Held at Richmond Club at 6 East Market Street, Richmond. Tickets: $20 each. The movie is rated MA15+. Call 4578 1144 for further information. 

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