Director, Tony Prescott, at the Chinchilla premiere of his locally filmed drama
Director, Tony Prescott, at the Chinchilla premiere of his locally filmed drama "The Pretend One”. Kate McCormack

Locally filmed movie premieres on the Western Downs

TONY Prescott's debut drama, The Pretend One carefully explores the pressures of country life and the loneliness that comes with it.

Filmed on a Western Downs cotton farm, Prescott said he first came up with the film eight years ago as a poor film student searching to make some extra cash.

He called up an old uni friend, Brett Bidstrup to ask if he could come up and help out on their cotton farm where he quickly fell in love with the beauty and isolation of the landscape.

"What I saw was the inherent beauty of cotton fields and the romance surrounding them, so that's when I started writing the film,” Prescott said.

"I knew I needed somewhere isolated (for filming) and when I saw the cotton at dusk when it glows and lights up I was like, "this is it”, so I really wrote the film with Brett's farm in mind,” he said.

The Pretend One premiered at Chinchilla Cinemas Tuesday night and in Dalby last week as a fundraising evening for LifeFlight, an organisation familiar with the trials of remote properties.

The film stars up and coming actress Geraldine Hakewill (now gracing television screens alongside Rebecca Gibney in Wanted) a 26-year-old country born and raised girl who lives with her lonely father Rodger (iconic Australian actor David Field) and her best friend Hugo (Michael Whalley).

Iconic Aussie actor, David Field in The Pretend One.
Iconic Aussie actor, David Field in The Pretend One.

The only problem? Hugo is imaginary.

The film pushes boundaries in more ways than one, questioning and exploring the themes of isolation that come with life on remote properties.

Prescott said while he turned out to be a rotten cotton picker, what he lacked in farming knowledge he made up for in inspiration.

And despite his success, Prescott says he still isn't raking in the coin but finds more enjoyment out of people's reaction to the film.

"This is what we do it for, certainly not to make money but having people engage and feel in your work is really rewarding, and that's what drives you.”

A scene from The pretend One, shot on a Western Downs cotton farm.
A scene from The pretend One, shot on a Western Downs cotton farm.

Prescott is currently working on his next Australian drama set in Western Australia's iconic Pilbara region.

If you missed out on the premieres don't fret!

Prescott said the film would be available to stream later this year on either Netflix or Stan.


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